The question that I have for you is simple: what do stories do for us?
Stories are simply a constellation of our emotions, belief systems, values and sometimes the images – around a specific event. A story gives meaning to our experiences in life, right? Why I find this interesting has less to do with the stories, themselves, and more about what’s happening in our brain when we experience these “stories” or emotionally charged experiences.
Have you ever had an experience where you were so moved by something in your life, that all of the hairs on your arms raised up? Now, the question is, did you look down at the hair on your arms and say, “hairs, I want you to raise?” Of course not. What happened? Well, your brain released dopamine, which traveled down through the medulla (the medulla is the transmitter connecting your brain with your body) and released neurochemicals, specifically dopamine, into your body that controlled your body’s response (hair raised).
You don’t have to think about any of this, because your brain (the computer) takes over. Your brain is controlling your body and your body is controlling your life experience. Ultimately your beliefs, thoughts and values are controlling your body and, therefore, your life. It’s simple science, yet profound psychology.
Here’s the thing, just like any other chemical or drug, we can become addicted to these neurochemicals. It doesn’t matter if we have an emotionally charged positive or negative experience, the brain recognizes both in the same way – it gives us a dopamine hit.
Essentially, it is acting as a reward mechanism, so, in a sense, we’re becoming addicted to creating the same experiences over and over and over, because our brain wants that hit.
Have you, or someone you know, ever found yourself stuck in the same kind of relationship pattern over and over again?
You ask yourself, “why do I always pick a partner who cheats on me” or “a partner who is emotionally unavailable?. Sound familiar?
While you don’t want to create the same experience over and over again, your brain is addicted to the neurochemical release and, therefore, you’re staying stuck in the same pattern. The same thing rings true for anything in our life, including our relationship with money.
Are you riding the feast or famine train? Do you feel like money is either flowing in or you are struggling to meet month’s end? You long for consistent revenue and want to trust your ability to organize your business and money with confidence, but you just don’t seem to ever be able to get it together. Or, maybe your story is, “I’m able to make lots of money, but I just can’t seem to keep it or manage it well.” Money just seems to slip right through your fingers. Or, maybe you are constantly telling yourself, “I’m not enough,” which keeps you in a reactive state of fear rather than making decisions with confidence.
These neurochemicals can wreak havoc and keep us stuck in the same destructive patterns and stories.
But, there’s hope.
Truth is, we are all addicted to patterns, habits and stories that get in our way of living optimally and of making the money we desire. I don’t care who you are, what gender, socioeconomic status, race, or religion…it doesn’t matter. We are all affected by this addiction to varying degrees.
The way we begin to heal our relationship with money is by letting go of the blame, shame and guilt. The blame, shame and guilt, are the needles, the pills, and the pipes that feed the addiction. “I wish I wouldn’t have done that.” That’s the voice of shame. “I wish I wouldn’t have hurt someone in that way.” That’s the voice of guilt. “I wish my parents wouldn’t have treated me like that.” That’s the voice of blame.
You’re not a victim and you can transform this addiction. How? It starts with compassion. Compassion releases the charge around the addiction and opens the opportunity to re-wire a new story. There is a path to re-wiring your brain and creating a new money story – compassion is just the first step.
Join me November 16 and 17, 2017 at QuickBooks® Connect for “Re-write Your Money” in San Jose as I walk you through the complete process of how to re-write your money story. Building a new relationship with money (including a million-dollar business empire), doesn’t have to be hard. Let’s do this!