Your bank account hasn't been breached ... but your THOUGHTS have!
With celebrity nude photos being leaked on the internet and the world's biggest corporations having their systems breached, everyone's confidence is justifiably shaky, worrying whether they'll be the next hacking victim. We're changing passwords, downloading new security programs, and trying to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
But the thing is, you've already been hacked ... Yes, you. Only, it wasn't your mobile phone or laptop.
In a typical hacking, the criminal gains access, steals your stuff and leaves a mess; it's an external breach. But, your hack wasn't typical; it was an inside job, harder to discover and more difficult to overcome.
How did it happen?
Well, there's a long trail of evidence and it's found in the way you do things, the way you communicate, and the way you relate to yourself and others. The most compelling evidence shows up in the way you think.
Your hacking occured at birth and now you're under attack every day. You didn't program your thinking; mom, dad and society programmed you.
You're infected with thoughts and behaviors picked up from who knows where else, and those thoughts and behaviors have become your own little inner-terrorist. Those thoughts scramble your brain waves, act out their will, and push you into doing things their way—every time.
These inner-terrorists control you in a million different ways, but one of the biggest is through money—not the actual cash in your bank account or the credit cards in your wallet, but through your actual thoughts about money.
What's worse is that you don't notice the hacking. You can't see it, but this hacking is undermining your life. Damage is occurring—to your wealth, your well-being, and your personal happiness.
Don't believe it's true? Here are five unmistakable signs that prove you're operating with "hacked" thoughts about money:
1. You're just like your father. Wonderful if he was a successful guy. Not so great if dad was a big, compulsive spender or a tight-wad beyond belief. How many of your behaviors and beliefs about money mindlessly mimic those of your parents? Note: Doing the opposite so you won't be just like dad doesn't mean you're not infected. One way or another, he (and your mom) infected you with some good and some bad money habits. But do you know which is which?
2. You NEED the latest and greatest. The Apple I6 is bigger and better, but wait ... wasn't smaller what you wanted just a minute ago? "Latest and greatest" hooks you when you're cruising along doing just fine with what you have. Suddenly, you're told your "thing" (tech device, car, clothes, etc.) is out of date and suddenly you feel unhappy and uneasy ... like you must upgrade. You need to. But, why? Whose decision is it? "Theirs"—the marketers, society's. You're hacked, my friend.
3. You're a creature of habit. You buy the same coffee, shop at the same stores; your purchases are always same, all the time. You always do things this way. But why? Are you truly choosing any of these thing because you want them? Do you choose them mindfully as the best option of many? No. You don't, because you're programmed by old experiences, old behaviors and old thinking. You're operating on auto-pilot and no one's in command.
4. The price is right. Money is always the guiding force in your decisions. You buy because it's such a great bargain, or don't buy because it's too expensive (whether you actually like it, want it, or need it is a secondary thought). Where you go. What you do. What gifts you give. All decisions begin with "what can I afford" before "what do I truly desire."
But letting money decide everything for you means you're doomed to fail. Money is a super-virus that clouds life's real values when you let it take the lead.
5. Fear of missing out. You should've known better; you could've done something else. If only you would've picked a different option. In our world of endless choices you believe you're just "bad" with money. But it's impossible to feel good about what you spend your money on when you're listening to others and using hindsight to measure what you "missed out on" versus enjoying what you have.
So how do you un-hack yourself?
If you're like most people, you're still trying to fight the damage of the programmed thoughts controlling your life by using one of the following four approaches:
- You try to ignore the damage, burying your head in the sand, and focus instead on the relationships and experiences in your life.
- You obsess about having the best information before you make decisions.
- You save every penny and rarely spend a dime to feel like you're in control (but this shackles you with so much stress and insecurity that life sometimes doesn't feel worth living).
- You trick yourself into believing the next great opportunity is just around the corner.
Each of these four approaches brings a different dynamic to the table. But just like eating too much candy, too much of any one approach makes you a very sick kid.
What you need is a balanced strategy that unites all four approaches in a way that helps you stop the hack in its tracks and then, repair the damage.
Which approach do you use to try to hide the damage? Discovering your money dynamic gives you a chance to stop and finally think—for yourself! Who do you want to put in charge of your life? That inner-terrorist, or you?
Jane Honeck, CPA is founder of The Money Dynamic a new program that helps you balance your approach for making better money decisions. Take her free self-assessment to identify your hacked thoughts about money. It's simple, fun and it only takes three minutes.