If you want to eliminate debt from your life and take control of your money, then you have to be all about developing good habits and discipline you can maintain long term.
You will need to change the way you think. You'll need to change the way you act with money. It's imperative to develop new habits if you want to get out of debt completely.
But those things are hard to do. Habits, behaviors, and thought processes become so ingrained that it becomes a real mental battle to make change happen.
Why is that?
It's because the deeper, more ancient part of our brain is geared to work in a mindset of scarcity. In our earlier pre-civilization days, survival was difficult. When you encountered an opportunity to acquire food, water, or other materials for survival, you took advantage of that opportunity because you didn't know when it would be available again.
Your deep brain is all about getting what you need.
You Want More Than You Need
Your deep brain is also all about fitting in socially. Why? Because fitting in is a survival mechanism. When you fit in to a group and don't have to go it alone, you have access to more resources. As an added bonus, you're less likely to get eaten by a lion!
But in the highly developed society we live in today where most of us have more resources available than we actually need, our brains still try to convince us to acquire things whether we need them or not.
Our deep brain convinces us that we “need” that 1,200 calorie supersized meal or that great pair of shoes or that cool gadget.
So we end up spending money we don't have on stuff we don't always need.
That is, unless, we use another, more developed (hopefully) part of our brain to make a conscious effort to override that deeper, more primitive drive.
When you're about to spend money you know you don't have on something you know you don't need, tell yourself a different story.
Eliminate Debt by Telling Yourself a Different Story
Let the higher brain that God gave you override those ancient urges of fear and scarcity.
When your animal brain says “I deserve it”, tell it that what you “deserve” is to eliminate debt from your life. Then you can pay for those Jimmy Choo's with cash and quit worrying about credit card bills.
When it says “Wow! 50% off!”, tell it that's not in your budget this month. And besides, you didn't come here to buy that anyway.
If the new iPhone has been out for a month and that need to fit in says “everyone is getting one”, tell that beast you'll save up and pay cash for it.
When you're shopping and a scarcity mindset says “I need to get that because there's only one left”, tell yourself that you live in an abundant world. When you get the cash to buy it, you'll be able to find it later.
When it comes down to it, if you want to succeed financially, or in any important area of your life, you have to learn to overcome that deep seated scarcity by learning to develop discipline, actions, and ways of thinking that move you into abundance instead.
Most of us already know what to do to eliminate debt and live a better financial life. But it's up to us to take control of that inner child deep within us and convince ourselves to do it.
Question: Do you ever have to do battle with yourself over how you spend money?
Tell me about it in the comments.