What is the Rut?
We all know the feeling of the rut, right? Whether it be the routine job, the monotonous schedule or house chores, the rut is out there looming over our heads waiting to take hold and make us nice and cozy; mindlessly using trained thought patterns in our mind. The problem with a rut is that although it can feel safe, I think we’ve all heard the saying by now that we don’t grow inside of our comfort zones. We not only don’t grow, but we also don’t change thought patterns which are not serving us well in our money world.
According to the expert known as the google, the definition of a rut is: a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. Is that the all-inclusive place you want to book to spend your days and/or nights? I’ve got to question if the views are really all that beautiful from the high-rise rut?
The rut can creep into so many aspects of our lives. It can impact our family life, our career, our emotional or spiritual life and our financial life. While I want to encourage you to think about how your mind patterns are impacting all aspects of your life, I want to help you focus your mind on your money.
The Financial Industry
I have worked in the financial industry in an organizational leadership role in lending and finance for a very long time. And one thing I have seen time and time again is a rut epidemic when it comes to money. I see a pattern of behavior with peoples’ finances that is unproductive to what they want to achieve but is hard to change. This my friends is the money rut.
So how do you get out of the money rut? I will tell you an industry secret that my industry is not going to like me telling you. But hey, I’m a risky rut raker so here it goes anyway. Many times it is more profitable for companies in the financial industry for you to stay in the rut. Why? Let’s just use loans as an example. If you keep getting yourself in debt and keep needing loans or to use your credit cards, you are a profitable repeat customer with sustainable interest earning income for the bank or credit card company. I’m not saying banks or credit card companies are bad or that they are rooting for your failure in any way. They in fact offer valuable products and services which you need.
What I am saying is the strategic priority of financial institutions is usually to achieve their financial goals, not to help you change your behavior. In fact, you changing your behavior can often times directly conflict with a financial institution’s strategic objectives. Why am I telling you this? To encourage you to take the steps you must take to lift YOURSELF out of the rut.
Rake the Rut
Another definition according to the amazing wizard known as the google of rut is: a long deep track made by repeated passage. So let’s rake the rut, mix it up. There are wonderful people in the financial industry; I am and have been one of them for almost twenty years (can I really be getting that old? Squirrel!).
As great and committed to clients as many people are in the financial industry, I am convinced financial expertise and financial tools are only one half of the equation. They are absolutely an important part. I believe that. But without the change in mindset, they are only one half of the whole. You also need the mindset remix to truly rake the rut and change your actions when it comes to your money.
Examination- What is Your North Star?
Get started on the mindset remix by asking yourself some questions and examining your thoughts on money. My business is called Mind Your Money because I believe there are so many people out there who don’t realize what their true mindset is on money. Unfortunately just because you may not be fully aware of what you think about money, that does not mean those thoughts are still not driving the finance bus of your life. So whether your thoughts are driving you up a gorgeous scenic ocean-side mountain or nose diving you off a rocky cliff, your thoughts are in the driver’s seat of the money bus in some form or fashion.
Ask yourself what does money mean to you? In one word, answer this question.
What does money mean to you? This is your underlying core value regarding money, your North Star.
For me, money means freedom.
Identify Your Money Mindset
Define all your thoughts and beliefs about money and write them down. I’ll go ahead and repeat that part for the people who are hard on reading, write them down.
Write down anything and everything you think, believe and feel about money. If you are using your phone notes, use your emojis to help you easily identify the corresponding feeling a thought evokes when it comes to mind. I think you will be surprised to find that you have much more going on in your mind about money than you realized.
Examine your list. What is surprising? What is conditioned from childhood? What are your favorites? What are your sucky thoughts? What thoughts have helped you? What thoughts have hurt you? Are there any you would want to change? What is stopping you?
This is the first step to creating awareness of your mindset on money. By getting your mind thinking and turned off autopilot, you can begin the journey to rake the rut and reach the highest heights you want to reach in life. It starts with you!
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