9 Steps to Rethink the Way You Make Financial Decisions

9 Steps to Rethink the Way You Make Financial Decisions

What’s your money mindset have to do with your success?

We all have a set of beliefs–an attitude–about money.

Most of us hardly think about how we came to those beliefs, but they stem from our childhood and are hard-wired by the time we’re adults. Your money mindset, much like an operating system, runs the show when it comes to many of your behaviors and decisions.

You built your money mindset (and learned many of your related behaviors) in your formative years. Your parents probably taught you about money indirectly as you watched, listened, and absorbed the positive and negative money lessons in their lives. You witnessed decisions being made or deferred; you perhaps heard whispered discussions or shouting matches.

These experiences imprinted on you. You entered adulthood with a fully formed, perhaps subconscious money belief system–a way of thinking, deciding, and acting.

Maybe you heard statements like “save for a rainy day”, “don’t spend money on frivolous things”, or watched your family celebrating the payoff of a mortgage. Or you felt the tension-filled effects of uncontrolled spending and calls from collection agencies. As an adult, these messages can end up working for or against you. Awareness is the key.

Your money mindset is at work 24/7 in your business and your personal life. It provides you with a pathway to make decisions based on your hardwired belief system and how you look at the data you have available.

So here’s the pivotal question: do you and your business want to be in a different place at the end of 2019 than you are now?

If your goals require you to think and operate differently than you have in the past, you may well need to rethink how you make financial decisions.

To start, ask yourself these nine questions to understand your money mindset.

  1. As a child, what was the most important lesson you learned about money?
  2. What are the one-sentence messages regarding money that stuck with you from your childhood? Where did you hear these messages?
  3. What were the spending/saving patterns of your mother? Of your father?
  4. When you were young, did you consider your family to be rich, poor, or ______?
  5. In your family, was money an “issue”? A source of conflict? A tool for achieving goals?
  6. As an adult, what has been the most important lesson you have learned about money?
  7. In your current money life, are you more of a spender or a saver? A worrier or avoider?
  8. What money habits have brought you closer to your values and goals?
  9. What money habits have been obstacles to reaching your life goals?

Examine your answers to these questions. What did you learn about yourself and the roots of your decision-making and how can you apply them to your business goals?

Knowing the ‘why’ behind how you process decisions will help you move beyond your automatic defaults that might just be holding you back from the success you want most.

This story originally appeared on Inc.com.