Get Off Your Assets!

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by Andrew H. Ruhland, CFP, CIM, photos by Don Molyneaux Photography

Are you finally serious about improving your financial fitness?

Fitness is normally associated with physical wellness, but all wellness— physical, emotional, spiritual and financial—is just an outward manifestation of the energies, beliefs and values we hold deep in our soul. The spine of my inaugural column is healing your personal relationship with money. I’m living proof that this works, and it can work for you, too.

Have you ever made a financial decision (related to spending, debt or investment) that directly contradicted your consciously held beliefs and priorities, and that you later regretted? Everyone has done this at least once, so where’s the learning in this?

Scientific opinions vary about how much of our overall cognitive capacity we use consciously, but it’s generally agreed that the range is from 5 to 15 percent. Since our conscious brain can handle only a finite number of activities competently and life today if so rushed and complex, that means that 85 to 95 percent of our actions are being run by our subconscious.

Given that shocking fact, if we want to optimize our decision-making outcomes, we’d best get a handle on what’s lurking in the deep recesses of our individual subconscious minds. Don’t worry, you don’t need to relive the painful details of being raised poor, feeling embarrassed because you couldn’t afford the designer clothes your friends had, or hear echoes of lies like “Money is the root of all evil.” Those may be your earliest recollections of “money differences,” but they don’t need to control your behavioural patterns anymore.

Regardless of where we’ve come from, each of us is fully empowered to decide where we are going financially. While I could regale you with anecdotes of my family’s humble beginnings or my exploration and new understanding of the root causes of financial behaviour, I will focus on providing you with an effective process that you can choose to act upon whenever you’re ready to let go of the beliefs that serve as ballast.

1. To set the stage for releasing self-limiting beliefs about money, abundance and wealth, you need a system for bypassing your conscious mind’s defenses that want to micromanage everything. Your ego wants to stay in control, but it’s critical to let go of these fears to heal and open up to true, lasting abundance.

2. Since nature abhors a vacuum, two things need to happen more or less simultaneously: releasing the negative, limiting beliefs and replacing them with general, positive and limitless beliefs that support changing the old patterns that no longer serve our highest good. At the center of these negative beliefs is our perception of our own unworthiness to participate in the great abundance that the Universe has available for all of us. Our deeply held beliefs dictate every decision we make, like it or not.

3. Take mindful action consistent with your healthy new beliefs. That could be changing your investment strategy or advisor (even if that means firing yourself), speeding up the repayment of your mortgage or buying a more moderate vehicle, one that you can actually afford. Whatever it is, you need to take some form of mindful action because the Universe is co-creative. The more you give without attachment, the more you receive—it’s one of those virtuous circles of abundance.

But how do you actually do this? There are many effective methodologies, but you need to have an open mind and open heart. Since my entrepreneurial ADHD brain has so many defenses guarding my core beliefs, what worked for me is a combination of modalities delivered by several extraordinary practitioners.

It didn’t happen overnight, but the recent tectonic shifts in my own outlook, the transition to healthier business partners and the inflow of open-minded affluent business owners into my wealth management practice are proof positive that this stuff works. It can work for you, too. If you’re curious to know who helped me release my own deeply held fears around worthiness, abundance and prosperity, please visit our website and drop me a note.

If you want to explore more about how the values, beliefs and understanding about money that we acquire in childhood affect our financial decision making through our entire adult lives, I strongly encourage you to read and re-read George Kinder’s seminal work on this area, The Seven Stages of Money Maturity. Along with three key practitioners, this book changed my life.

Now, please get off your assets and do something compassionate for your financial fitness. Patience and discipline help manifest wealth, health and happiness—so focus on these.

Andrew H. Ruhland, CFP, CIM, is the founder of Integrated Wealth Management in Calgary. The IWM team focuses on providing effective and mindful wealth-management solutions to optimistic and successful individuals, families, trusts and endowments—while being lighthearted! For more information, visit mindful-wealth-management.

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