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Understanding Your Hidden Money Story – How to Rewire Your Brain for Financial Success

by John Assaraf, Founder and CEO of NeuroGym

Your brain is incredible. Amazingly, it’s a work-in-progress that has been transforming for millions of years.

This transformation was guided by two important principles:

  • Safety and Avoidance of Pain
    Your brain has naturally evolved to keep you safe so you can reproduce and pass along genetic improvements to the next generation.

    Most people automatically seek safety and avoid pain before the pursuit of pleasure and success.
  • Efficiency
    Your brain is in charge of a long list of things - everything necessary to operate in the world and keep you alive.

    To get all of them done, your brain has to be extremely efficient with its energy.

    If you run out of energy, you can’t keep yourself safe.

The process of making a decision is energy intensive: your brain uses a lot of fuel when you have to make a choice. To solve this problem, your brain evolved an ingenious solution: instinctual, automatic responses, more commonly known as habits.

Habits are automatic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior.

Every time you make a choice that leads to a favorable outcome in terms of the above two principles (in other words, if the outcome keeps you safe and doesn’t use a lot of energy), your brain remembers.

The next time you have to make the same choice, your brain will default to the solution it used last time because it takes less energy.

The outcome of this energy-saving method is that your life runs largely on autopilot.

Your Life on Autopilot

This is why you repeatedly get results you don’t like. When you think, feel, and act the same way, when you are habituated to stay the same way, your life turns out more or less the same way too.

Safety and efficiency help you survive, but they don’t ensure that you THRIVE.

To your brain, almost any change you want to make is interpreted as a potential risk–emotionally, financially, physically, mentally or socially.

As I’m sure you’ve realized, setting goals isn’t hard. Achieving them is.

This is because your brain sees change as a potential threat, and it will do everything possible to resist leaving its “comfort zone.” 

Yet some people do manage to override this resistance and achieve their goals and dreams.

They lose weight and keep it off, they start a business or get promoted and earn more, they develop loving and fulfilling relationships, and they find lasting happiness.

They don’t just survive, they THRIVE.

And, so can you. But to do this, you have to understand that you have not one brain... but two.

Your Two Brains

Not literally, of course - you only have one brain in the physical sense. More accurately, your brain can be thought of in two parts:

  1. Your conscious brain is your awareness of yourself and the world around you.

    It’s what you use to think, reason, plan, choose, imagine, and so on. Your conscious experience is constantly changing.

    In one moment you’re reading this essay, in the next your conscious awareness may be focused on something else, like a stray sound.
  2. Your subconscious brain works behind the scenes and relies on autonomic processes.
    It stores and retrieves data without doing any “thinking” of its own. One of its jobs is to make you act in a way that:

    - Keeps you safe

    - Conserves energy, and

    - Is consistent with your hidden self-image

Your conscious brain can only direct attention to one thing at a time, so long as that thing isn’t too complicated. Your subconscious can do a huge number of things simultaneously.

Your conscious mind gives commands and your subconscious mind obeys them. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to command their subconscious mind in a way that leads to the outcome they want.

Your conscious mind’s ability to exert control over your life requires willpower. And it takes both consistent focus and a huge amount of energy to do so effectively.

Doomed to Fail?

Have you ever promised yourself you would do something only to give up later without even trying? This happens when you’ve exhausted the neurochemicals required to use willpower.

If your method for achieving success relies on willpower, it’s doomed to fail.

When your natural tendency is to do something unresourceful (like watching TV instead of working on your goals), you can use willpower to redirect your attention - but only so long as you have the energy to do so.

When you run out of that energy - of the chemicals required to use willpower you revert back to your natural tendency.

In other words, when your conscious mind does not have the energy to “run the show,” your subconscious mind takes over and does whatever will keep you safe and conserve energy.

Your subconscious mind runs the show most of the time - it’s what predominantly drives your behavior.

Over time, your subconscious has learned a huge number of strategies for operating in the world. However you normally approach something is how you’ll approach it if you aren’t paying conscious attention.

Have you ever been driving when you suddenly realize you haven’t been paying attention for who knows how long? This happens when your subconscious takes over.

You have thousands of these energy conservation strategies, which help keep you alive and well.

There are ways to increase the amount of willpower you have, and doing so is a good idea. 

Willpower is useful. But you will never be able to achieve your biggest goals and dreams with willpower alone.

When Willpower Fails You

What you need to do is retrain your subconscious so your natural tendency is to do whatever is most resourceful.

Imagine what it would be like if you automatically did whatever was most resourceful in any given moment:

  • If you worked toward your goals, and when you did, it didn’t even feel like work.
  • If you no longer had to resist temptations because you had literally trained yourself not to be tempted.
  • If your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and behaviors were aligned and always working - automatically - toward what was best for you and others.

Let’s consider a common goal: increasing wealth and earning more income.

If you want to increase your wealth and earn more income, you need to become aware of a concept called your “money story.

Your Hidden Money Story

Your money story is the hidden programming in your brain that automatically guides all of your decisions, expectations, and behaviors around money.

You currently have a hidden money story running in your subconscious mind that you’ve been developing and reinforcing for years. These deeply rooted subconscious patterns control everything you believe, think, feel, and do when it comes to money.

Your money story determines:

  • The clothes you buy and the gifts you give
  • How much you are conditioned to earn
  • What kind of saver or investor you are
  • How you spend and manage money
  • The kinds of restaurants you eat at
  • How much wealth you accumulate
  • How much you tip

If you haven’t realized this already, your hidden money story controls everything you do or don’t do when it comes to money.

In essence, your hidden money story reveals your entire conditioning and programming around money. This “story” is REALLY responsible for your current financial results.

What you need to do is bring your hidden money story into your awareness so you can change it. In other words, you need to retrain your subconscious so your natural tendency is to do whatever is most resourceful and will help you achieve financial success.

Retrain Your Brain

All of this is possible when you learn how to retrain your subconscious mind. And humans have long since created methods to do just that.

The problem: most methods are difficult and take a long time to work.

Fortunately, recent advances in neuroscience have finally given us advanced methods and technologies that allow you to dramatically accelerate the process of change AND make it easier.

We live in an incredibly exciting time.

Easy access to information and resources is transforming the world at the fastest pace in history.

Additionally, the speed at which things are changing is also accelerating.

Those who know how to leverage these advancements are able to generate more riches than they know what to do with and achieve their biggest goals and dreams.

You can be one of these people. You can achieve your biggest goals and dreams.

About John Assaraf

John Assaraf is one of the leading mindset and behavior experts in the world.

He’s built 5 multimillion dollar companies, written two New York Times Bestselling books and was featured in eight movies, including the blockbuster hit “The Secret” and “Quest For Success” with Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama.

Today, he is the founder and CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced technologies and evidence based brain training methods to help individuals unleash their fullest potential and maximize their results.

You can find more about John and his Neurogym program here.