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Your Unique Thinking Style -> Pitfalls and Strengths for Financial Decisions

August 2, 2017

They say minds are like parachutes and work best when open. Let's open your mind like the hood of a car and take a look inside to understand what drives you and your decisions. Each of us is a unique blend of three big thinking styles (Past, Present and Future Thinking) according to The MindTime Project. FiClub has adopted MindTime's survey on our "Know Yourself" page and encourages you to try it out. It only takes a couple minutes but we believe it can put you on the path towards insights of a lifetime.

 

Knowing where you are in the map of thinking will help your FiClub coach design strategies with you to improve the areas of your personal finances and money habits that will have the greatest positive impact on your life. None of us has all the answers and sometimes the answer we're looking for is sitting right in our mental blind-spot, obvious to another person with a different thinking style. Through better understanding of where your gaps might be, we can work together to improve your financial fitness and the results you experience.

 

A square, a circle and a triangle walk into a bar...

The bartender asks "who's round?" Aside from featuring in the lead-up to the prior bad joke, these three shapes are visual anchors for FiClub methods. We've introduced you to the 4+Core square as a diagram to keep in mind the four areas of your finances (Income, Expenses, Debts and Savings) and the behavioral core. We also use the Feeling Wheel to jump-start conversations about the negative emotional impact finances have on our clients, and we use that same wheel to create positive emotional charge around achieving goals and taking action. Now, we introduce you to the MindTime triangle that shows people where in the continuum of Past-Present-Future thinking they are each situated.

 

Bringing it home to financial decisions:

What does it mean if I have a "resistance to Past thinking" according to my MindTime profile? It means that I will be more likely to rush into financial decisions (or non-decisions like not saving and investing) without researching risks and likely outcomes. You are less likely to use the law of averages in estimating how your investment in that latest startup venture of your kooky friend is likely to turn out for you, or the odds that the adjustable rate mortgage you took out is going to, well... adjust. Risk-oblivious behavior can result from not having a good helping of Past-type thinking in your make-up. How can my coach help me? Past thinkers are great at validating and tire-kicking since they highly value evidence and truth. Your coach can provide the sounding board you need if that is their strong suit, otherwise, they can help you create the checklist you need to ensure you look before you leap when you are making decisions that can impact your financial life.

 

What about those "resistant to Future thinking"? Typically, that translates to lacking vision and an innovative temperament. It might mean playing too safe or being blind to opportunity and possibility. Living below your income potential and failing to create a compelling vision for your life might result. How can my coach help me? Again, the approach is to complement your thinking style with what you don't naturally gravitate towards through activities or getting advice from others. For examples, take a look at our post on Income where we talked about some of quirky ways to use "thinking outside the box" to generate extra money.

 

And finally, "resistance to the Present" may be evidenced by a failure to plan and execute on tasks that are required for achieving the best outcomes available to you. Being inattentive to details in financial matters can result in missing payments, damaging one's credit rating and a whole host of other unnecessary and costly troubles. How can my coach help me?  We would typically help people with challenges in staying present and on top of their finances with strategies like automating payments and other automation to reduce the cognitive load and details to manage. Then we would explore some of the mindfulness tools and exercises like scheduled financial reviews that help anchor your finances even if your head is naturally not in the game. A few of our posts address this area: dealing with procrastination, establishing a foundation of mindfulness.

 

Take the survey on the "Know Yourself" page, then take a screenshot and contact us to inquire about receiving personal finance coaching with a psychological edge.

 

 

 

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