I know, I know…I missed last week. I was away for a few days and I got behind. Besides, this is a biggie of a post so I wanted to take the time to make it right. So now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Tie-down questions are small questions you ask your audience when presenting your argument. They break down what you’re saying into smaller segments that make it easier for your interlocutor to follow your train of thought. Ultimately it leads to getting your way more often.
That’s because with each question you can measure the pulse of the audience and readjust or re-explain as needed. If you don’t break-down your statement you end-up with a general answer — “yes” or “no.” But why you get that answer is uncertain. When you break-down your statement, you know exactly when and which part of the statement generates comfort or discomfort.
This is the example we had used last time.
If you want to ask for a raise, you can go about it in two ways:
First scenario. You can walk into your boss’s office and say:
I’ve been working here for a while, I work really hard, I get good results and I’m not even on par with others in the industry. I’d like to get a raise please.
If she answers “no” it’s not quite sure what’s she’s saying “no” to. Does she not have the time to talk about this? Does she not feel you’ve been here long enough? Maybe she feels you don’t work hard or you’re not getting the great results you think you are. It’s complicated.
Second scenario. You walk into your boss’s office and say:
— I would like to speak with you, do you have a moment?
— Yes, sit…sit.
— Great, it won’t take long. I’d like to talk about a salary increase. I have been working here for a while now, right?
— Um, yes, that’s true.
— And I work very hard, we’ve even worked late on some projects together, remember?
— Yes, yes. That’s true. On that file.
— Yes, and I feel overall I achieved some great results, don’t you think?
— What do you mean? What do you feel you’ve achieved?
— Well, I’ve implemented this and signed that client, and I’ve increased profitability on those major accounts. You know?
— Right, I didn’t realize you were behind all that.
— Yes, I was. It was a team effort, but I drove that. So what I also did is some research on the industry and I see I’m under paid by $10,000 compared to others doing my job at our competition. Want to see?
— No, I trust you. We had a tough few years though so I’m not sure how much I can help you.
— Right, that’s why I helped increase profitability on those accounts. So now I feel I need to be on par with the industry. How do we get me there?
— Well, that makes sense, this is what we’ll do…
— Great thank you very much!
See how you’re able to explain further or change course at any time?
#HYLP Challenge #41 : Fight your fear of money
There are roughly 10 challenges left and if you’ve been following since the beginning, the next few challenges are where everything comes together.
At first, I set out on this adventure to hack my life. To conquer fears that made no sense so that I could take the reins of my life and point it in the direction I wanted. It’s true, stuff happens you have no control over so total control over your life will never happen. But, like a computer hacker who tries to push the code to the limit. Sometimes things break, but, regardless, you work to make sure it does more than it was ever programmed to do.
So here we go. The last few challenges.
There’s a difference between risk, fear and worries. Risk is normal in a way because we live with uncertainty and that’s actually a good thing. It’s the fear and the worry that are the problem. Fear is being scared the risk is going to happen and worry is constantly thinking about the fear that the risk will happen. Can you see where the problem lies? Risk is natural; fear and worries are made up. And that’s where we go wrong. We all fear on something on some level and people hesitate to push, fight or pursue things because of them. The fear of money, of others, of the unknown, or what not. They all hold us back. So this week and the next few we will look to fight some basic fears so that you can accomplish something greater.
This week will be about fighting the fear of money.
Money is a big fear. Often the biggest barrier to not pushing through is the fear of money. And it’s completely made up. More specifically, the fear we won’t have money to pay the bills. You don’t want to go to work, but instead of asking to work from home, you go to the office for fear of rocking the boat, getting fired and losing your income. You’re afraid of starting a project for fear you’ll loose it all, so you stay put.
Quite simply, each day you plug along. Constantly fearing money. Try to do this even if you feel it doesn’t apply. The thing about fears and worries, they have a way of hiding from the surface.
As we head down this path together of fighting our fears, we’ll use a similar system each time. There are three big components and six steps altogether. Your path will be different, but in the end,
- You need to realize how that fear manifests itself,
- You need to find out when it doesn’t manifest itself and
- You need to work on getting more of point 2 and less of point 1.
That last point is the most important. As you go along and try to solve your broken fears and worries, focus on the times they don’t happen. Don’t focus on the fear, focus on the times when there is no fear. I’ve done some research for you and what we’ll do here is based on Brief Therapy: Focused Solution Development by Steve De Shazer and his colleagues (actually, my girlfriend found this for her Masters and shared it with me). I’m not making any of it up. So here’s what we’ll do. We’ll break these components over a few days. Each day shouldn’t take you too long — 30 minutes max. Ready? Let’s go.
On day one, take a pen and paper, your iPad or laptop and open a writing software. Write down the times you worry about money. Every time you remember worrying. The more detailed, the better. That’s it. Do you follow? It’s simple.
On day two, do the opposite. Look at times when that fear doesn’t happen. In other words, when do you not worry about money? What’s different about when you worry and when you don’t? For example, do you worry about money on Sunday evenings and is that worry gone on Friday night? What about the other nights of the week?
On day three, look at those two lists — when you worry and when you don’t — and determine how you get to the point of worrying about money. You know it happens on Sunday nights, but what triggers that worry? Is it the news you watch? Is it a phone call from your parents or friends? Is that the realization you’ve spent money all weekend? Be honest. This is only for you. No one else will see this list.
Does everything make sense so far?
On day four, now that you have a detailed list of when you worry and when you don’t and how you get there, determine exceptions to that pattern. This is when it gets interesting. You’ve set the groundwork and now let’s build. For example, if you’ve determined your Sunday-night worry is triggered when you realize how much money you’ve spent that weekend, are there moments or weeks where you don’t worry? Why? What happened? Did you get a bonus? Did you get cash for your birthday? In other words, are there times when on Sundays, you don’t worry?
OK. Now for day five, we’re really gonna work on resolving the fear. We’re going to answer 8 questions. The goal is to imagine a version of your I-worry-about-money pattern that is solved. In other words, we want you to live your regular day to day, but without the fear. Let’s say the pattern starts when you check your bank account on Sunday night to do your finances. We want to imagine a version where you’re doing your finances and the fear isn’t triggered. Makes sense? Ask yourself the following questions:
Could the pattern be broken by,
- Turning the exception into the rule. On day four, you established exceptions to your patterns. Times when the fear normally rises, but this time it didn’t. Can you turn that exception into a new rule or routine? Maybe one time you got a bonus so you didn’t worry. Can you work on getting some extra cash on the side and use that money to go out?
- Changing the location of the pattern. Try doing your finances in bed or on your iPad instead of your laptop.
- Changing who is involved in the pattern. Try doing you finances with your partner instead of alone or hire a financial planner.
- Changing the order of the steps involved. Can you do your finances before the weekend starts? On a Thursday for example.
- Adding a new element or step to the pattern. What can you add to the routine? Maybe a yoga class, then checking your finances?
- Increasing the duration of the sequence. Don’t simply review your finances, take the time each week to improve something — automate, increase income, budget better, etc.
- Introducing random starting and stopping. Instead of doing your finances each Sunday, do them whenever.
- Increasing the frequency of the pattern. Or trying doing your finances a few times a week instead of just once.
Finally, on the following day, look at your answers and determine which makes more sense to your pattern and triggers. Does it more sense to make an exemption to the rule (“I’ll walk my neighbours’ dogs during the week for some extra cash.”), maybe you want to add a new element (“I’ll do yoga before working on my finances…it will help me relax”), etc. Pick the one that makes the most sense to you.
The last step. Give yourself a deadline to have solved the pattern. For example, try the new pattern for 6 weeks and see how you feel about money then. Give yourself a target date.
That’s it. It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. Of course, your mileage will vary, as they say. Some fears are stronger than others for different people.
Makes sense? Let’s go.
If you’re new here, on the first week of January I started the Hack Your Life Project. Each week I challenge myself to explore the details of the programmable system that is my life and stretch its capabilities, as opposed to most of us, who only prefer to learn the minimum necessary. I no longer want to breeze through my life, but take control of it.
These are the past challenges:
- Hack Your Life Project | Get rid of excess clothing
- Hack Your Life Project | Turn off the electronics
- Hack Your Life Project | Hello stranger
- And then…everything changes | The happyness metric
- Hack Your Life Project | Do
- Hack Your Life Project | Weekends and evenings
- Hack Your Life Project | Take a break
- Hack Your Life Project | Be decisive
- Hack Your Life Project | Set your limits
- Hack Your Life Project | Give a fuck
- Hack Your Life Project | Test your life
- Hack Your Life Project | Healthy mind, healthy body
- Hack Your Life Project | Back to basics
- Hack Your Life Project | It is what it is
- Hack Your Life Project | Workout daily
- Hack Your Life Project | Break a routine
- Hack Your Life Project | Life with a mission
- Hack Your Life Project | Hack your finances
- Hack Your Life Project | Random acts of kindness
- Hack Your Life Project | Spice up your life
- Hack Your Life Project | Take a cold shower
- Hack Your Life Project | Thank you
- Hack Your Life Project | The gaze
- Hack Your Life Project | Learn something new each day
- Hack Your Life Project | Do ________ daily
- Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000
- Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 2
- Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 3
- Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 4
- Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 5
- Hack Your Life Project | Do something else
- Hack Your Life Project | Fascinate others
- Hack Your Life Project | Rethink what you do
- Hack Your Life Project | Contact a hero
- Hack Your Life Project | The ask
- Hack Your Life Project | Criticism sandwich
- Hack Your Life Project | Just say yes
- Hack Your Life Project | Negotiate
- Hack Your Life Project | Social rules
- Hack Your Life Project | Ask tie-down questions