It was late on a Friday, and I had just put my son to bed. I sat back on my couch, checked my phone, opened Amazon, and started shopping.
I bought a phone stand with a light to improve my social media videos. I used it twice in the past two years.
I felt that if I invested money in a gadget, I’d take the time to make better videos. That didn’t happen, and it wasn’t the first time I’d made that mistake.
I remember buying a video camera after my first full-time paycheck. This was before we went all digital. It was the biggest waste of $2,400 that I’ve ever spent.
I told myself I was buying these things because I wanted to help people, but I really ended up buying these things that I didn’t really need because I was trying to be something that I wasn’t. I would have loved to make videos to show people the value of mindset practices that can change their lives, but I struggled for many years to see who I truly was and what strengths I had that would really make an impact in people’s lives.
That’s when I used the Dig to Fly mental model to dig deep and understand what I really wanted in order to help get my online purchasing under control. I had to learn to look at why I was making purchases and which ones would actually help me.
Here’s how you can use the Dig to Fly process to see your thought patterns as it relates to your spending habits. There are 5 steps to this process.
1. Determine your starting point.
How big of a struggle is this for you on a scale of 0 – 10? (0 easy – 10 unbearable)
Once you put a number on it, it becomes easier to wrap your mind around.
My issue felt like it was at a 7.
2. Ask Yourself: Why?
This is about understanding why you’re struggling. What is triggering you to look for something?
I laugh at this now, but just a few years ago I fooled myself into believing that the key to my success was something I could purchase. I bought books, gadgets, online courses, etc. all in the name of being a better person.
This is hard for me to admit. My self-worth was tied to who I wanted to become instead of who I was.
3. Determine your Expectations
I expected myself to be a better person. Impossibly smarter, healthier, and more productive. It’s difficult looking back on my past 20 years. I didn’t want to be swayed by what other people thought about me, but I fell into the trap of trying to live up to expectations that weren’t fair to me.
4. Know what you are grateful for.
Gratitude is a powerful feeling when you tap into it. Focus on your “What” and Why”.
I was grateful because
- My credit card debt stopped increasing.
- I realized that I tied my purchasing to my self-worth. This was immensely important in shifting my mindset.
- I’ve slowed down before purchasing, and now I take time to think about my feelings before buying something.
- I’ve gained insights into who I’m becoming and how I can craft my own mindset by learning what triggers me to look for an item to buy.
This moment of gratitude can help you slow down and get a better understanding of yourself.
5. What new opportunities lie ahead?
This is where we start to change and break habits. If you know that you are prone to using your phone to purchase things that you don’t need, then think about removing your favorite shopping apps. You might also create a little friction before you buy by asking yourself if this fits into your long-term goals.
I recently added apps back into my phone because I wanted to be able to check on prices while on the go, but I set a rule for myself. I’m not allowed to purchase anything on my phone. I’m only allowed to purchase things on my laptop. This has helped give me some time to think and decide if I really want this new item.
After going through the Dig to Fly mental model a few times, you’ll begin to see your patterns. How certain thoughts and feelings trigger you to view products. When you have this awareness you can cut these habits off before they turn into a purchase.
That’s the beauty of digging deep. You can learn to fly high without letting your internal habits dictate your actions and happiness. Join the 30 Day Dig Deep Challenge starting in April. You’ll learn how to turn your struggles into stepping stones. You’ll also get support from a group of caring people who want to grow with you.
About the Author: Karl Staib is the author of Bring Gratitude and the Creator of the 30 Day Dig Deep Challenge.