“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ~Thomas Jefferson
I read this quote on Twitter earlier this week and felt very inspired; I needed to share it, and so I am going to talk about how we decide our “pricing strategy” in life.
I’m not talking commerce and economics. I’m referring to boundaries and limits; where you draw the line. Do you over-spend, over-eat, over-imbibe, waste energy? Maybe you let your children “rule the roost,” or you are involved in a work or personal relationship that drains your energy.
In personal relationships, do you dwell on things? Perhaps you engage in ridiculous arguments, irrational behavior, abuse or neglect. Perhaps you have said that you are finished, yet continue to accept less than what you deserve and want, and are left feeling frustrated and drained.
Do you have unlimited funds in your bank account? My guess is that you do not, and you would not spend money on things that take away from your life and happiness. What about your emotional bank account? Do you over-spend your emotional resources?
In jobs, do you give until you feel you have nothing left? Now your superiors and co-workers expect you to hyper-perform, over-commit and live to work. In life in general, maybe you feel drained on many levels. Why? Do you have a hard time saying no? Do you think you should do “everything”? Do you spend a lot of time walking in circles because you don’t know where to start?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions or can relate on any level, then you could probably use a little refresher on setting boundaries. If you find that you are spinning your wheels and continually frustrated, try the method below, chart your progress and watch your life change.
- Name the “Pricing Pattern” that you want to change. Try to identify what it is that makes you feel so drained. One example might be: “I spend beyond my means.”
- Commit to Making a Change. Tell yourself, out loud, and in writing, “I will curb my spending and begin to live within my means.” Make a commitment to yourself to do it.
- Baby Steps. Start small, in a way that you can manage, and that will not overwhelm. One example: “I will switch to cash for miscellaneous purchases and keep my credit card in an out-of-reach place to avoid spending beyond my means.”
It is a small change, but can make a big difference. Try it for a week and see how you feel. You might feel uncomfortable. You might feel constricted. You might feel free. Go with it. Keep doing it, and take a look at how your finances look at the end of one week. Check your credit card balance. Notice that the balance looks better, or at least the same, as it did the week before. Chart your progress in a way that appeals to you, and keep with this system for another week. At the end of the second week, take note if you have seen a change in your situation. Did you miss over-spending? You might need more time, you might even need outside help, but notice if you feel different.
Now relate this to other areas in life. Consider the symbolism. If you have tackled a financial issue in your life, think about how you can save or ration your emotional energy. Perhaps you can look at how much you are willing to give away. Take a moment to consider other areas in life (i.e. relationships with your spouse, significant other, friends, co-workers, superiors) and find a place where you are over-spending your energy.
Now go back to the steps listed above and begin again:
- Name the “Pricing Pattern” that you want to change. Try to identify what it is that makes you feel so drained. One example might be: “I over-commit and feel overwhelmed.”
- Commit to Making a Change. Tell yourself, out loud, and in writing, “I give myself permission to say no, and save energy for myself.” Make a commitment to yourself to do it.
- Baby Steps. Start small, in a way that you can manage, and that will not overwhelm. One example: “I will not volunteer for any more school activities this term, and will set aside 20 minutes for myself each day to read (write, call a friend who builds me up, take a walk, etc.)”
Make your intention clear to yourself. Commit to yourself. If you are standing on principle, you will be living solid.
You can change your life, one baby step at a time. Even a slight shift in mentality is enough to get you moving in the right direction. By placing value on yourself, as in the example above, you have taken a stand, and this is a matter of principle. Refer to the quote at the beginning and stand like a rock. You are worth it, and you will find that your whole life will be enriched.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.