Play a little game with me…
Be 100% honest with yourself and list the first 5 things that come to mind when you read the word “money”. Fill in the blank….’money is ________’.
I’ll give you a sec to think.
Got your top 5?
Great. When you look at your list are they mostly positive or negative thoughts? Is it more “money is the root of all evil” or “money is a tool to get shit done” or “money has afforded me so many vibrant experiences in my life”?
If you’re like me, there were at least a couple of items that were more negative. Which is interesting because most of us say we want a more abundant/prosperous/wealthy life and yet…
How can we welcome in more of something we despise?
This is why it’s so important to lovingly look at the limiting beliefs that hold us back or lead us to self-sabotage.
Shall we dive in and see what might be coming up for you?
Here’s a list of thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours I’ve seen/heard (and some I’ve participated in myself) over the years:
- You don’t apply for the promotion.
- You come from working-class roots and you’re worried that wealth will alienate your family.
- You’ve “made peace” with the fact that you will always be in debt or always have a mortgage and don’t leave room for other possibilities.
- When you get money in, it feels foreign to have it, so you spend it all.
- It’s selfish to want a lot of money.
- You have to ‘work hard for the money’ (so hard for it honey…????).
And if we peek behind the curtain of these beliefs we’ll find…trust. (it’s always trust, isn’t it? ????)
Can you trust yourself to excel with the promotion?
Can you trust yourself to stay true to your values even with a bigger bank account?
Can you trust yourself to invest in your life and manage the money wisely?
Can you trust yourself that you can have a growing savings account (or even one of those elusive ‘rainy day emergency’ savings funds?)
That making money can be easy, and dare we say, FUN!
That you can, ‘have it all’ and live a life full of abundance in all forms.
We all have money stories.
And these stories go DEEP so cut yourself some slack because you’re likely healing some generational wounds. We all know the classic tale of Robin Hood (steals from the rich and gives to the poor) and the “evil” Prince John whose corruption and greed caused him to take the people into poverty. That iconic story dates back to the 1300s. So we’ve been hearing the “wealth is bad” story for at least 700 years!
And there are countless modern examples of movies and TV shows about rich people behaving badly. They’re either portrayed as mean and greedy (Scrooge) or shallow, arrogant, and stupid (Clueless, Richie Rich). And we can’t forget the classic Notorious B.I.G. song ‘Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems’. None of the things that we aspire to. It’s like trying to drive with the gas (desire for wealth) and the brake (don’t want to be any of those stereotypes) at the same time – you don’t get very far. And it’s a lot of conditioning to overcome.
There’s another layer for women.
There’s an assumption that if a woman makes money she has to give it away or spread the wealth. There’s a ghost statistic (ie a stat that no one can find the true source of) that was often quoted and circulated by governments and agencies like the UN and the WHO that said women spend 90% of their income on their children. I think it speaks more to our expectations of women that anything else. It’s seen as more virtuous to live simply and give your money away. To ‘want for nothing’. Especially because women are supposed to be selfless givers and people pleasers who make sure everyone else is happy and taken care of before they worry about themselves.
And while that might seem archaic in this day and age, the reaction to Rihanna’s March 2023 cover photo for British Vogue shows that these beliefs are alive and well. The photo showed Rihanna front and centre while her partner, A$AP Rocky, was in the background holding their child. Men on Twitter were up in arms about how “emasculating” it was to have a woman take the lead.
So how can we reconcile our own desire to be wealthy (whatever that means for you personally) with the stereotypes we see all around us?
And, perhaps more importantly, how can we trust ourselves to be able to achieve and hold onto the wealth (or anything else) we desire?
You gotta name it before you can heal it.
You first have to identify what your beliefs are.
Is it a fear that you don’t belong amongst the wealthy (and everyone will notice)?
The fear of alienating friends and family?
The fear that you’ll somehow turn into a greedy selfish a$$hole?
Is it a sense of guilt? (I should be grateful for what I have or who am I to make money in trying times?)
Or something else?
Identify how your beliefs shape your behaviour.
Do you avoid applying for the promotion or taking that leap?
Do you ignore/avoid looking at your finances?
Do you put everything on credit and make it a problem for future you?
Do you spend impulsively?
Do you budget meticulously?
Do you believe you should only spend on necessities and save everything else?
Do you only buy something if it’s on sale?
Do you constantly say some version of “I can’t afford that”?
Do you fill online carts with things you’d love to have only to x out of the tab once you do?
These behaviours aren’t all “bad”. The idea here is to notice how you interact with money and get compassionately curious (no judgement here!) about the story behind the behaviour and then whether that story is based on fear or love.
Familiar beliefs vs. freedom
When we step outside our comfort zones it can kick up some emotional dust. I recently had a business opportunity come my way that has me brushing off some event planning skills I haven’t used in years. And, as I hung up the phone after a conversation about the financial possibilities – I felt nauseous and light-headed.
I didn’t immediately connect the dots. I thought maybe it was the weather. Or I needed to have something to eat. So I had lunch and a nap and hopped on a call with a friend where we talked about…money and limiting beliefs.
????cue light bulb moment ????
After our conversation I had a full breakdown (ahem, I mean ‘spiritual awakening’). It was all about believing in this dream of mine. That it indeed could happen AND that I deserve it.
I had to cry out those old limiting beliefs around money and love and scarcity and never enough-ness. Wowee what a ride! But I felt lighter afterward and clearer in my vision and purpose. I reminded myself that all the money I could ever want or need is already printed and in circulation! I just need to BELIEVE in myself and my dreams and open the door to RECEIVING it all.
Meet yourself with compassion.
It doesn’t do us any good to criticize or judge ourselves for not believing that we can create the life we’re yearning for or for not believing that we deserve love, joy, and yes, wealth.
The fear is only trying to keep us safe, after all.
It’s better to embrace that part of yourself with open arms, feel the big feelings and reassure yourself that you deserve it (because we all do). It’s okay to leave room for possibility. Trust that you can manage whatever lies ahead.
Which brings us back to trust … again.
Trusting yourself to move past what’s been familiar and comfortable to the freedom beyond.
Trusting yourself to wisely manage money.
Trusting yourself to receive and hold more wealth.
Trusting yourself even when you don’t have the evidence to back it up.
Trusting yourself to stay true to your values at any income bracket.
Trusting that there will be people who will love you no matter what and that you’ll always find a place where you feel like you belong.
And trusting the Universe has a big beautiful plan for you if you’re willing to open up and receive it.
(If you’re looking for ideas about how to build trust with yourself read this).
When it comes to our thoughts and beliefs I think it’s a bit like a radio with two stations. We can choose to tune into the fear station designed to keep us small or we can choose to tune into the love station where the possibilities are endless.
Let me leave you with a few questions to ponder…
- How can you rewrite your negative money stories into something more positive (or at least neutral)?
- How can you tune into more love and abundance even during a recession?
- What would it take for you to trust yourself to receive and hold more wealth?