I am wondering if you have ever asked yourself this question. I have to be honest, I hadn’t actually really looked at my money story up until recently and never knew I actually had one. So I wanted to share a little more with you here in my blog today.
I learned about what a money story is from the Kate Northrup author of Money, A Love Story. A money story is your beliefs around money and how you grew up hearing about money. For example, did you hear like I did that “money doesn’t grow on trees?” or something like you have to “work hard to make money, or “it’s impossible to pay off your debts, so don’t even go into debt.” And of course. “in order to truly be rich you need to work 24/7.” And “never take a chance with your money, because once it is gone, you aren’t going to get it back.” Wow, even writing that is very cathartic. 😉
Most of us inherit our money stories and beliefs around money from our lovely families, communities and people we spent time with as we grew up. Did you know that we learn our money story at a very early age and unfortunately we take that subconscious story into our adult lives which tends to hold us back from reaching our true potential.
You might wonder, how do you know what your money story is? Basically, I came across Kate Northrup and started digging into this idea and read her book. There are several questions I answered and the answers and phrases just came to me. I totally remember my parents, especially my dad saying “money doesn’t grow on trees.” And going through the questions and getting really clear on what I didn’t want to take forward with me is how I got really clear on my money story.
One of the ways to zero in on your own money story is by asking a series of questions. Here are some that I found worked really well for me:
- Do you have any unhappy memories around money?
- What did your father or mother teach you about money?
- What did you hear your father or mother tell you about money?
- What is your earliest memory around money?
- How does money make you feel?
- What emotions do you experience when you receive a bill or have to pay your bills?
- What do you say to yourself or others when you see something you want to purchase? Do you say something like, “Oh we can’t afford that? It is way too expensive.”
- Do you have any guilt around money?
- Do you believe you deserve to spend money on yourself?
- What words would you use to describe what money means to you in your life?
Here are a few ways to create a more positive relationship with your money and they are actually quite simple. These are things that luckily I had implemented for years now. But I wanted to share with you.
What are you grateful for in your life. Look at your life and find three things that you are truly grateful for and appreciative for. (Tweet this!) It could be the fact you have the two greatest kids ever, or you have a roof over your head or anything that you are just so grateful for.
I actually do this practice many times a day and have a ritual every night with my boys before bed that we call “Happy Thoughts” where we tell each other what we are thankful for from the day. It has been such a great moment in our day and we’ve done it since my oldest was 3 years old.
I remember a time in my past years ago around the time of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and we in California felt it really hard. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people left CA during this time. The cars on the freeways during rush hour dropped dramatically. It was a major financial crisis for our economy in CA.
Well during this time my husband lost his job. People all around us were losing their homes and having to foreclose. It was a very stressful time. We had 2 young boys that were both under the age of 3 1/2 and I was the bread winner. I was working at a company that I loved the people but I didn’t love what I was doing at the time. I was working long hours and not seeing my boys much.
My husband had a really hard time finding a job. In fact, it took him over 9 months to find one and all the bills and finances were on my shoulders. I had two incidents during that time where I cried to my mom and thought can I do this? She advised me to walk away from the house. And I told her we won’t hold onto it if we can’t make payments. I just kept thinking things are going to turn around. I just had this feeling.
And during this entire time (minus the two incidents that I cried), even though I was stressed with work I kept saying how grateful I was for everything in my life. I said we are so rich and full of abundance because we have each other and no matter where we ended up (even if it was my sister’s basement), we’d still be the richest people I know because of our love for one another, our children, our health, our friends, and our family etc.
Did we incur some additional debt during this time? You betcha we did. But you know what, all that debt has been paid off. And we still own that home (it’s now a rental property) and it if we sold it today we’d make a great return on our investment. If my money story ever crept into my mind during that time in my life, I replaced it with gratitude for what we had and how lucky we were.
Debts aren’t bad if you think of them as investing in your future. (Tweet this!) Do you really think you won’t pay off a credit card bill if you are investing in a dream you have? So many people make themselves feel guilty and bad about taking on debt. But, if you change that around and focus on all the abundance in your life and become passionate about increasing your wealth in new and different ways than that bad feeling can get turned around.
I don’t know how many of you are aware of Law of Attraction. Well, the premise behind it is that your thoughts becomes things. What you think and feel (the feeling part is super key here) will become your reality. How many times have you thought to yourself, I don’t want to talk to “Susie” she is so annoying and is such a gossip. And the next thing you know Susie is walking up to you and asking to have a little chat. You gave emotion and thought around her and the universe answered. Like attracts like.
Here is another example that might help you understand this a bit easier. If you focus on how frustrated you get when technology doesn’t go your way, think about how the more frustrated you get the worse and more technology issues arise. I know when I have dealt with technology issues if I don’t get up and walk away and get into the present moment and find something to be grateful for, I will continue to spiral down the path of no return.
Be sure to ask yourself the questions I shared above to yourself this week and take the time to think about how your own money story is no longer serving you in your life today. Dig deep and do this. You will be amazed at how getting control of this story and changing it around can do wonders for your life.
Once you have identified each one of your money stories, I want you to rewrite them in a more positive way. For example, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” might turn into, “Money is all around us and is there for the taking.” Now doesn’t that sound better?
If you have questions or would love to share your money stories, please do so in the comments below.
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P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Are you ready to turn your money story around and get the success you truly want? Check out my 90 Days to Unleash Your Dream Business Program.