What’s your money story?
As women, we easily talk about our careers, our kids, and our favourite retail brands, but when it comes to money our lips shut tight. It’s as if finance is the dirty little word we are not supposed to speak of – it just wouldn’t be ladylike. That’s because for so many of us, money and finances were never things we were taught to be comfortable with, and we don’t really know how we are supposed to feel about it. So we go about our lives, pretending on the outside that everything is perfect, but on the inside we are filled with so much uncertainty, insecurity, shame and guilt over our finances.

What we fail to realize is that these underlying feelings and emotions create subconscious money blocks that silently cause havoc. If you hold a belief that you will never have enough money, you’ll find yourself constantly living for today and not actively saving for your future. If you believe you have to work hard to make money, you may find yourself accepting jobs and careers that do not align with your true passions and dreams. If you believe you need a partner to be financially secure, you may find yourself staying in unhappy relationships or selecting your future dates based on profession instead of personality.

Money is available to all of us, and the reason why some have more than others is because of the money story that is playing out in each of our lives. Our money story is made up of layers and layers of money blocks. These are the limiting thoughts and beliefs that we have internalized over time and made as our internal truths. We live by these truths every day and they determine how we manage our money and drive our daily financial decisions. And if our money story does not align with our future dreams, we can find ourselves adopting poor money habits that take us further away from the financial life we desire.

But where does our story come from?

It’s being created every minute of every day and has been since the moment you were born. As a newborn baby, fresh into this world, you had zero thoughts, judgements, or perceptions about money. As you began to get older, you adopted an understanding about money based on what you saw, heard, or experienced either from your parents, mentors, friends, the media, society, et cetera.

The truth is that we have never actually taken the time to discover our own truths and beliefs about money. Instead we hold on to a collection of opinions, ‘facts,’ and limiting beliefs from others. Whether good or bad, these all combine to create the story that is constantly controlling our money habits and decisions.

Changing your money story

Uncovering your money blocks is the first step. You must let go of the limiting money beliefs that no longer serve you, and instead create new beliefs that align with the future vision for your life. Operating out of these new beliefs allows you to create better money management habits and decisions.

Our most deeply rooted money blocks were inherited from the lessons and behaviours of our parents. Studies prove that many of our beliefs were imprinted on us between the ages of 0 – 7 years old. During this time, our conscious mind was just forming. We internalized everything around us as a fact of life because the analytical part of our brain wasn’t fully able to analyze and question what we were experiencing. It’s during this critical time that our mind was interpreting its first thoughts and impressions about money. As children, we observed the way our parents dealt with money, spoke about money, argued about money, and managed their money. With our parents being our main role models, we accepted their ways and beliefs about money as truth, and live our lives today according to some of these truths.

One of the easiest ways to discover your money blocks is to uncover your initial thoughts or interactions with money from childhood. What beliefs about money did you inherit from your parents? Look at the way you currently manage your money – what traits from your parents are you exhibiting today? If you were taught to save as a child, you will find it easier to save as an adult. If you witnessed your parents arguing about money, you may inherently believe that money ruins relationships. If you were taught that debt is bad, you may hold guilt and shame around your debt. If your father took care of the household finances, you may leave all responsibility to your partner and neglect to ask questions or understand your family’s financial circumstances.

Your money blocks dictate your entire relationship with money. Look at your money relationship like any other relationship. Let’s say you have a best friend who you never spend time with and who you always talk negatively to. Would you expect this friend to be there for you and to support your goals and dreams? Of course not! The same is true for money. If you don’t spend time with your money (reviewing your accounts or updating your budget), or you constantly talk negatively about it (complain that it’s never there or never enough), you will find it difficult to make money and keep money. Many people find themselves constantly worried about their financial future because they lack a healthy understanding and relationship with money. Money wants love and respect, just like you do.

Here’s the truth - there is more to money than just the numbers. Shifting your money habits and behaviours begins with shifting your money blocks and limiting your beliefs. It begins with connecting to money in a whole new way and creating a new money story that aligns with the life you desire.

Vanessa Bowen is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP) and the Founder of Mint Worthy, a personal finance coaching platform that helps women shift their relationship with money and take control of their finances.

Vanessa Bowen is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.
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