I am curious about the stories people tell themselves about money. I have been gaining self-awareness about how my stories have majorly impacted my life and so I was interested to learn if other’s stories have had the same impact on their own lives.
A friend kindly offered to share her story with me. She already knew she had “issues” around money and so was happy to explore this idea with me.
She recently came to understand that she has a deep seated belief that she does not deserve to have money. She joked around about it and said “as what we believe tends to come true, is it any wonder that I feel like I don’t have money and never will?” She has been pushing money away her entire life.
So how did she get to the point where she believes she does not deserve money?
Well, as in many of our lives, she inherited the seedling for her belief from her parents and her life experience further solidified it in her psyche.
She grew up in a small town with the following story:
As a girl she was told that she needed to find someone to take care of her, she was not allowed to be driven as that is not considered ladylike. Women that go after money are mean and hard and that is not the type of girl to be.
She was abused as a child and so therefore learned to try to make herself small so as not to be abused again. She learned to stay out of the way and keep quiet. The abuse led to other thoughts that she was a bad person and undeserving. In her words, she was dirty, unworthy, had no value and was stupid.
At the same time, she learned that it was important to put others first and to be grateful. Christian charity was drilled into her every week at church. You must feed and clothe others before yourself and simply be grateful for what you have as it is more than many others.
All this experience made her feel like she was at the bottom of the list of deserving people.
What did all these thoughts do to her spending habits and money patterns?
She believed money belonged to other people, but not her.
She believed that she was never good enough. There was always one more thing she needed to learn or become to command the salary or wages that she was entitled to.
This story she was telling herself created layer upon layer between herself and elusive money.
She learned to tell people – “you don’t need to pay me for that (I don’t deserve it) – I’ll do it for free.
At the same time, whenever she got into a relationship she gave up all control over the finances as that is what she had learned. She was to be taken care of. So any money that she had saved while she was single, she ended up spending once she was in a relationship. As she described it: it trickled through her fingers and disappeared.
So what happened to help her get out from under this heavy story?
I know this about her – she is battling her money story and she is winning.