When you discover the root cause of your money issues, you free yourself from what’s blocking you from earning and saving money.
Sally (not her real name) grew up in a family where money was used to manipulate people. Her grandmother had money from her business and used it to manipulate others. Her father and brothers inherited this tendency as well.
When she was eight years old, Sally’s father left the family to run his mother’s business. Although her father earned good money, he sent her mother barely enough money to live on. Her mother was always in debt.
Sally and her mother felt unworthy of money because they never had enough. As a young girl, Sally had to wear her brother’s hand-me-down clothes while father would buy nice things for himself and the business.
Sally was teased because she was wearing her brother’s clothes. She felt ashamed because she was teased about being called a boy.
I helped Sally dig deeper to find our what was the root cause of her money issues. I asked her to go inside and close her eyes and find the beliefs she had about money.
Can you identify with any of these limiting money beliefs?
Money is terrifying (she felt guilt and shame).
I have to stay away from it.
I’m not bringing in enough money.
I’m not allowed to have enough money.
I have to work “hard” to make money.
I’m not worthy of making money.
I’m not worthy of being paid.
I don’t deserve it.
I should charge less.
I’m an impostor.
As Sally shared these beliefs, she had the sensation of cramping in her head. I asked her which belief had the most emotional pull.
She said it was the belief, “I’m not worthy of having money.”
I asked her questions to go deeper into the belief to unpack it.
How do you react, what happens when you believe you’re not worthy of having money?
I feel powerless. I’m furious about the lie of it all (with her father and grandmother) and it’s happening in front of my face.
I have a powerless knot in my stomach. When I look at her (my mother), she is powerless.
They (father and his mother) are worthy, and we aren’t.
I have to keep myself small. I have to make myself invisible to be safe. My head is spinning and my throat is very tight. I’m shallow breathing. My solar plexus and lower abdomen is tight. I feel dizzy. I’m out of my body to be safe.
When was the first time when you had this thought?
When I was four, and I had just started school. I’d been given money to buy a bag of potato chips. I lied and said I didn’t have money. A little boy saw me. I felt guilt, shame and terror around it. At the moment that it happened it was like I was waking up from a past lifetime.
Who would your little 4-year-old self be without that thought?
I was innocent. I didn’t do anything wrong in that moment. I was confused about the ritual of how to get the chips.
Who would you be today without this thought?
I’d been innocent. I would own the fact that I have no debt. I would own my integrity about living within my means. Everything would expand without this thought.
I noticed that I am sitting straight in my chair. I can breathe more deeply. I feel free and safe in the Universe.
I asked Sally to think of the opposite thought, which is “I’m worthy of having money.”
She found three pieces of specific evidence about how she is worthy of having money:
- I’ve worked since I was 14.
- In my 20s and through college, I worked and was paid more than the average jobs paid.
- In my first job, I was promoted quickly and was paid more. When I left that job, I was offered more money.
Sally became aware of what was terrifying her with money.
It was the shame of not feeling worthy to deserve money.
Awareness is the first step in behavior change.
The root cause of your money issues goes back to when you were young. What you saw, heard and experienced in your family before age seven is in your subconscious mind. You and your parents are NOT to blame because what you witnessed from your family is most likely what they witnessed from their parents.
Until you break your family money legacy, you will continue to act out and live out your limiting money beliefs.
Your subconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. You act out your subconscious beliefs. Your subconscious mind is your operating system and what you believe, witnessed or experienced at an early age, is driving your behavior with money.
If you’re not happy with your money situation, pay attention to your thoughts, beliefs, and your behavior.
Become aware of what you believe about money.
What did your parents say about money? Were you embarrassed about your social status? What did you experience or witness about money growing up?
Imagine looking in the window of your childhood home and seeing yourself inside, what do you see and most importantly – what emotions do you feel?
Sally realized that each time she feels vulnerable around money, she can hold her little four-year-old self and sooth her by telling her it’s not her fault.
Just because her father didn’t give her mother enough money, it’s not about their worthiness but more about her father’s own money beliefs he inherited from his mother.
Sally was an innocent child. It was what her family believed about money. Sally is breaking her family’s money legacy by becoming conscious of her limiting money beliefs and noticing when she is in fear of money so that she can change her behavior.
Your subconscious mind wants to keep you safe.
What experiences did you have with money that triggered fear or anxiety? Become aware of what you saw, heard and experienced so that you can begin to change your money story.
- Did your parents argue about money?
- What were the emotions your family associated with money?
- Did your family experience a traumatic experience with money?
Notice your own behavior with money – how you earn it, spend it and save it.
Your thoughts and beliefs create your emotions and physical sensations in your body, which drive your behavior and actions with money.
By becoming aware of what you believe about money, you begin to take tiny steps to make change – this is transformation.
Once Sally found out the root cause of her money fears, she was able to notice when she felt fear and tell her little four-year-old self that she was safe and that everything was ok.
Do you see money as a measure of your self-worth? Do your family’s money issues create problems for you in your financial life?
I’d love to hear what you heard or witnessed in your childhood with money. Let me know in the comments below.