When I was about four years old, I went with my mother to a neighborhood grocery store. I asked my mom if I could have a piece of candy. She said no.
While my mom was busy checking out, I took two pieces of candy from the box next to the register.
Later that day my mom discovered the candy wrappers. I can still see the candy wrappers on the floor when I think about it.
She took me back to the store and made me apologize to the cashier. I cried so much when I apologized to the cashier that I gulped for air.
My first money experience was frightening and traumatizing.
This shameful experience was imprinted in my subconscious mind at age four!
The goal of the subconscious is to keep us safe.
It’s said that that 95 percent of our habits and behaviors are governed by your subconscious mind. This is where your automatic responses function and helps you breathe and drive your car. It’s where you store your beliefs, your automatic responses and your habits.
Only 5 percent of your conscious mind is where you reason, make decisions and it’s where your will power is stored.
From birth to age seven or eight, these identifications, associations and experiences go into the subconscious mind. You learn as a child that some of your experiences are positive and some are negative.
Children up to age seven or eight have brains that are in the programmable Theta state (4-8 Hz.) So whatever you tell them, their brain will record as true.
These experiences become a life script that you live out because you live out your beliefs.
The amount of data that goes directly into your subconscious mind is phenomenal, because the subconscious mind never sleeps.
This is why so many people have money issues but can’t figure out why.
This is why it’s super important for you to find out what your family, institutions (school/teachers, religious leaders in church, and peers) said to you in your childhood. If you have siblings, ask them what phrases they heard in your home growing up.
I grew up hearing, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
You’re a product of your belief systems that were picked up in childhood by what you saw, heard and experienced.
These early family beliefs shape the way you deal with money as an adult.
Everyone has money shame.
If your family’s social status embarrassed you, I can guarantee that in some way you’re living that out.
Did your family car embarrass you? Do you have an expensive car that you’re paying off as an adult?
Are you living beyond your means, with lots of debt? Have you forgiven yourself and made a plan to pay it off?
As women, we tend to equate our worth with our net worth.
So if you have shame about your lack of experience in getting a job, you may believe that you aren’t valuable and deserve to have money or to become wealthy.
Brene Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.
I work with so many women in my Smart Women Make Money program who believe they’re not qualified enough to make good money. This is a form of the Universal belief: I’m not good enough.
You may believe you’re not worthy or deserving to make a good salary. This belief drives women to go into debt to pay for a coaching certification or more education to get credentials.
Shame will stop you from applying for a job, it will stop you from asking for what you believe your services are worth and it will cause you to hide and play a smaller game in life.
So I took action to work with my money shame from age four. I found a counselor who practices Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. I worked with her around that experience and then she had me hold pulsing units in each hand that worked to synchronize both hemispheres of my brain as I thought of a better feeling story.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches.
You can find someone in your city by searching Psychology Today for a counselor that does EMDR.
7 steps to help you overcome money shame and restore self-esteem:
- Revisit your childhood and find your first money experience.
- Notice what your money triggers are and take action to change them.
- Practice self-compassion – do not judge yourself.
- Challenge your thoughts – if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your money life say, “I don’t have to believe this thought.”
- Avoid shame reinforcers – often it’s more evidence that reinforces the belief you’re not good with money.
- Accept love and kindness and most important of all – forgive yourself.
- Find a compassionate witness who has earned the right (your trust) to hear your money shame story.
Want to know how to feel more confident about money? Find your limiting beliefs, uncover your family history and take a hard look at how you earn, spend and save money?
If you’re ready to make a change, I’m planning to teach my first LIVE course of Smart Women Make Money in May 2019. If you want to be the first to know, sign up here to get on my community list.
Now it’s your turn, what was your first money experience? Do you remember a particularly shaming experience with money? Let me know in the comments below.