One of the most important things you can do to improve your financial situation is to understand your money story.
What is your money story about? It’s anything to do with your existing relationship with money — what you are saying about money, how you feel about it, what you believe about it, and how you use it. Even the habits of your parents, relatives and other role models around are important, in the quest for understanding what is going on for you!
The reason you need to identify all of this is because it underlines your current money situation. To be able to create a lasting change to your bottom line, you first need to understand what you are battling with.
What you have seen from other people growing up and the messages about money created your perceptions that have shaped your thoughts and beliefs.
Your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.
So, the key is to learn to observe what you are thinking and discern the inner critics – the critical voices we all have in our heads that we automatically believe.
When you notice that your self-talk is negative, is focused on lack and scarcity you need to have a conversation with yourself. You may laugh about it, but that’s exactly what the little voice was doing before you noticed it!
Start questioning those negative messages you find cropping up. Are they even your beliefs or were they something your mum was harping on about? Do you find that belief to be true for you? Or have you proven it wrong time and time again.
Mastering self-talk is only part of the challenge for overcoming your money story. What about all the things you are telling to others? Is it really the story you want to be known by? Is it really what you want to re-affirm to yourself constantly?
When you get conscious of the stories you are telling others and begin to observe them, it’s important to ask yourself, do you I really want to be telling that story?
Is it empowering or disempowering? This is why we question what we believe about money, ourselves or the situation and find our own truth. Inquiry can be challenging, but once you find what really is going on and start turning your negative money beliefs around, you’ll feel quite liberated.
In fact, this is the #1 path to freedom – this I know for sure. Inquiry is my power tool with clients and most importantly – myself!
If you want to understand why you act the way you act with money, you will have to discover your past experiences in detail, as these experiences have created your current emotions, feelings, thoughts and beliefs that you hold currently. These will drive your behaviour – consciously and unconsciously.
I want you to start with your family money legacy. This was probably passed down generation to generation and was never questioned.
- What is the family legacy you grew up with regarding money?
- What were the circumstances of your family life and your grandparent’s life?
- What sort of sayings did they pass onto you?
- Were there any defining moments relating to many in your family’s life?
- Did your parents discuss money? Did they argue about it?
- Was one parent in charge of the family purse?
- Do you have any unhappy memories around money from your childhood until now?
- How would you define the status of your family growing up? Were they considered rich, poor or middle class?
Begin to study the patterns, beliefs or behaviors you witnessed growing up that shaped your money legacy.
What you make these events mean is the money story you will live out in your life.
Wealth is a state of mind. It’s all a perception.
We may have money in the bank or in the stock market, but we always have the Universal thought “I don’t have enough.” Now that we have electronic transactions and our government just keeps printing more money, do we really have the money we believe we have?
We tend to give money a lot of power and even give our personal power away to money. We define our success by how much money we make or don’t make.
In our society we have a “lack” mentality. We never have enough, whether it’s the latest fashion or hottest pair of boots or the next version of software or the newest iPhone, and there is plenty of advertising to help you believe that this is the ‘right way’ to be.
How to change your money story
Set an intention to focus on learning as much as possible about money. Take a class about money, find a coach who practices inquiry or even specialises in money mindset.
Get clear about the story you are telling yourself and others about money. Get conscious of your thoughts, beliefs and fears around money and what you have been carrying around since childhood. Decide to change the story if it’s not empowering you.
Know what you have and how much you need to meet your expenses. Set goals for saving and automate it so that even as little as $25 a month goes to savings. Before you know it, it will add up.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you are worried you won’t have enough money to live on as you age, start saving now.
What’s your money story? Share with us in the comments.