What’s Your Money Story?

Money is a powerful concept. Just think of all the ways in which most of us give our attention to money – how we earn it, manage it, account for it, save it, spend it, worry about it, and even give it away. Not surprisingly, many of us have unquestioned limiting beliefs about money. We may even hold judgments about the relationships others have with their money – rich or poor, lavish spenders, or overly frugal. In The Energy of Money, author Dr. Maria Nemeth challenges readers to create a personal “money autobiography” by writing a description of our lifelong experience of money, from earliest memories to now. She suggests that what we observed and learned about money from our earliest memories informs our money beliefs as adults. What a sobering exercise! My money autobiography showed me how my own Money Story – my current beliefs about money – was very much shaped by my parents’ beliefs about money. My folks were members of “The Greatest Generation.” They were kids during the depths of the Great Depression and were young adults during WWII. (Keywords: Lack, Scarcity, Limitation, Rationing, Distrust, Secrecy, Hardship, Doing-without.) Understandably, they saw the world as generally an unfriendly place; money was hard to come by and to be protected at all costs. For them, the glass often looked half full. I acknowledge that I didn’t experience the hugely challenging times they endured growing up. Different life experience means different worldview, so I see and experience the world differently – as a generally friendly place of abundance that is full of choices and opportunities. For me, the...

Take Imperfect Action

Thorough and Cautious? Or Scared… Okay, I admit it. Sometimes, when I’ve got something in front of me that is new, or I don’t have ALL the answers, or have an ABSOLUTELY assured good outcome, I slip into a habit of delay.  For me, it looks like analyzing and digging for data and running through endless scary “what if” scenarios.  I tell myself that I’m just being thorough and cautious. Thanks to coaching – both as a client and as a coach myself – I’ve discovered over time that I’m stalling because I’m kinda’ scared.  Scared of what, you ask?  Of failure. Of looking bad. Of making a mess. Of not doing something perfectly. The endless loop of indecisiveness was my preferred strategy to for playing it safe, but it was also keeping me in the “Land of Stuck-ness.”  Busted.  Now I know better. Maybe this sounds familiar? I’ve discovered for me, and for many of my clients grappling with this delay tactic, is that there are more satisfying alternatives to feeling stuck.  Here’s one that I find works well for me — Take Imperfect Action. Take Imperfect Action means pushing past the scary unknowns and just moving ahead.  This isn’t about being reckless or impulsive. It means doing reasonable due diligence, gathering adequate data, discerning, and then choosing a course of action.  And then taking mindful — if imperfect – action, informed by my current understanding and resources. And something happens that is quite remarkable. Taking action, albeit imperfect, tends to create spaciousness for new things to emerge – people, resources, opportunities, and ideas. Stuff seems to show...