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 glass is more than half full. (Keywords: Abundance, Generous Universe, Win-Win, Flow, Creativity, Generative)

I felt uncomfortable, even a little disloyal, in questioning differences in our belief systems. Working with my own Coach, I concluded that embracing my own true personal beliefs is not disrespectful of elders nor does it invalidate their experiences. Rather, this simply means making a personal choice to mindfully notice the beliefs I hold, discern if they are true for me now, and then change them by creating a more personally authentic Money Story of my own. Nobody gets to be wrong!

Coaching is a great way to explore unquestioned limiting beliefs. Not surprisingly, money is a common focus of calls with my coaching clients. I invite them to examine their own Money Story – its origins, benefits and limitations. Often they decide a substantial re-write of their own Money Story is in order to craft a more modern, accurate and congruent set of personal beliefs around money.

It’s not easy to uproot lifelong beliefs. Friends and family members may not feel comfortable or supportive of such changes at first, or ever. But I suggest that there are few things that are more satisfying than feeling more authentic, aware, and aligned with one’s own values and beliefs. So, what’s your Money Story?

[box] 10 questions to help create YOUR new Money Story:

  1. What was the financial circumstance of your childhood?
  2. What messages about money can you recall when you were young?
  3. In what ways do you think your current financial situation relates to that of your family of  origin?
  4. What is one assumption or belief about money that no longer serves you well?
  5. What might be a desired outcome of embracing a new personal Money Story?
  6. By changing your Money Story, what are you saying “yes” to?
  7. By changing your Money Story, what are you saying “no” to?
  8. If you want to ask for some help with this, who would be supportive and non-judgmental of you as you explore?
  9. When will you begin?
  10. How will you know your new money story is accurate and truly your own?

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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 up at the perfect time, after imperfect action being taken. It’s uncanny.

When I let go of the need to “look good” or the illusion of being able to live failure-free and just take imperfect action, I feel better. I feel lighter, freer, and even playful.  My clients tell me they have similar experiences, by doing reasonable due diligence, then just Take Imperfect Action.

If this intrigues or resonates for you, I have some questions for you to ponder:

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  • What are you feeling stuck about?
  • What imperfect action are you willing to consider?  Pick one.
  • What data or resources are missing to take informed imperfect action?
  • What are you saying “yes” to by taking this imperfect action?
  • What are you saying “no” to by not taking this imperfect action?
  • What happened the last time you acted without perfect information or absolute assured outcome?
  • What imperfect action will you take next?

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Working with a professional coach is a great way to explore unquestioned limiting beliefs and move ahead in life. A coach can help you discern and commit to action, then help you be accountable. Your coach will help you unpack the process and outcome to deepen the learning. I bet your coach will also celebrate you taking informed imperfect action. I sure would!

Why not contact me to schedule a complementary 30 –minute consultation call.  I’d love to explore ways in which I can help you identify and then take imperfect action toward creating the life you are meant to live!

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