As has become typical for any blogs that I write, this blog required me to do a great deal of introspection. It forced me to examine every corner of my own money issues. The reason I spent so much time observing my own money story and relationship with money, was because I wanted to make sure that I was speaking my truth and experience 100% in this blog. I have taken countless money “mindset” courses. Some phenomenal and others really lacking, but I took what I needed from each of them and left the rest behind. I suspect that there’s a huge component that most of these wealth experts missed. The biggest block to creating and experiencing the wealth we desire is Shame. According to researcher Brene Brown, Shame is that intensely painful feeling of being unworthy of love or belonging. If the light bulbs are not instantly going off, let me share my experience with money with you: I grew up relatively poor. We did the whole government milk and cheese thing. I’ve known for as long as I could remember that I have a very strong poverty mindset. In 2007, I filed bankruptcy (talk about a Shame inducing experience!), and that opened Pandora’s Box for me in regard to Shame and money.
Fast forward to three years ago, when I began working for myself. It was amazing! It was freeing! It was my childhood dream come true at last! And then……………. I had to learn how to talk to people about owing me money. I had to face the reality that some people don’t value my work (or themselves) enough to keep their commitment and pay for services. Which is when my heart stopped and I was faced with some really huge issues.
I didn’t inherently believe I was worthy of being financially compensated for what comes so naturally to me. I didn’t trust myself to be able to manage and navigate finances well. I didn’t know how to ask people to pay me for what comes so naturally for me. I struggled with thinking I was just selfish and self-centered in wanting to be financially compensated for the work I do.
Part of developing Shame Resilience for me has proven to me: not only am I worthy of being paid for the work I do, it’s okay to ask for people to pay those bills in a timely manner as I can use my money for things like paying bills or vacations for my family; plus I love having money. One of my missions on Earth is to eradicate Shame from Women everywhere. I’ve worked with so many newer entrepreneurs who are financially struggling because of their relationship with Shame and the impact it has on money.
Below are some suggestions to begin healing your Money Shame. I hope you find them helpful. These are the things I have done to consistently earn over six figures the last few years. I don’t tell you that to seem arrogant or brag, but to help you understand that I truly apply the things I suggest to you.
- Heal Your Money Story: I had absorbed the negative garbage of so many people around me it wasn’t funny. I went back and did a lot of work on my subconscious mind programming surrounding money. I currently have zero guilt, Shame, or embarrassment about filing bankruptcy. It’s simply a part of my story. I have no emotional attachment to the bankruptcy anymore.
- Create Positive Emotions Around Money: I began experimenting with feeling and sitting in joy and gratitude, as I pay my bills. It created such a huge shift for me. I began to notice that I no longer struggled to manifest the money to cover my living expenses. I’m a big believer in tying strong positive emotions to experiences. This quickly paid off for me.
- Act As If: When you create the attitude, atmosphere, and energy that money is abundant, before too long it catches up. Every time either my husband or I begin to experience any stress or worry around money, we deliberately go to a more expensive restaurant. You know the ones? The ones whose food you really like, but it feels indulgent to go to. We sit down, act as if we fit in there, and order food without looking at the prices. This creates the energy and emotion of fitting in, belonging, and being worthy.
- Practice the conversations: When I first started branching out to working with people online, one of my coaches recommended that I practice saying my full fee in the mirror. In the beginning it felt absolutely absurd. However, I’ve noticed that if I have a script anywhere in my brain about money, it makes the conversations that much less difficult. Knowing what you are going to say when people ask those difficult questions, makes talking about them so much easier.
- Be Unapologetic: I will never forget the first time a client decided to not use her insurance, in my in office practice. She asked what my full rate was, and I took a deep breath, and I told her my price. She didn’t even bat an eye. Just wrote out the check and handed it to me. Each and every time I have unapologetically told someone how much I charge, they easily agreed to my fees. However when I apologize, scramble for the truth, or waver even slightly, things go south quickly. People wouldn’t expect to go to the grocery store and not have to pay, correct? They wouldn’t go see their surgeon and not expect to have to pay.
- Track Your Income: This is a technique I learned from Denise Duffield Thomas (author of Get Rich Lucky Bitch). I literally track every penny that comes into my existence. Whether it’s a free iced tea, a meal paid for, winning a course, or actually money coming in. I understand very clearly why this works. Because what we focus on grows. I’ve spent so much time in my life focusing on debt and how much bills I have that I’m committing to focusing on money coming in for the remainder of my existence. Every single time I stop doing this I notice my income hits a slump!
- Have fun: This one is so very important. I have so much fun paying for the car behind me at Starbucks. It’s even fun to see the barista’s look of doubt and confusion as I tell her, “Yes I am sure” that I want to pay for it. I have worked diligently to create a fun energy around money. Not just because I love taking vacations (which I really do) but because I don’t interact well with things I dread or don’t enjoy. Once I created the connection between money and fun everything began to change. Even the concept and energy around paying my bills has changed.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! I’m a firm believer that changing our money story is one of the most difficult, and simultaneously rewarding, things we can do. I’m here to tell you that I’ve changed my money story as well as my interactions with money. I can talk to anyone today about money.
I’d love to hear back from you with where you are in your money journey and how I can best support you!
Jenn Bovee is a Psychotherapist and Shame Busting Coach! She works with people all over the world, helping them to ditch the shackles of shame and step into the life they dream of. Learn more about Jenn here: https://jennbovee.com/