Webster's Dictionary defines well-being as the state of being happy, healthy and prosperous. People love to talk about health and wellness as it relates to food, exercise, meditation, and relationships. But when it comes to money, folks clam right up.
The truth is, many of us have outdated beliefs in place that perpetuate a negative relationship with wealth. Common among these beliefs are:
I'm not in it for the money
Money is not important to me
Rich people are evil
People with money never had to work for it
I'm broke and there's no way out
Money creates stress
I don't know enough to invest
My partner takes care of finances
My parents have money and can always help me
These thoughts and ones like them limit us from reaching our full financial potential and ultimately, our comprehensive sense of well-being.
Here are 3 tips to create a healthier relationship with money.
Acknowledge the importance of money
Though money cannot buy that which offers us true value in life -- loving partnerships, healthy relationships with our children, connection with nature, or true friends, it is involved in so many aspects of our lives. On a rudimentary level, money is a just an exchange of energy for goods or services rendered.
However, I work with many business owners, therapists, and artists, women in particular, who do not feel right charging for their services or time. When working for a company, sure. But once she works for herself, she fears charging a fair amount for her services/time will make her unlikable or appear stingy.
Very quickly, this creates deep seated internal resentment. It can even push a person out of a vocation they once loved.
Anytime you perceive yourself giving something for nothing, or taking something for nothing, you temporarily raise or lower your frequency and perceived self-esteem. Altruistically giving something for nothing, or narcissistically taking something for nothing is not sustainable over time.
In nature, there is a principal called the Equity Theory which states that nature equilibrates perceived inequity over time.
This is important for us to remember as we share our work with the world. It is not only our right to charge what is fair, it is our responsibility to ourselves, our profession or mission, and our clients. Pay attention to how you speak and think about money and acknowledge its value. Change the disempowering behaviors and narrative.
Our sense of self-worth is tied directly to our self-wealth.
Evaluate where money falls in your values
John Demartini, author of one of my favorite books on wealth: The Ultimate Wealth Mastery Library, talks about how if financial freedom is important to you, you must examine your values.
People can talk a big game about how they want to be financially free, but if building and sustaining wealth is not in one of your TOP 3 VALUES, he suggests, then you will spend your money in other ways.
For instance, if you value your children above all else, then you will spend any amount of money to clothe them, send them to the best schools, and join every extra curricular activity. The same holds for travel. If this is one of your top values, then you will regularly spend money on vacations as opposed to saving or investing your money, instead.
To be clear, this does not make you BAD if you have other values up top. Yet it's wise to be honest with yourself and take full responsibility for your current and future wealth if being financially independent is important to you. This kind of sustained wealth comes from a lifetime of decisions and behaviors, as opposed to a big windfall or a couple of good financial years.
What are your top values? Do you want to move building wealth up any higher? What behaviors may need to change in order to do so?
Examine YOUR specific financial blueprint based on YOUR history and take ACTION
As mentioned above, many of us have disempowering stories about money. If unexamined, we'll put ourselves in situations, or spend money in a way that perpetuates the story of our past. We might make a great deal of money, but then we'll quickly spend it all on a fancy car or a decadent experience we can't afford to bring us back down to that with which we're familiar.
What is YOUR specific story? What needs to be rewritten?
Financial behaviors, just like emotions, travel down family lines.
When we think of ourselves in the future, we often imagine a rosy picture where we're in a nicer house, traveling regularly, and sharing our money generously.
The truth is, if we're not taking action now, with regularly sustained behaviors to get us to our vision, our future will look much like our present.
Take a minute and write down what was wonderful about your financial history and what was disempowering. Answer the following questions:
What behaviors do you want to bring forward from your history?
What would you like to leave behind?
Now close your eyes and visualize the financial future of your dreams. Be specific. Where are you living? What are you doing? What have you created and how have you served or given back? What will happen with your children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren as a result of your wealth?
Once you're done visualizing, make a plan that starts NOW. What needs to happen to get you to this vision? What behavior needs to shift? Talk with possible partners who share stake in this with you.
When we take full responsibility for our financial picture, now and in the future, we create an elevated sense of well-being and inspire those around us to do the same.
Here's to your well-being.