Why are Women so Afraid of Wealth and Power?

May 22, 2015

Connect Member

Bestselling author, wealth coach and motivational speaker


“We are still trying to overcome the fear that power and womanliness are mutually exclusive.” Arianna Huffington

Q. Why do so many women have trouble with money? (Hint: it has nothing to do with money.)

A. It’s about power … or rather, our fear of power.

Here’s the problem: Most of us have never been taught the secret wisdom of achieving wealth and wielding power, as a woman. In fact, historically, women have been carefully conditioned to avoid power as a survival mechanism. As a psychologist once told me: “Powerful women have been burned at the stake.”

Admittedly, many women have attained economic success in the male system, but it usually came at an appalling price. In 2003, New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin sparked a media frenzy when she coined the phrase “the opt-out revolution” to describe the flood of women exiting the workforce. They were no longer willing to stay in a system that rewarded the sacrifice of self for the sake of success.

But what the media defined as women opting out, I believe was, in large part, women waking up. They were beginning to question the status quo, realizing there must be a way to stay true to themselves and still be well compensated, without selling their souls or sacrificing their values.

For centuries women have come together to trade recipes and remedies, share tips on catching a man or raising a child — but there is little, if any, collective wisdom for wealth and power.

Several years ago, I began interviewing “Mega Earners,” women worth millions. What I learned changed my life. These women were playing a very different game than the one society models, with very different rules. I call this game Sacred Success, which I elaborate on in my book of the same name. I’m determined to teach this game to as many women as I can.

We need a new breed of role models who have achieved unprecedented success on their own terms, in a very different way than men have been doing it for centuries.

Barbara Stanny is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.