I talk a lot about financial baggage because it holds so many women back from financial success.
For many, stories about the past are gripping, and even debilitating. I honor where you are if you’re feeling the weight of all you intend to let go of — because I’ve been where you are. I get it.
I have tremendous compassion for the financial transformation journey — and I know it’s possible to acknowledge your fear, emotion, and shame to get rid of that baggage.
I know when you’re up against your own shame, whether it’s based on account balances or debt or financial fear, that it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel to knowing what having enough money actually feels like.
From my own experience, I know what it’s like to be stuck in a destructive cycle of overspending. I’ve gone from not knowing what to do about it to learning how to stop the cycle and get off the overspending treadmill. I was able to finally walk away from bad habits, but not until I did the inner work to free myself.
Money baggage can also include guilt accompanying what sometimes feels like an embarrassment of riches. Some people are ashamed of the money they have, don’t want people to know, and feel like they have to hide their wealth.
It’s curious to me that we all suffer in different ways around our beliefs about money. We, as human beings, are meaning-making machines, so it’s natural for us to decide that money has meaning. But money doesn’t have any intrinsic meaning, only the meaning that we add.
When we live as though money has meaning, it gets in the way of our behaviors. It shapes our emotions and behaviors, and gives us reasons to feel good or bad about ourselves as a result.
Consider these six things when contemplating your own financial baggage:
- Recognize the source of your upset — are you angry or suffering about the past? At yourself? At someone else? Have you created a belief that something about you — some lack of skill or ability — means you can’t ever have what you want?
- Be compassionate with yourself and others. Really, it sounds simple to say it, but no healing is possible until you can forgive and move on.
- Consider this: What are you getting out of having life be the way that it is? What do you not have to take responsibility for, or how do you get to be right or make others wrong? Really take a hard look on this one, and be insightfully straight with yourself about what you see.
- Know that whatever it is, it’s curable, but it starts with you and what you believe and say.
- Know that your current feelings and situation are a product of thoughts and actions from the past.
- Be willing to be courageous and take new actions, and have faith that your experience, thoughts, and feelings will follow suit.
I know that you’re here, reading this, because you’re feeling that pain that comes when we realize that we’re committed to more possibilities for ourselves. Your experience doesn’t match what your heart truly wants.
Know that I’m here with you — with my confidence in you to borrow when you need some — as you move into your own financial transformation. I promise, if I changed my experience, you can too!
Hilary Hendershott is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.