There came a moment when I finally knew: I had to get smart about money. A massive tax bill was my incentive. Yes, I was terrified. But 3 daughters depending on me gave me no choice.
I went to classes, read books, yet nothing made sense. I felt immobilized. Nowhere in those books or classes could I find a solution for my paralysis. Then I took matters in my own hands.
I finally stopped focusing on the practical mechanics of money and started plumbing the deepest recesses of my psyche. I went into therapy, wrote in my journal, dove into personal growth.
At some point, I became aware of a familiar voice in my head telling me how stupid I was. Instead of ignoring it, as I usually did, I began a dialogue with that voice, asking it where it came from and what it wanted.
That voice was my father’s, telling me, in no uncertain terms, that managing money was a man’s job. If I tried to take charge, I’d botch things up badly, make mistakes, blow it all.
Then it hit me. My inability to understand money didn’t mean I was stupid. It meant I was protecting myself.
As A Course in Miracles points out: “If we seek something we’re afraid of, attainment of it won’t be what you really want,”
Deep down I didn’t want to get smart. Deep down I didn’t want to take charge. Change meant taking the risk of losing everything.
But once I understood my unconscious belief and its source, I was able to change them. Here’s how.
I started giving myself different messages, replacing my father’s admonitions with positive affirmations. “I can do this.” “I’m perfectly capable of managing money.” “Learning about money is so easy.” “I am smart about money.”
Did I believe those words? Not one bit, at least not at the beginning. But with constant repetition, over time, my paralysis disappeared and my fear diminished. Learning about finances actually became fun.
The financial industry eschews the Inner Work of Wealth as “touchy feely.” It may seem totally impractical. But I’m here to tell you, financial success doesn’t come from what you do. It comes from how you think.
What voice in your head do you need to challenge? Tell me in the comments below.