Conflicting money beliefs, anyone? ~ Mikelann Valterra

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If you’ve ever thought about your “money story”, you may have come up against some paradoxes–conflicting messages about money. And when we are confronted with paradoxes, we often react by simply doing nothing…putting our head in the sand.

The first obvious conflict many women deal with is the message from their families that they should somehow know how to handle money, without being given any training. Did your parents teach you how to plan where you wanted to spend your money? And then analyze what was happening? And then figure out creative ways to get your needs met so you didn’t feel deprived if you didn’t have enough? And they taught you about savings and debt?

I hope you had those parents, but I’ve heard countless stories of people who learned nothing beyond a few conflicting financial platitudes.

  • “Don’t go into debt. Here’s a credit card.”
  • “You better live within your means (but we won’t teach you how to budget).”
  • “Don’t talk about money (but make sure it doesn’t mess up your relationships).”
  • “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer (There’s really nothing you can do. It’s all fate. Give up.)”
  • “Make sure you can take care of yourself (but we won’t model how to earn your worth).”

Sometimes the opposing messages are stated and sometimes modeled. Sometimes your past messages conflict with your present life. Perhaps, for example, your parents said negative things about wealthy people, so you feel really bad about having wealth, even though you know your parents wanted good things for you.

Maybe they told you to save your money, but spent every dime that came in the door, so you never saw what savings looked like, though you know that somehow you’re supposed to be saving, so you just feel bad that you’re not.

Or maybe a parent never spent on themselves, and you feel bad when you do nice things for yourself, even though you have enough money.

When we are confronted with opposing money beliefs, we often react by cultivating an air of ambivalence around money. We work hard not to care about it and not think about it. We may even secretly feel we should be “above” money. Besides, if we do nothing, then maybe we won’t pick the wrong path.

The key is to begin to name the conflicting money beliefs. Then you can consciously move forward. As long as you are not aware of the conflict, you will likely feel unbalanced about money.

So what are your paradoxes? What conflicting messages have you inherited?

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About Todd Alan

Todd Alan considers himself to be a modern day wizard practiced in the science of dynamic alchemy. Todd Alan’s mission is to light the path that leads others to the fire; lighting the fire in the hearts of others.