Does this sound familiar? You want to make better choices to secure your financial future but something in your head keeps questioning your motives. Many women have been brought up with a negative money mindset. Asking questions about money is not necessarily welcomed and we may feel awkward even thinking about investment or earning more money.
You may have to deal with questions like 'Are you turning into a money centred person?' or 'Have your values changed? Are you becoming materialistic?' or 'Are you greedy?'
Professor Steve Peters explains the female tendency to conform and let the man deal with safeguarding the nest by how our primitive part of the brain (=The Chimp) operates. This is the part of the brain that contains all the natural drives and instincts (need for survival, food, sex, shelter) and has been passed on to us since the caveman. A risk taking female was much more at risk of getting killed in the jungle than the one who stayed close to the physically stronger male and let him make all the risky decisions.
The primitivity can explain this sort of behaviour and beliefs, but in today's world, those values are clearly holding women back and are unhelpful.
And it's not only our 'chimp' that has brought us harm on the financial front, many women (and men) have inherited negative beliefs through upbringing and society.
So let's look at these unhelpful beliefs one by one and see if they really ring true.
1) Unhelpful belief: People who want money are greedy
Do you believe that people who help others or create something useful that makes your life better and more interesting should be rewarded for their efforts? I'm not going to talk about charitable work here, it will always have a very positive role in our society. But let's think about people like Deepak Chopra or Steve Jobs or Anita Roddick. You wouldn't think their work was born out of greed, quite the contrary!
We can also look at a smaller scenario, anyone who's able to build a business that employs even one person has created wealth and happiness around her. Or if you are able to save for an investment property you are able to provide a home and a roof over someone's head. Just because you want to take care of your own financial future you don't have to turn into a Donald Trump!
2) Unhelpful belief: People who want money are selfish
Business owners or investors may sometimes come across as 'selfish' but the people I know are merely very focused on their projects. You do need to protect your time if you want to get anything meaningful done.
Let's turn this unhelpful belief around for a moment.
What happens if you don't want to secure your own financial future? What happens if you don't take care of your own wealth? At the worst instance you will have to rely on other people to pay your bills and feed you! In my view, a healthy, educated, adult woman has a duty to take care of herself and it is rather selfish not to mind her own financial future and to risk she has to rely on the system if things go wrong. And even better if we can be in a position of strength to help others. It's easier to help people around you if you have resources!
3) Unhelpful belief: Money in itself is bad
Money is one if the most neutral substances on this planet. Money doesn't care if you are black or white, a woman or a man, from a wealthy family or just hard working. Money is just a tool to exchange products, services and information. Wealth facilitates wellbeing and equality on all levels of the society, even though in some separate instances it may sometimes look otherwise. Like in anything in life, there are always exceptions and life isn't always fair.
Only the way you earn money or the way you spend money can be judged either good or bad. And that is a choice we can all make as an individuals. To be honest, we are not even very good at making those choices no matter how wealthy or poor we are as individuals. Most of us happily buys cheap fashion which has been produced in inhumane conditions and in countries who don't care at all about the environment. As we grow wealthier, and I sincerely believe this will happen to everyone who joins DrivenWoman, we can start to make better choices as consumers and be more conscious about the way we live.
4) Unhelpful belief: Wanting money is superficial
Don't be trapped into a stereotype of wealth! Fast cars, expensive fashion labels, tropical holidays. As there's nothing wrong in the above, we all like different things in life and have different passions. But for yourself it is wise to define what wealth means to you.
For me it means freedom to spend my time as I want. Money gives me the flexibility to do things at my own phase, to do meaningful things rather than things that are meaningful for someone else. It's easier to fulfil your purpose if you don't have to worry about how you are going to pay your next electricity bill.
And when it comes to expensive designer shoes, I do love them. You can look at these things either through 'ego' as a status symbol. You can think people only buy labels to get acceptance of those around them (and I'm sure there are a lot of people who are driven by that). Or you can look at these things, like anything in life, through your own values. Aesthetics and appreciation for beauty is one of my core values and thus I will always be drawn to beautiful, well made fashion and design. I believe beauty brings harmony and happiness to everyday life.
The choice is yours what lens you want to use.
Do you have other beliefs about money and wealth that may be harmful and holding you back?
To replace negative beliefs you first have to identify them and write them down.
Yes, writing down is a key part of the process because then they become real and you can actually evaluate them. Have a look at what you wrote down and see if they really are universal truths or if they could they be your personal, strongly held belief systems instead?
Negative beliefs will stop you from taking positive action and when it comes to wealth, negative beliefs can be harmful to you and also to the people around you, if not removed.
Once you have identified your gremlins, you can replace them with positive beliefs by defining what wealth means or will mean to you. You have the right - and the power - to earn and to spend your money as you wish, thus you should create your very own, positive belief system about money.
What do you think about money? Have you had negative beliefs about personal wealth? Please comment below and share your views.
I wish you abundant week!
Ps. DrivenWoman Wealthy Woman Workshop dates for 2016 has been set. 'Wealthy Woman I' will be held on 10. March 2016 and 'Wealthy Woman II' on 8. September 2016. Tickets will come for sale early January.