Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.
I was actually working with a coach when I really “got” this…that money is just a tool. We often have so many emotions and attachments assigned to money that we don’t even necessarily know we have. Money can cause much stress in our lives. I’ve had times of living on mac & cheese and being intimately familiar with the stress of not having money, and yet have also learned that it isn’t everything. We’re constantly being bombarded by ads telling us we’ll somehow be better if only we drive this car, wear these clothes, or own that big house. What is money though? What is it really? A tool. One that if managed well, can offer you opportunities to grow, share it with the people you love, contribute to the causes you believe in, and to create value for yourself and others. But in the accumulation of wealth, where is that line? Is it worth giving up on things that are of much more value in life? Is it worth pushing yourself to the point of poor health, giving up time with the people you love and doing things that make you happy? Money is an important tool, but when we’re only focused on the “getting”, we can lose sight of what is truly important. At the same time, a BS story of demonizing money and somehow thinking you’re “better” than all those greedy, rich people is just another form of self-sabotage.
“What we mentally refuse to permit others, we refuse ourselves. What we bless in others, we draw to us. One of the principles to remember about money is how important it is to pay for services rendered. If we begrudge someone else the right to make a living, we are begrudging ourselves the same. What we give, we will receive, and what we withhold will be withheld from us.” ~Marianne Williamson
In my coaching education one of the things I learned early was that when people are stuck, there are more than likely some type of conflicting emotions/beliefs holding them back. So for example, if I tell you I want to be rich, but when I dig a little deeper I realize I have a belief that money is ultimately the cause of a great deal of stress and arguing, or that women don’t “do” money, or a belief that rich people are selfish people that got rich by taking advantage of other people, then doesn’t it make sense that I would be “stuck” when it came to money?
This week our challenge is to not only look at the tolerations we have surrounding money, but to first dig a little deeper and understand our own complicated relationship to money. Uncover, observe and question the beliefs we have and how they may be holding us back. So before you start on this week’s worksheet, take a little time, grab a pen and paper, and ask yourself:
- What is money to you, really?
- What is not having money?
- Who are you in relationship to your money? Who do you want to be?
- As you look at your answers, what really rings true and resonates with you?
- Are there conflicting beliefs there? Which belief best serves you?
- What is really most important to you?
This is a critical element: What is really most important to you and your happiness? We work hard for our money so using it wisely is essential.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few nice, large homes over the years because I thought that’s what I wanted, but I finally realized that the work and stress associated with owning a large home isn’t at all what makes me happy. I’m just not one of those people that loves decorating and doing things around the house. My husband often jokes with me that my “girl gene” is broken. But that’s me and I’m ok with that. For me, my money is better spent on an easily managed smaller place in a location I like with the rest of the money going to the things I enjoy like travel. What are the things for you that are worth the money and make you truly happy?
On the flip side, for those of you out there that are afraid to spend money on things that bring you and those you love happiness…what is the point then? My grandparents worked hard all their life, putting off doing things they wanted to (partly because they were helping take care of me, my brother and single mom). One of the things was going to Hawaii. My grandmother always wanted to go to Hawaii. It kept getting pushed back until later, maybe next year, maybe when they retired. My grandmother died right after her 53rd birthday, losing her battle with cancer. They never got to take that trip, never got to retire to the land and home they bought in Florida.
Don’t put off living your life!! I wish you much happiness and success!
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