In my last post, I reviewed some of the most common beliefs about money that keep people from reaching their financial dreams. Now let’s review some things that we can do to change those subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) negative beliefs about money, so we can begin to create more joy around money.
I was introduced to a way of thinking about money a few years ago that I still practice today to help me to make sure that I’m staying on track with my thoughts and beliefs about money. The idea is to give money a place of importance in your mind by thinking of money as a person in your life. You can give this person whatever attributes you would like to give them. Money can be tall, dark, and handsome…it can be male or female…it can be more of an angelic figure for you…it can have whatever attributes you want it to have, as long as YOU see those attributes as positive and desirable, and as long as you can see someone with those attributes absolutely ADORING you and wanting to be with you. For some people, that means that money is a dear friend, for others money might be a hot and steamy lover. The best thing is that you get to choose everything about what money looks like. Once you have this picture in your imagination, imagine money talking to you, wanting to spend time with you, and enjoying your life with you. Also imagine what you could do in your relationship with money that would make money happy, just as you would do in a relationship with another person. Spend time thinking about what money would like for you to do for it (him/her). Think about some of the ways that you might be betraying money in your life. This often comes up with people who work in healing or in the arts…they think it is more noble to give away too much of their art or their gifts for free. In this way, they can betray money because they aren’t standing up for money in their lives, and they’re not putting enough value on their own gifts and abilities, so money gets a little annoyed with them for not putting effort into the relationship. Imagine money coming with you when you are doing things in your daily life, such as when you’re going out to dinner or when you’re meeting new people. Imagine money being there as your “silent partner”, ready to support you and help you in whatever ways you might need. You can also use this technique when you have a “money slump.” In your mind, imagine sitting down with money and having a conversation, asking what you can do to make money happy, and what you could do to spend more time with each other. Then just listen to what money tells you. You might be surprised how often you can find someplace where you are pushing money away from your life by using this technique. I find it to be a really fun game too, that allows you to use your imagination and “play” with money in a way that can help you to avoid some of the feelings of seriousness that people often have about money. In this way, you can open your mind to the concept of having FUN while you’re having a relationship with money. We so often equate making money or having money with WORK…some labor that is difficult and that takes us AWAY from our joy. We want to think of having money and making money as a fun experience so that we can love what we do while we’re having a great relationship with money!
It’s also important to examine any areas of your life where you feel uncomfortable about money. For instance, if you feel uncomfortable about taking your money figure along with you in your mind when you spend time with your family, this is a clue that there may be some underlying negative belief within your family that is keeping you from having a great relationship with money. If you have difficulty imagining taking your money figure with you when you’re spending time with your spouse or with one of your close friends, this is a clue that something in your relationship with that person needs some attention. All of this self-analysis and analysis of your relationships can take a little time, but it is time well-spent on your journey to having a great relationship with money.
There are also a few specific things you can do to evaluate where you might have some emotional blocks around money. This only requires setting aside some time and space where you can be quiet and alone for a few minutes. You may want to have a notepad and a pen nearby in case you need to take notes. You want to create a space where you can relax and just be still for a while. If you meditate or pray regularly, perhaps you already have a dedicated space for your quiet time. Wherever that space is, make yourself comfortable, relax and breathe for a moment or two, and try to quiet your mind. Then when you feel ready to listen to yourself, go through a few positive statements about money, such as these:
- I feel safe and secure with my family when I have more than enough money.
- I feel really good about being kind and generous to others when I have more than enough money.
- I have close friends and family who love me and support me when I have money.
- I have great intuition about people and their motives when I have money.
- Even with my flaws, and even with my past money mistakes, I am worthy of having money.
- I am capable of making wise decisions AND having fun, even if I have more than enough money.
- I can love God when I have more than enough money.
- God can love me when I have more than enough money.
After each statement, take a few minutes to pause and just notice any feelings that come up. Don’t sugar coat your response. What you want is to be honest with yourself so that you can heal these false beliefs. If you try to deny how you really feel about it, you won’t gain any valuable information from this exercise. You can also make up your own statements if you begin to notice a negative feeling around money that is unrelated to these statements. Maybe you want to make it more specific if you have a particular family member that you think you may have a negative money issue with. Awareness is the beginning of the healing process, so try to be very honest with yourself and accept that whatever thoughts and feelings come up are OK for you to think and feel.
After going through these statements as well as whatever other statements you may have created, you probably have at least one or two that held some angst for you. Now comes the fun part…fixing these negative beliefs so that you can start to behave differently in your life! I believe that forgiveness and love hold amazing power to heal these blocks in our minds and spirits. So a lot of my work involves using statements to forgive ourselves, forgive others, and give other people permission to forgive us. To make this simple, I’m going to choose a couple of the examples from above and apply the forgiveness process to them.
Let’s say my false belief is that I can’t feel safe and secure with my family when I have more than enough money, and I have figured out that it’s my sister who I don’t feel safe with while I have money. I may know why. Perhaps it’s because my sister has always been jealous of me. Perhaps it’s because my sister HAS money, and she thinks that affords her a special place in the family that she can’t have if I have money too. The more you can flesh this out in your mind, the more effective the healing process will be. As you say these statements, take a deep breath in and then exhale between each statement. Some examples of a few forgiveness statements based upon this picture would be:
- I forgive myself for believing that I can’t feel safe with my sister when I have more than enough money.
- I forgive myself for believing that I have to give up my relationship with my sister if I have more than enough money.
- I forgive my sister for believing that money is the only thing that gives her value in our family.
- I forgive my sister for believing that she can’t love me when I have more than enough money.
- I give my sister permission to forgive me for doing and saying things that made her believe that money is what makes her valuable in our family.
- I give my sister permission to forgive me for choosing to give up my power with money in our family in the past.
In another example, let’s say that my false belief is that I can’t love God if I have more than enough money. Often the belief around this is that money will replace God or that I won’t NEED God in my life if I have more than enough money. In the statements below, I use “God” as my term for a higher power because that’s what resonates with me, and He is my Higher Power. If you prefer to use another term, such as “The Divine”, feel free to do so. We will use the same pattern as before (forgive myself, forgive others, give others permission to forgive me).
- I forgive myself for believing that money is more important to me than is my relationship with God.
- I forgive myself for believing that if I have more than enough money, I will worship money rather than worshiping God.
- I forgive myself for idolizing money as my only connection to love and happiness in my life.
- I forgive my Grandmother for doing and saying things that made me believe that people who have more than enough money can’t have a true relationship with God.
- I forgive my father for doing and saying things that made me believe that people who have more than enough money are evil and separate from God.
- I give God permission to forgive me for believing that money creates my primary connection to feelings of love, security, and happiness in my life.
- I give God permission to forgive me for believing that money has the power to separate me from Him.
In each instance, what you’re going for is to create the highest, most loving concept in your mind around joyfully making, having, and keeping money in your life. If you feel stuck around saying these statements, or if it all seems more complicated than what you’d like to work through on your own, that’s OK too! I work with many people who know that there’s something wrong, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how to fix it, and they feel more comfortable working through it with the help of someone else. If that’s the case, I would be more than happy to work with you to help find and correct whatever false beliefs you may have.
Whether you’re working alone or with my help, I do hope that walking through this process will empower you to develop your relationship with money in such a way that you are able to expand the joy you feel around money, now and continuously.
(I gratefully acknowledge Dr. Annette Cargioli for her healing work, EPTworks, which provides the framework for the forgiveness statements used above.)