When I work with clients in career transition, it’s common for them to talk about wanting more money like it’s a bad thing.
Many people, especially women, have been taught, consciously or unconsciously, that it is wrong to want to make a lot of money.
Some of my clients say, “Welllllll…I’d like to…make more money,” with something akin to shame in their voices.
Some will very forcefully clarify that they do NOT want to be rich. “Not too much!!! Just…enough.”
I’m here to put a stake in the ground today: there is nothing wrong, bad, selfish, or shameful about you if you want to make more money.
Money is a form of energy. If we choose to use it that way, money allows us to do things that are connected to our highest values.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can buy things that contribute to your happiness. While money is not the only way to get what you want (and beware falling into the thought trap that money is to blame for all your woes!), money can facilitate choices.
As one example, money can allow you to do the work you love and make the contribution you have to offer the world.
If money is not a high priority for you, that’s okay. But if it is—that’s completely okay too.
Money is one of those things we all have strong internalized stories about.
Whether we know it or not, we all have money rules.
Most of us inherit money stories that we continue to tell ourselves without even realizing it.
In particular, many women are given messages throughout their lives (especially their early years) that money is not their territory, and certainly not a topic to discuss openly.
Because money is also one of the taboo topics in our society, our money stories often go unsifted, unquestioned.
So many of us grow up without open discussions that help us make meaning of these stories. It’s “not polite” to discuss money.
As a result, many people carry and hide huge shame about their money situations and habits, making it harder to change them.
If you have money beliefs or habits that you hold tight as deep, dark secrets, you are not alone.
In fact, many, many people, just like you, are quietly fighting a money battle. More often than not, the battle is with their own money stories.
Today I want to recommend two books that will help you uncover your own money stories, take charge of your spending and financial planning, and free all that energy that’s been sucked by your own inner Money Monster.
The Secrets of Six-Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny
Stanny’s interviews with women let you look behind the curtain of this often off-limits subject.
As you hear from the women Stanny profiles, you’ll recognize some of your own money stories.
In hearing a wide range of stories and experiences, you may find you understand your parents better, or your partners. And you will definitely understand yourself better.
Stanny guides you through some exercises to identify the beliefs that may be limiting you, and help you change your relationship with money.
Like The Now Habit, these are great exercises to work through on your own, with a friend, or with a coach. Her five steps to financial independence will help you uncover and rewrite your stories and financial rules.
Stanny also reveals how getting control of their money can lead people to get in control of other areas of their lives, like their health or weight, without even consciously trying.
If you have money shame, money victimhood, or money fear, these books are for you. Stanny will help you to take responsibility for your money choices and work with what you have to get where you want to be.
As you go, share your story. Collectively, we can shake the taboo and stigma about money and help others know that they are not alone.