Money can be such a taboo topic. We all have unconscious stories we tell ourselves about money. “It’s hard to make money.” “I have to sacrifice my happiness to make more money.” “Everyone wants to take my money,” etc. Even in writing this blog about money I feel vulnerable, exhilarated, nervous and bold for doing it, which shows me this is THE next step towards greater freedom around my money story. There is tremendous power in bringing something that was unconscious into conscious awareness. Sometimes just seeing through what we have believed is all that’s needed to be free.
When I was getting out of college, most of my friends went into their first jobs and received salaries and I went on to graduate school, which left me questioning my own ability to make money for myself. I moved to LA and made friends with people 10 years older than myself and felt like a small fish in a big pond and late to the party. They were thriving in their careers and I compared myself, leaving me feeling inadequate – confusing my self-worth with my net worth. That’s a tricky one! I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I didn’t know if I could actually financially sustain myself doing something I loved. I saw these other people doing it, but could I?
The beginning of 2014, I set the intention to shift my relationship with money from one of scarcity to one of abundance. I wanted to experience liberation from those old money stories while making more money. I knew I needed to do the inner work in clearing my limiting, unconscious beliefs around money while also moving outside my comfort zone by taking more courageous action steps. I was aware that as I took bolder steps toward my financial goals, all the unconscious material that had held me back would come up so I could then work with it!
In January of 2014, I made what, at the time, seemed like, a huge investment in myself. I joined my first coaching group to assist me in growing my own coaching business. I thought if I wanted to be financially successful as a coach, I had to learn from someone who was living it and could support me in doing it for myself. It was a big financial leap for me at the time, and it was worth every penny!
At the beginning, I had no idea what was possible. I was blown away that within the first three months of my business, I broke six figures. My old stories had a conviction that it couldn’t be that simple, that it had to be really hard, and that it would take a really long time. I just kept going and within a year, I more than doubled that figure.
My intention in writing this is to pay it forward, to share with you the steps I took to free myself. I hope it inspires anyone who is ready to take the leap to break free of their old limiting stories and create a healthier relationship with money.
Shine Some Light of on Your Current Money Beliefs
Whether we are conscious of them or not, we all have money stories that have been passed down to us through our lineage. The first step I took in becoming aware of my money stories was to take inventory.
For one week, I carried a journal with me (you can use your cell phone, I’m just old school) to record my relationship and beliefs about money. I slowed down and got curious, so I could hear these stories on a microscopic level.
*Please remember: it’s important not to make yourself wrong for any patterns you find. There’s no need to identify with or judge them, but rather be open and honest with yourself to see what is actually keeping you stuck.
Take A Money Mind Inventory:
As a way to take inventory of your current story here are some questions to ask yourself:
*Where is it easy for me to spend money? Or, where is it difficult for me to spend money?
*What are the judgments I hold about money? (Really slow this one down)
Example: You may have developed a misunderstanding from childhood based on the interpretation of your experience. Perhaps you established the belief that ‘money ruins relationships’ or ‘rich people are mean or unhappy’
*What were my parents or caregivers relationship with money when I was growing up?
*What were the unconscious lessons I first learned about money?
Example: ‘You have to work hard for money’ or ‘Time is money’
*Taking it a step further, you can move into a deeper inquiry where you allow yourself to write for a full five minutes. Set a timer and write your answers to “What is Money?” or “What is Wealth?”
Explore your beliefs like ‘more money is better’, ‘money is freeing’, ‘money is hard to get’ etc. Just write what first comes to mind and keep going without thinking much about it. Don’t edit. Just write whatever comes forward and keep going.
After the five minutes, stop. Look back at your list and underline any beliefs that stand out. Then, take those beliefs and inquire further.
*Can money really buy me joy? Freedom? Security? (take your time with each of these)
Through these exercises, we bring awareness to all the beliefs that layer our relationship with money and we make some space to examine and question them.
*Another great exercise is to list all the things you value that money can’t buy.
I wish people could realize all their dreams of wealth and fame so they could see that it’s not where they are going to find their sense of completion.
The ego will always trick us into believing that something we can get, some carrot be it power, money, fame, etc. will make us free. The real freedom is waking up to that story, letting it go, and experiencing the freedom that is already here.
Power of Inquiry
Take your answers into inquiry to fully investigate from a fresh perspective. Find out if any of these stories are actually true? Where’s the proof? How can you really know if they are true? Keep going deeper and find out if these beliefs around money are your truth. The trick is to not judge what you find… they were just innocent assumptions and judgment locks them in place.
When we free ourselves from our stories, or even just bring awareness to them, we are less likely to get caught in them, and we can stop operating under an unquestioned set of beliefs that color so much of our daily experience. We can then make room for creativity and resourceful solutions to arise.
The week I was journaling about my relationship with money, I took my car to the shop for an oil change. The mechanic servicing my car called to inform me that my car required additional work that would cost another $1,600. My immediate internal response was, “He’s taking my money!” Since I was in the process of slowing down and investigating my money stories, I got curious and in order to give myself the space I needed to look at this deeper, I told the gentleman I would call him back. Within my own personal inquiry, I was able to see that he wasn’t taking my money. He simply shared what he found and quoted me for his services. That’s it! He had actually gone above and beyond the service of an oil change by looking into other repairs that my car may have needed. I realized that I held a belief that mechanics take advantage of people. Seeing beyond this belief, it became clear that this wasn’t true and that he wasn’t taking my money, he was just asking if I’d like to move forward with his services. It was ultimately my choice to say yes or no. In seeing this clearly it brought a sense of empowerment knowing that it was completely my choice to either pay for what he was quoting me or go somewhere else. This was a simple, but powerful shift within myself.
We project so much of our own personal ‘material’ on to money and it really has nothing to do with money. Money simply acts as a mirror for what we hold in our consciousness. When we heal our relationship with money and compassionately see the misunderstandings we have placed against it, we are able to let it go more gracefully. From this open free space inside ourselves, we are able to move forward with a healthier relationship with money knowing that it is a vehicle and a beautiful way for exchanging value/service in our world.
Recreating Your Money Story
For me it’s about both: doing the inner work to clear the fear and limiting beliefs and it’s also about rewiring our consciousness to another, more abundant truth.
*Start by changing the way you relate with your story.
For example, “not having enough” is a common one. Whatever it is for you, neutrally notice it and refrain from indulging in it or resisting it when it comes up.
*Shift your consciousness with small daily practices of focusing on gratitude for the abundance all around.
For example, when you go to the grocery store, take a moment to witness and receive all the abundance around you. Soon, you’ll start noticing abundance more and more.
*Give what you fear losing – even if it’s small. As you give, it allows your subconscious to know that you have enough and facilitates a perception shift.
This simple act of giving applies to money, love, approval …everything.
*Create an affirmation or a mantra.
Here’s a fun one from Marie Forleo: Every time you spend money, say to yourself or out loud:
“There’s more where that came from!” (And, if you say it aloud, say it in a Brooklyn accent! ☺)
Here’s another, from Louise Hay: “My income increases in delightful and unexpected ways.”
The best measure of success is a change in behavior. This is really where the rubber hits the road and where you get to see if anything has really shifted around your beliefs.
You make the choice, moment to moment whether to feed your stories or inquire into them and set yourself free. Each time you choose inquiry, you are weakening the pattern of belief.
What I was most surprised to discover was that there was not only a zone of where I felt I “wasn’t making enough money” but there was also a zone where “I was making too much money!” I would have never guessed there would be an upper limit too!
I started seeing this in my coaching clients who were transitioning from corporate jobs to working for themselves as coaches and entrepreneurs. They reported feeling comfortable making just what their employers paid them — as if there was an invisible bar that said ‘it’s not safe to make any more’. This was a powerful revelation. As we did deeper work, we uncovered the unconscious beliefs and fears holding them back. Through this process of realizing the unconscious beliefs and updating them, they were able to move beyond the invisible threshold and reach another plateau.
Never overestimate the power of money, but never underestimate it either.
Be aware of unconsciously created ceilings or financial limits you may have placed on yourself. These competing intentions, if they remain unconscious, can leave you feeling stuck despite all your best efforts to create prosperity for yourself.
Another client and I did some inquiry work and uncovered an unconscious competing intention within herself. We realized that even though she wanted to make more money and knew how she could do it, she had paired making money with being unhappy. Last time she was making a lot of money she was miserable and her happiness was more important to her than any amount she could make. Of course she would sabotage efforts to make money if she thought she’d be miserable for having it. It was an innocent misunderstanding because she never questioned the assumption that she could make money in a more self-honoring way.
Through these processes, I cleared a big portion of my money story, not all of it but a big portion, and it made it easier for me to take action from a place of clarity. Without so much story running, I was available to new and creative ways to make money. I could see the bigger picture focusing on how I could serve the world by using my unique talents to help provide support where there was a need. Coming from this place of service everything aligns with less effort, plus it’s more fun and it’s deeply rewarding.
More than any amount of money I can ever make, knowing my own resourcefulness and ability to support myself has been one of the biggest gifts I could have given myself.
Coaching was an investment in me and in my business, and it is one that keeps on giving. Like any good experience, there’s more joy in sharing it and I am inspired to show others that it really is possible to do what you love and make money. My hope is that you find value in the tools I have shared or that this post has served you in some way.
If you feel called to take this work deeper, I'm inspired to support women in taking greater dominion over their finances and rise within their professionalism. I am hosting An Elite Women’s Coaching Mastermind. There are only a few spaces left for women ready to stand forward and thrive from a place of service and freedom.
To learn more please go to: www.alyssanobriga.com/success-soul-mastermind/