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By Jennifer Thompson

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May 26, 2020

What does money mean for you?

In my “Re-Script Your Life for Abundance” workshops I like to ask the participants, “what does money mean to you?” The typical response I get is, “money gives me the flexibility and the freedom to do what I want,” “money is security.” When I ask the same audience what money meant to the family when they were growing up. I get a different response. More like, “We never talked about money in my home” or “my dad said people with money were crooks.”
 
And if you were to ask people how money shows up in their lives, a common refrain would be, “it’s never enough.” We inherit many of our ideas about money from our families, our culture, and the media. They are often subconscious beliefs. On the one hand, we may desire to attract more money, yet we may have an idea that money is evil, and people with money are “bad.”
 
You may not be aware of this belief, but it could be blocking you from receiving more money.

Most scripts around the subject of money fall under one of five dominant beliefs.

Money is bad:

Here, the love of money is seen as the root of all evil, oppressing the poor and corrupting even good people. Wealthy people are “entitled” and “it’s all about the bottom line.”

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Photo by Sharon-McCutcheon

Money brings happiness:

Underlying this is the belief that all your existing problems stem from not having enough money. You believe that having more money will solve your problems. This belief comes up through statements such as, “If only we had more money, we would be able to do …”

Money increases my self-worth:

You believe that rich people are in some way better than people without money. You believe your friends and family will have a better opinion of you if you had more of the things money can buy, such as nice clothes, a luxury car, a beautiful home. The amount of money spent by companies on advertising is evidence of this pervasive belief. This can cause a person to get into debt to adorn the trappings of socially prescribed ideas of wealth.
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There is never enough:

This mindset that there is “never enough” is rooted in a sense of lack. It also reflects a feeling of discontent – someone who believes there is never enough money. It has little to do with a person’s actual net worth. I have met people with millions of dollars still feeling a lack and a fear that they may lose it all. They count their pennies and are afraid of spending. People raised in the Great Depression often have this fear of being destitute. 

People who feel that they never have enough money are constantly in fear of going “broke.”

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I am not good enough:

This belief stems from the feeling of not being deserving of large sums of money and wealth. It’s a feeling of not being “good enough.” You feel you have to make significant sacrifices to get more money. Or that no matter how much you sacrifice, you will never make much money. 

How can you change your beliefs about money?

You can change your beliefs about money. Listen to your internal dialogue about money. Think of your last five financial transactions. They don’t have to be large ones. They could be as small as that cup of Starbucks coffee you had this morning, the pair of new shoes you bought, or your groceries for the week.
 
How did you feel about these transactions? Maybe you did not give it a second thought.
Think of purchases you made that you had buyers’ remorse. What was behind the second thoughts? Fear? 
 
Wealthy people tend to have more positive internal scripts about money. Decide the place you would like money to have in your life. Question your ideas and feelings about money. Are they true? What new beliefs can you adopt about money? 
Think of wealthy people you admire. What is it about them that you admire? It’s probably more than their wealth that is admirable. Their business acumen? Their compassion? Their ingenuity? People like Oprah WinfreyBill Gates and Jeff Bezos come to mind.

Money is a tool. You get to decide how you want to use that tool. As Henry Ford said, “Money doesn’t change men; it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out, that’s all.” 

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Jennifer Thompson worked in finance and banking for twenty years before discovering another passion – a passion for writing. She has numerous self-published books on money: Women and Money: 7 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know to Be Financially Prepared in Any Economy and Growing Up With Money: Raising Financially Resilient Kids in an Age of Uncertainty.

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