Complex and often unconcious, most of our behaviors and fears as adults, come straight from our childhood. This is pretty common knowledge, which means we shouldn’t be surprised when we learn, that even if we have rosey childhoods, we are not excluded from the rule.
Especially when it comes to money: what I think is expensive, what I think I can afford, how I manage, earn and spend money and most of all, what I feel ‘I deserve’. Sound familiar?
Turns out that my fears and habits are ridiculously common, especially among women.
I started to really understand just how insecure we females can be about charging for our services through my own business in 2005, and got even deeper insight in 2009 when I began consulting and mentoring other photographers. But it wasn’t until I began to really dig into my own psyche in the last couple years that I discovered these burdens we carry have actual names, and better yet, SOLUTIONS.
My ‘money mindset’ [a term I hate, by the way, but find the most appropriate] began to change when I discovered that my issues have names: ‘money blocks’ and ‘limiting beliefs’.
For years I felt like I just needed to ‘try harder’ to ‘be normal’ – turns out there are all kinds of REAL and REASONABLE reasons that we think, feel and act the way we do and it is not until we uncover, acknowledge and undo the programming that creates these behaviors, that we can really evolve.
Trying harder has nothing to do with it.
It was this podcast that introduced me to this delightful money mindset guru that encouraged me to buy this book [Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!] that FINALLY gave me ACTUAL TOOLS to change.
Whoa did I! After reading this book and doing the work, I enlisted the help of this EFT goddess to help me dissolve the emotional crap getting in my way.
I cried a lot, had some BIG ah-ha’s, made some tough decisions and then promptly made $20,000 in 2 months.
So what does this have to do with shoes?
Well, as I took the journey through Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! and did the work, I realized that I had a whole load of ‘limiting beliefs’ about what I deserve when it came to money, and things money could buy. To begin to blast through these beliefs [it’s an ongoing process] I had to uncover where they came from…
WARNING: This is where the blog gets super personal, so feel free to exit stage left if you’re not into honesty & real talk!
SUPER Embarrassing admission #1
1995. Because I had boobs and hips in middle school – I couldn’t really wear anything in the ‘juniors’ section. While my friends were shopping together at ‘Brass Plum’ in Nordstroms, I would shop alone so I could go to straight to the clearance rack at the GAP – hoping to find something in human sizes. Alas, more than once I bought men’s clothes because I could both fit in them and afford them. Sad right? Who wants to hug 13 year old me? I do!
SUPER Embarrassing admission #2
1999-2000. Because of the shopping exeriences mentioned above, my mom actually made my junior and senior prom dresses. Not cool. Don’t get me wrong – she did a great job – I just made terrible choices in patterns! The senior prom one was moderatley acceptable [I will dig up some photos – I was clearly channeling Kate in Titanic] but the junior prom one was purple, high-necked [a great look when you’re busty, right?] and to top it off, I made my own beaded jewelry, had my hair done up in braids, tightly [with plenty of scalp showing] so needless to say, looking back is a bit cringey.
Enter: Limiting Beliefs…
What did I learn from this? That I was abnormal. Freakish, even. That I didn’t deserve nice clothes and cool prom dresses… I didn’t deserve ANYTHING that I really wanted, or that was even ‘basic’ or ‘normal’ because I was an outsider. I would have to take the leftovers. I would have to WORK HARDER just to get the same results as ‘normal’ people. Oh and shopping for clothes would NEVER be easy or pleasurable.
Fast forward to 2014.
By the time my wedding came around, I had learned alot about what I want, what I deserve, and incidentally, how to shop & style myself so I look feminine, rather than settling for boxy and boyish. I had even managed to gracefully navigate the degrading experience that is wedding dress shopping when you’re not a size 4-6… But I did run into a surprising hiccup.
We all know, weddings are usually expensive endeavors. Our ‘little’ rustic affair in Sicily was no exception. But the purchase I had to deliberate the longest was not the most expensive… it was my shoes. My hesitance was not because I didn’t know what I wanted… but because I had hit a major money block. The shoes I wanted were $195 and I just couldn’t justify it.
Because we were getting married on cobbles, and because I never learned how to wear or walk in them properly – heels were out. I wanted ballet flats, and for me, there was only one choice: turquoise tieks.
But these gorgeous leather beauties felt so ridiculously indulgent. I knew this was slightly silly because:
- It was my wedding and most brides splash out on their shoes
- Unlike many brides I would actually wear these shoes after the day
- I have friends who own SEVERAL pairs of these shoes and testify to their quality and worthiness of the price.
But I really struggled. Honestly, I had never paid so much for a pair of shoes. I had hit an upper limit.
Finally, when it was almost too late to receive them in time, I ripped the bandaid. I bought them and [because I just couldn’t swallow paying $75 for shipping] had them sent to a UK friend visiting family in the US who brought them back, just in time.
From the moment I opened the box I was in love. They were the PERFECT shoes for the wedding, they featured heavily in my Brazilian honeymoon wardrobe and I have passionately raved about them ever since. A year later, I still wear them at least once a week and miraculously, even with the my boxy feet and the English weather trying to destroy them, they still look great. I am now pondering my next pair [or two!]
So, what is the point?
There is immense power in investing ONLY in what you want.
Buying a ton of stuff off the sale rack [ whether or not it fits or whether or not you’ll EVER ACTUALLY wear it or not] instead of saving that money to spend on ONE very fantastic, very special, very PERFECT thing is a symptom of limiting beliefs and ‘money blocks’.
If you’re 100% comfortable saving up or investing in [without just chucking it on a credit card] that designer handbag, perfect pair of shoes or new camera – then you probably have a very healthy relationship with money, but if you aren’t earning what you’d like – you may still need to look closely at your beliefs around what you think is possible.
What you believe you deserve and what you think is possible are the foundation of your ability to earn more & accumulate wealth!
Consider getting comfortable owning and buying less stuff.
Packing lighter when you travel, decluttering your home and work space to the BARE minimum and getting comfortable with airy space all offer incredible lightness and freedom which leads to all kinds of good things. Need support? Read this Book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Practice buying the BEST.
Choose something offered by a brand or designer you ADORE that is high quality and will make you feel special, luxurious and HAPPY everytime to use it, see it, wear it etc. Save for it and BUY IT. Incidentally – this doesn’t have to be a thing – it can be an experience [upgrade to business class, get a suite at a hotel, hire that hot-shot personal trainier or business coach]. Try this exercise three times and see how differently you feel about these items/experiences versus others.
Work on your Money Mindset
The best resource I’ve found for this work is Denise Duffield-Thomas from Lucky Bitch. Read the book consider the ‘money bootcamp’ and DO THE WORK to shift your fears.
Can you relate?
Have you had experiences like this? Have you overcome and pushed through your blocks to upgrade something in your life? I’d love to hear about it (or see photos of your little luxuries) in the comments below or in the Facebook Group