Breaking The Money Taboo
Breaking the money taboo is one of my favorite hobbies!
I enjoy the fact that people feel comfortable talking about money with me. Random people, not just clients, ask me the 'How much?' question and I'm happy to share.
I was picking up my camper from the repairers the other day and a couple looking at a camper that was for sale asked me how much I paid for mine, and the car I tow it with, and how long it takes to put up and pack away. I was so glad to share the information with them. I know how hard it can be to make those kind of decisions. I even told them the repairer told me I paid 2k too much for it, confessing I'd fallen for the gorgeous vintage seat covers and curtains without noticing the timber frame was rotten!!
Yes we all make mistakes! And I still love the fabrics!
Just a couple of days later a very grumpy internet repair man came to fix my internet. I called him on his behaviour and when he went off to work on the line I rang his company and registered a complaint.
When he returned he thanked me for helping him see he needed to resign. He shared with me that he'd driven 2 hours to do a 4 hour job and was going to be paid just $90 for it. He was a single dad. He'd just handed in his notice and he apologised for being so rude.
It wasn't a pleasant episode but I felt there had been a good outcome. The next time I spoke to the internet provider I told them how badly this reflected on them.
Why Don't We Talk About Money?
Research done in the UK showed that people were seven times more likely to tell a stranger they'd had an affair than reveal their salary!
Money is so enmeshed in self worth and how worthy we are perceived to be by society and if we are seen to not be worthy enough we experience the big S word.
There! Said it! The deep dark word that nobody puts into google so nobody really mentions it online ;)
It's the heaviest resistance we have and it's crippling.
In the words of shame researcher Brene Brown:
"Shame breeds fear.
It crushes our tolerance for vulnerability thereby killing engagement, creativity and trust."
Vulnerability allows us to create meaningful connections with others and explore our own needs and desires. Basically the heavier the layer of shame we carry around, the less vulnerable we are able to be, leading to less depth and understanding in our relationships with ourselves and others,
Shame also affects creativity. Being creative is exposing. No matter what our method of expression creativity reveals a deeper part of ourselves and brings about the possibility of perceived 'failure'. Very challenging! Many people have stories about having had some creative expression laughed at, belittled or shared with too many people before they were ready.
Feeling shame is excruciating. Whenever we experience shame due to somebody else's actions or behaviour it cannot fail to damage trust in that relationship. The important thing to note here is that due to the strong need to keep feelings of shame hidden, the person experiencing it often won't divulge what's going on for them. The relationship will suffer, trust has gone, but the crisis will not be talked about so no resolution or healing can take place.
So it's pretty deep, dark stuff!!
Money and Shame
Money and shame are so closely entwined that you can literally pick any topic relating to money, follow the thread and eventually you will meet shame.
This is why we experience and tolerate such a high level of social control and conditioning around money and why it's so seldom spoken about.
Lets look at vulnerability, creativity and trust in relation to money.
Money is connected to our deepest fears, survival, self worth, feelings of failure, hopelessness, its all in there. So looking at our relationship with money is going to make us feel vulnerable.
When you bring shame into the equation our ability to feel vulnerable decreases. We don't like it, we can't do it. The Black Beast of Shame growls fiercely and we scurry back in to our cave!
So any negative money behaviours such as underearning, overspending, avoidance and 'money fogging', continue unchallenged.
Creativity and money often have an uncomfortable relationship! Many creative people feel that thinking about making money or focusing on lack of money inhibits their creative flow and I've certainly had this experience myself.
If our creativity is being inhibited by shame how does this impact on out money? As you work on your relationship with money your creativity is activated in the following ways.,
Sometimes we need to get creative in order to make the money work for the month. You need to access ideas around how to generate income, how to simplify your life, how to meet needs in a less expensive way. We need to harness our creativity in order to experience job satisfaction and success in our work whether you work in a corporate cubicle or run your own online gallery.
So both money management and income generation require creativity.
Another important note about creativity is that when your mind is in stress or panic you activate your flight or fight mechanism in your brain so you can escape the hungry tiger This releases hormones that actually suppress creativity. You're in survival mode, not able to think how you will prepare tonight's woolly mammoth for the prehistoric cavepersons convention!
Getting obscure with my analogies but you get the idea?
Basically, when shame gets in the way of you dealing with your money, your stress builds and creativity takes a nose dive. This affects your money management and your ability to earn.
Where does trust fit in our relationship with money?
Do you trust yourself with money? How do you handle credit or cash inflow through your business for example? How much trust do you have in money? Do you trust that there will always be enough, and really deeply believe that?
Shame often interferes with how much we trust ourselves with money, We've all made mistakes and many are larger than my camper van curtains story! And it's not just around making bigger money decisions but about the ongoing money leakage that can happen when you're not connected to what's going on. Suddenly the month's salary has gone and you're not through week 3!
When it comes to trusting money, that is will always be there for you, this usually comes back to the worthiness theme, of not having that sense of being deserving of security, freedom and wealth. And unworthiness brings up shame so we stuff it down into the deep and there it festers, quietly strangling the flow of money into your life.
Healing Money Shame