A Unique Perspective on Money
I have a unique perspective on money.
Not because I’m a money coach, but because each of us has a unique perspective on money.
No two people think about money the same way because our money beliefs are formed by deeply personal experiences. This is why we’re sometimes baffled by other people’s money decisions. It’s because each of us is triggered into fear, avoidance, shame, or helplessness by something different. Something from our unique history.
Origins of Money Beliefs
Our money beliefs originate from countless sources. Here is just a tiny sampling of factors that affect how you think about money:
- The economic and political environment into which you were born and raised
- Your relationship with your parents or caregivers
- Your parents’ beliefs about money, and about themselves
- The opportunities, privileges, prejudices, and discrimination you’ve been exposed to
- Your own unique personality and temperament
Understanding that we all have a unique perspective on money can help us become less judgmental toward others and also toward ourselves.
While you can never know all the factors that shaped another person’s money beliefs, you can become aware of your own.
I say that you can become aware because most of our money beliefs exist outside our conscious awareness. While we’re aware of the autobiographical details of our lives, it’s not always obvious how this is related to our money patterns.
This is the missing link. Because until you understand how your past is related to your current thoughts and behaviors, you won’t be able see that you are imposing false limits or unrealistic expectations on yourself.
The Forest, Trees & Path Forward
As the saying goes, you can’t see the forest through the tress. But when you examine the factors that shaped your understanding of money, then you gain a new, much broader perspective. From here you can see not only the forest, but also the oceans, desert, grasslands, beaches… And you are able to choose your path forward instead of instinctively reacting to triggers from the past that keep you stuck in the same unwanted place.
You can start tracing your unique money story by journaling on any of the topics above. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What were the economic circumstances of your family when you were born? How did that compare to the families around you?
- What were the dynamics like in your family? What was expected of you? What wasn’t? Did you feel seen, heard and respected? If not, how did you react to this? Were you able to ask for what you wanted and needed? If not, how did your parents or caregivers respond to your requests?
Connecting the Dots
After journaling, it’s time to connect the dots by linking your past with your current behaviors. How do your answers relate to your money patterns today? Do you see links between your early experiences and your ability (or inability) to earn, save, grow, and enjoy your money?
Connections can be obvious or they can hide in plain sight. Helping you discover your significant connections is my specialty, so reach out if you’d like assistance.
These exercises can bring up a lot of emotional memories, so if you begin to feel overwhelmed, then I recommend taking a step back. These paths will be there to explore when your system is ready.
Emily Shull is a holistic money coach and founder of Me Myself and Money.
Did you enjoying reading this? Sign up for our newsletter to receive occasional tips, musings and resources to help you improve your relationship with money.