We ALL have money shame — whether you’re earning $10,000 or $10 million. Why? Because we surrender all our power to money.
Do any of these resonate with you?
Driving a Mercedes when you can only afford a Honda
Playing the big shot, always picking up the check or financially rescuing family and friends
Under pressure of not measuring up, and living paycheck to paycheck
Looking good at all costs
Obsessed with money: how much things cost and how much everyone earns
Unable to enjoy wealth or hides it from others
Can’t hold on to money, it continuously slips right through your fingers
Buried in debt, but yet keep spending
Bankruptcy, foreclosure or job loss is part of your past or present circumstances
Living in financial secrecy, fearing what others “think” of you.
The Problem Runs Deeper…
Our relationship with money, is a product of our subconscious beliefs and thought patterns stemming from our childhood. So deeply ingrained in us, they determine how we as adults deal with money. Any negative beliefs and patterns being incorrectly diagnosed as just being lazy, crazy, stupid or just bad with money. This is what I call Money Shame.
Money Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that you’re flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. based on our bank account balances, our debts, our homes, our cars, and our job title.
But I know that’s not true, and I know that everyone can break free from the grips of Money Shame, because I did.
This is how I did it…
It all starts with being honest with yourself and admit you’re suffering from Money Shame. Then identify your default form of suffering (fear, anxiety, worry, resentment, or anger) and how you choose to numb the pain (Bus-i-ness, eating, video games, books, drugs, pills, alcohol, Instagram, Facebook likes, binging on Netflix, shopping on Amazon, hooked on porn, sex or romance etc..)
Finally, realize that numbing the pain is not the solution, and that if you’re going to break free from your Money Shame, you first need to deal with the painful parts of your money story that’s keeping you trapped.
There is a solution, but it’s not a quick fix. It’s a gradual process, which will test your faith, require forgiveness and demand your surrender. But you’re not alone, when you’re ready, I’m here for you.
Heal your Money Shame with my 7-step of “Money Detox”
Step 1: Own Your Money Story
In my coaching practice, I start by asking if clients are willing to set aside their preexisting thoughts, ideas, and emotional baggage about money. Likewise, I ask you now if you are willing to put your money thoughts and beliefs on a shelf, or in a closet, or in a box, and leave them there as you come with me on this journey. I want you to start anew, with a clean slate, to allow yourself to be open to the concepts and thoughts and perspectives I am going to share with you.
Step 2: Recognize Your Spiritual Crisis
The second element in the money detox process is all about spirituality. Let’s get clear right up front: if you want to change your money mindset, you need to be willing to embrace the spiritual dimension of this work. Healing starts with spirituality. I see God’s hand in my life and in anyone else’s. I believe your relationship with a higher power is part and parcel of any meaningful solution you will find in your life.
Now, when I speak about “God,” is just my term. You don’t have to use the same word or even have the same concept I have. What matters is having the recognition of some form of higher power that is greater than your limited self, one you can turn to.
Step 3: Uncover Your Shame
In my experience, the first thing that jumps out when people with money problems start to tell their money story is usually shame. In fact, shame is what keeps us from telling our stories in the first place. As we begin to own our story, it is only natural that shame would show up.
Therefore, the third element in the money detox process focuses on uncovering shame in a manner that can defuse and resolve it. As we will discuss, this includes distinguishing between toxic shame and healthy shame.
Step 4: Identify Your Money Beliefs
The only way to get a handle on toxic money shame is to grab it by the roots and pull it up. For that, you have to know what the roots are, and where in you they are growing. It also helps to know their origins in specific moments of your life. In this step, I will guide you to identify the money beliefs that are at the root of your shame, and that keep the circle of money pain in motion.
Step 5: Discover Your Worth
Curiosity and grit can carry you far. But these qualities have to be based on a set of sound values and on an understanding for your true self-worth. Otherwise, your curiosity will be limited to wondering about the winning lottery number or the price of your neighbor’s new car. Your grit will be no more than a grin-and-bear-it stance, as you pray no one finds out about your latest financial screw up.
Often it takes a crisis or hitting rock bottom to realize what really matters to us. Preferably, though, no one has to die and you don’t have to suffer even more before you are able to identify your true worth. This element of the money detox asks you to examine your values. As when you were examining your inherited beliefs, don’t make judgments about yourself or your values. Follow your curiosity and let it reveal what is important to you. If you don’t like what you discover, there will be time later to work at revising your value structure.
Step 6: Make Forgiveness a Daily Practice
You can’t get to the full experience of forgiveness by yourself. You need other people to help you examine your thinking, especially during the early stages. There is too much to sort through and fix on your own.
My feelings of shame and unworthiness kept me from getting any form of support for years. Instead, I used money to armor up and look like I had it all together. I could pay for a therapist. I had enough money to go to an expensive treatment center. But I was kidding myself: all those people were hired staff, and recruiting them to help me was merely my way of introducing another level of control, another way to avoid actual intimacy. Besides, often when you pay people, they just tell you what you want to hear.
As a coach, I make a point of doing the opposite. When people come to me, I say, “I’m going to tell you the truth—with love, compassion, no blame, no judgment. Blame and judgment kill the soul, and you are here to rise up. You may not be paying me for the whole truth, but it is essential for your growth to hear from a trusted friend what you can’t see that blocks you from your blessings.”
The truth gets blocked when we are in protection and armored with shame. Self-love and self-compassion, over time, will allow you to put down the armor and thrive.
Step 7: Live From a Circle of Money Blessings
The outcome of the money detox does not mean going from spending excesses to constrained frugality. It’s not about extremes. When you are living from a circle of blessings, you have the freedom to actually strive for and enjoy a state of prosperity that rejects your highest aspirations. It’s like the difference between merely being declared disease free and experiencing an exhilarating sense of well-being.