When it comes to our personal money picture, who’s really running the show?
No, I’m not referring to the government or the taxman or even your employer. I’m talking about something much more insidious and deep-rooted.
I remember a conversation a while ago with my S&A partner (that’s Support and Accountability, FYI!) I was setting all kinds of goals, and the actions I would take to achieve them. And, even as we talked, I had a profound sense of knowing, completely and utterly, that, although I would do what I had to do, it would be of no use at all. There was NO WAY I was going to create a successful business.
It was such a strong feeling that I was quite taken aback. What was going on here? It felt completely irrational, like something outside of me.
Or perhaps inside – as if I had once made a firm promise within myself, a vow not to succeed.
I went investigating…
Now, if you go online and type in ‘Vows’ you’re basically going to get two things – Wedding Vows (nope, that wasn’t it!) and Past Life Vows. Hmm, the ‘Vow of Poverty; monk or nun in a past life’? Well, I’m not ruling it out, but it didn’t feel quite right.
But there is a stage in this lifetime when we unconsciously take vows – survival vows no less.
As young children, we are learning constantly, and our brains become wired to recognize danger, and stick within the boundaries of what is safe, what is acceptable to our ‘tribe’, what is going to ensure that we aren’t going to be thrown out into the wilderness. Not physically, usually, but emotionally and mentally – this is our chief survival instinct at work.
But there is a second instinct – that of the survival and evolution of our species – which encourages us to grow and surpass our predecessors, to do more, and better, than those who came before.
The first creates a Vow of Loyalty, and the second, a Vow of Rebellion – and many of us have unconsciously taken both.
So how do they affect our wealth and our success?
Think back to your early childhood and your family’s ‘money paradigm’; that is, how your family, and especially your parents, behaved around money. How much they had, how hard they ‘had’ to work to earn that much, what they said about money and about those who had or didn’t have it.
You’ll be getting a picture – very often, as I see with the people I work with, of anxious struggle or hardship, or possibly of poor money management, traumatic, fearful financial events and angry family battles. Or perhaps money was never discussed, a totally taboo subject, ‘for their ears only’.
Note down what is coming up for you. Start to get familiar with your own early money paradigm.
Now, how do you feel looking back at the people involved? Is there compassion and some sadness (loyalty) or is there a certain anger, a determination to ‘do it differently’, to push against their limitations (rebellion)? Or a bit of both?
If you’ve never examined this before you may not be very clear yet. But here’s how they can show up in your present finances.
Do you limit yourself and play small? You don’t ask for a raise or you charge far below average for your services (or even give them away for free!) Do you resist surpassing one or both of your parents and feel a lot of guilt or fear if you do? These are all symptoms of the Vow of Loyalty.
Or do you go through ‘boom and bust’ cycles; working really hard, creating and manifesting money and huge success, only to lose it or throw it all away (not usually deliberately, sh*t happens…) until you are back at square one? That’s how the Vow of Rebellion manifests.
When I learnt all of this (from Margaret M. Lynch’s incredible Tapping into Wealth training) it was like a million watt light bulb blasting on – talk about the gift of clarity!
And just gaining this clarity has enabled me to take steps and move through that huge block that I was feeling.
So here are a few things that I did and encourage clients to do:
First of all, I was very compassionate and understanding with myself – it wasn’t my fault!! Then, I sat with this. I thought long and hard and wrote down everything that came up for me; memories, emotions, physical feelings, thoughts etc. Then I used EFT (tapping) and other Energy techniques to clear the feelings and disconnect the associations in my brain. (Check out my blog about EFT and how to start to use it.)
And then I understood what Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, meant by:
“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?”
And I was able to walk right through…