How to Re-Write Your Money Story

How to Re-Write Your Money Story

Pink Pearl eraser, up close by Kristin Nador on Flikr, Creative Commons licensed.

How to Re-Write Your Money Story

You can learn how to re-write your money story. Take an eraser to parts of your past and re-write them using the instructions in this post. Then re-write the future!

Why Re-Write Your Money Story?

Have you ever noticed you make the same mistakes with money over and over again? Do you have persistent patterns of lack, scarcity, envy, feeling undeserving, or other unpleasantness when it comes to money and/or other resources?

No? Please stop reading this post! Please do tell us your story in a comment to this post!

Your Patterns are Like Voices Talking

Any money pattern is a voice speaking in your head. Some voices are nice, some are not so nice. For more on these voices–there are eight of them we money coaches identify–read our posts here.

Learn to Listen Carefully

Step 1 is to tune in and listen to the voices. Try to tease them apart so you can identify which one is speaking, when. You may need to do this because they sometimes speak at the same time and confuse you! You may notice them speaking loud enough to hear at what may seem like very ordinary times: bill-paying or shopping or being asked to donate or spending money, time, or attention on “just” yourself.

What Story Do You Catch Yourself Telling?

Step 2 is to see if you can begin to catch the stories you tell yourself and others: do you “cry poormouth”? Or  hear yourself saying others have “lots of money” without having any idea what “they” have? Or do you speak generously and gratefully about the resources that flow into and out of your life?

The Point is Not to Lie!

Step 3: As quickly as you begin to realize the stories you’ve told yourself, you may be tempted to cover them up just as quickly.  Please don’t feel you should pretend a fabulous story. You’ll only short-circuit this process. Instead, hear what you hear with as much detachment as you can muster. After all, it’s only a story!

The Clearer the Story, the Easier to Change It

Step 4: The fastest way to change your story is to allow yourself to hear it clearly and in detail. I like to use the metaphor of a river with rocks in it: do you focus on the rocks? or the river?*

The way to change your story is to change its frame, emphasis, starting-point and/or end.

Let me give you an example; you’ll see what I mean right away.

My Old Money Story

When my mother died, she left me what for me was a huge amount of money. I spent it all as fast as I could so she would come back. I was a grown-up. This was the thinking of a little child. Nonetheless, my story was that if the money left, my mother would return. I noticed I was doing this, and kept right on doing it until I had very little left. This is a true story. About me!

My Re-Written Money Story

I grew up in great financial uncertainty and instability. I made money easily and spent it just as easily my whole life. When my mother died, she left me what for me was a huge amount of money. I systematically experimented with lifestyles, partners, places to live, and jobs until I found exactly the right lifestyle, partner, and profession for me. It took me time and lots of money but I knew this was the Universe’s gift to me: a no-fault way to experiment that left me much better positioned now than I have ever been before.

Both Stories are True

Both my  money stories are completely true! But truth is only half my point. The other half is: notice you can tell a true story many, many, many ways. And then decide how to tell yours. Feel free to write in your old, new, or both stories in a comment to this post. Share this exercise! And…

*The river metaphor is from this published fundraising article, “Bringing Mindfulness to Fundraising.”

**That’s a pun! Didja get it?

Image: Pink Pearl Eraser by Kristin Nador on Flikr, Creative Commons licensed.

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