To understand women and money we need to learn about more that just investments, cash flow and balanced budgets. The exploration of women and wealth is much deeper than that. We need to get to the core of our financial fears and shift the things that block us. As women we need to open up space to acquire wealth, power and financial freedom. Once we open up that space and let go of the fears, then the practical information will become truly applicable rather than another task on the overwhelming “to do” list.
Now I am the first person to want practical information, and I actively seek information and am disappointed when I cannot get a good ‘takeaway’ that I can apply to the real world. Although I like to see myself as grounded in common sense and quite comfortable talking about money, there were some real revelations that came to me when I focused on trying to better understand my own relationship with money. I came to understand that as a woman I am part of something bigger and that women collectively have a history of trauma when it comes to money and power, and that this history has resulted in a fear of money and power that still exists in women today. There are many women out there who have blocks that are unconscious, and therefore create limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of their financial success.
The reality is that most of the world’s wealth is still controlled by males. There is no need for me to provide a history of why or how this has occurred, but rather to point out that true economic equality is still a work in progress. We all have our conditioned beliefs about reality and life. When it comes to money there are fears that many generations of women are hanging onto. There is a long history of women holding the fort, while the men went out to earn the living. There is also a history of imbalances that lead to disempowerment and abuse.
There are many cultures today that still have systems that financially disempower women. Even in Canada the financial shift is still quite recent and a work in progress. Women finally got the vote in Canada in 1919, and many women could not get credit in Canada as recently as the 1970’s. Although there has been significant progress made we cannot ignore the historical legacy experienced by women in relation to wealth and financial expression. Some of this history has embedded itself in the common psyche of women and it is not unusual for very successful women to still hold limiting beliefs. As a Therapist I have worked with many successful women who have the “fraud syndrome”, where they think they do not deserve the success they are experiencing and that somebody somehow will find out that they are faking it. I have also worked with many women who feel they do not have what it takes to be financially successful. There are also those who are suspicious of success and power and thus make themselves small in the world.
Here are some of the common blocks and defeating thoughts that women commonly experience.
- I am not worthy of success and abundance.
- Wealth means power, and power is bad.
- I have to hang onto everything and prepare because something terrible might happen.
- Wealth is selfish.
- There is never going to be enough.
- I need more to be happy.
- I have to suffer to succeed.
- To enjoy wealth would be indulgent.
- I am too busy to spend time on financial matters.
- It is improper or rude to discuss wealth and finances.
Upon examining these beliefs I realized that I fall into the suffering category. Although I am a successful woman by many accounts I do have that voice at the back of my head telling me that if I am going to earn money I better do it the hard way. These may be the voices of the generations before me, but nevertheless it has impacted my relationship with money and wealth and set me on a path that can be very hard on me at times.
As I have gained awareness, I have also begun to change my relationship with money and realize I do not have to “pay the price” to be financially successful. I do not have to justify my success though working myself to the bone. I can enjoy the journey and gain wealth without suffering or apology. I encourage other women to examine your own beliefs and replace these self-defeating thoughts with a different kind of thinking. Look to open the spaces that allow us to truly plant ideas and possibilities. So, as woman in this time in history together let us create new beliefs that can replace the past beliefs that were build on trauma and move into true empowerment and success – and celebrate the success of ourselves and others woman with pride and joy. Let us inspire our sisters, our daughters, our mothers and our friends with the following messages.
- Wealth creates freedom for me.
- Wealth and power are healthy for me.
- Wealth is meant to flow.
- Experiences flow from wealth.
- I am worthy and deserving.
- I can celebrate my financial knowledge and wealth.
- Wealth is not a competition.
- I can talk openly and honestly about money.
- A sisterhood of wealth can bring me joy and improve the world.
- I can contribute to others through my wealth and financial knowledge.
–ALYSON JONES, MA, RCC
Alyson Jones & Associates
Child & Family Therapist, Divorce Coach/Child Specialist and Parenting Coordinator