Support for you and your relationship with money
“Rarely in our life is money a place of genuine freedom, joy or clarity, yet we routinely allow it to dictate the terms of our lives and often to be the single most important factor in the decisions we make about work, love, family and friendship.”
What if I told you that the money is not just about numbers? What if the patterns and behaviours that started during your childhood have a big influence on how you make decisions today? And what if your biology, neurology -the structure and functioning of your brain and nervous system – have a lot of say in your financial choices? They do, and it’s all backed by science.
You probably know when you get worried, scared or excited about money. But we usually don’t realize how much money influences what we do or say, or who we are in the moment those emotions get activated.
Thinking of you and money…. Have you experienced times in your life where everything you did seemed to work against you? How you just couldn’t make yourself move forward with that one, seemingly simple, task? Or do you find yourself in similar situations over and over? Well, there’s an explanation for that.
Growing up, we may have heard our parents fighting about money, or spend money on us instead of giving us the love and support we craved.
In any case, we saw our parents make decisions about money:
- where to live and work
- how to give money to us and our siblings
- expectations for us with regards to money and chores
- things they said. E.g. were you ever told “money doesn’t grow on trees?
As children we felt the consequences of those decisions and we drew conclusions about our security and how to cope in times of financial stress in those moment.
One client recalls his mom always taking him and his siblings shopping when she was upset about something. Over time he learned that this is the way we deal with stress: go shopping, spend money. Guess what he does now in his adult life? That’s right, he shops a lot! For unnecessary things, that is. He’s buying just because he was trained that that’s what you do when you’re stressed or upset. This behaviour ant its roots were unconscious until he sat down with a Money Coach who helped him connect the dots.
It seems simple enough pattern to catch, but we often don’t see ourselves clearly when we’re stressed.
‘Retail-therapy’ can be fun in the moment, but more often than not the consequences are not pleasant nor sustainable.
First of all, the credit card bills afterwards, or our bank accounts, may not be a welcome reminder of our ‘therapy’ session. Even more important to notice, though, is what we really wanted when we were immersed in our “therapy”. Usually, it was to be loved, supported and reassured. None of that happened while we were shopping. The high we got from shopping is short-lived. And the hangover from that high can last a long time.
Money stress effects on our bodies on many levels.
Our bodies release stress hormones and dopamine (pleasure hormone) and if the stress gets to be too much, our brains go into ‘fight-or-flight mode.
When we make financial decisions, we want our “thinking brain” (our neocortex) in charge. But when we’re stressed out, we go into fight-or-flight mode and “the thinking brain” can’t do its job because the channels are plugged by our primitive brain and our emotional brain.
Research has shown that the blood flow to our neocortex drops by up to 80% when we are stressed! Unless we train ourselves to recognize, acknowledge and work with our stress, we cannot change this deep-rooted reaction.
Money has been part of our lives for quite some time now. And yet, we don’t receive a comprehensive education about how to deal with money; how to make financial decisions that truly support us.
So what are we to do with our money stress? How can a Certified Money Coach help?
Money Coaching is a specialty that combines finance with psychology, biology and neuro-economics to help you develop a healthy relationship with the money in your life. Deborah Price, author of Money Magic, teaches this certified program at the Money Coaching Institute.
A Certified Money Coach starts by helping you find out what patterns and behaviours you developed when you were younger. And from there, with the core exercises, and coaching combined, your coach supports you to identify and let go of the patterns that are no longer useful, keep the ones that are, and as a result become more empowered in the ways you relate with money. Since money affects ALL areas of our lives, you will likely see shifts in many areas as you go through this journey.
Money coaching’s ultimate goal is to help you develop a healthy relationship with the money in your life. From there you can focus on your goals and dreams and know that money is there to support you along the way.
To get back to the quote by Lynne Twist from the beginning of this article: the goal is to relate to money from a place of genuine freedom, joy and clarity!