When I was a little girl, I went to a private school about 45 minutes away from our house. My parents had to drive my sister and I or we had to carpool with friends who were going that direction.
When it was my dad’s turn to take us, invariably, he’d stop and get a package of cheap lemon cream cookies on his way home. He’d eat a few of them as he drove home and the rest would go into the house for someone else to eat. It didn’t matter how many mornings each week that dad drove us to school, he’d stop every day and get a new package of lemon cookies.
We’d end up with several open packages of them. Dad never took an open package with him for the drive, he always wanted a fresh new pack. Imagine package after package of the same cookies. And, in my opinion, they weren’t good cookies either. Blech. Like double blech.
So many cookies
All those cookies got stuck in our pantry. Mom wouldn’t let us buy or make anything else sweet until they were gone. So, every day, she’d pack three of those lemon cookies in our lunch box.
Neither my sister nor I enjoyed them. But we usually ate them. It was against the rules to throw good food away and even though we were at school, we just knew our mom would know if we threw them away (she had eyes everywhere, that she did!).
And while we hate the cookies, the thing is, we never asked Dad to get a different kind of cookie. We never even asked mom to ask Dad to get a different kind of cookie.
Fear stopped us
We were too scared, and we were simply too timid to ask for what we wanted. So…….we ate a lot of lemon cookies that we didn’t like. And what we didn’t realize was that we were creating more of what we didn’t want with our thoughts, i.e. icky lemon cookies! By constantly thinking negatively about the copious amounts of lemon cookies, we created more copious amounts of lemon cookies.
When it comes to our money, I often see us slipping into similar patterns. We allow ourselves to let fear stop us from going for our dreams or decide it’s too difficult to change the same old, comfortable (what we are used to), money patterns. It shows up like:
- We aren’t willing to risk rejection, so we don’t ask for a raise.
- We’re scared of what people might think of us, so we don’t verbalize how much money we want.
- We don’t want to rock the boat, so we don’t own the validity of our personal dreams for our money.
Have you done that? With money or anything else? My guess is that you probably have. But the good news is, you have the opportunity right now to start shifting into a more empowered, personally responsible relationship with money.
The most important thing to remember is that you have a lot more power than you might think.
Having more money, or less debt, or even lower stress around money starts with you. It starts with how you think and radiates out from there.
You get to decide right now how you are going to feel about the money situation you are living with. Here are a few ideas.
- Empower yourself. Instead of complaining about your low bank balance get really grateful for what money you have right now in this moment. This sets you up to be ready for more money when it comes and grows your confidence for when you are ready to ask for more.
- Bask in your own fabulousness. Think about all that you do for your employer that makes you valuable, revel in it even. Soon rejection will be the furthest thing from your mind when you consider asking for a raise. And bonus! That will show through as confidence that your boss (or customers) will see and often reward!
- Envision your dream life. When we spend time regularly envisioning what we really want our bank account and life to look like, we create space for that reality to happen. If you can start to see exactly that that dream will look like for you, then it will be so much easier to make the ask. You’ll be far more likely to verbalize what you want because it will feel real and available to you.
- Instill calmness and quiet. Do relaxing things like breathwork, yoga, meditation or walking, so that you can learn to quickly release the fear that comes from not knowing your future with money. The ability to have these tools readily available and familiar in a time of stress is priceless and it allows you to get into a feel-good place quickly.
- Practice telling others that you want more money. Start small if you need to and work your way to the big scary one. Wanting more money doesn’t make you a bad person and having more money doesn’t either. Getting comfortable with speaking your dreams will go a long way to releasing the stigma around money too.
When you start to embrace the personal power that you have with money, I think you’ll find that things start to change. You will become aware of more ways you are in control and you will start to garner more good feelings about money. Thinking better thoughts generates better actions and better actions lead to more money!
Start creating the life you want right now, and leave those lemon cookies behind!
What do you think? Have you let fear or something else stop you from asking? I’d love to hear about it below.
Sherry Parks, CPA, is a Money Mindset Coach who helps women escape feeling trapped by their finances. She is passionate about helping women change mindset, emotions and actions regarding money, so that they learn to keep what they have and generate more. Check out her 5 Steps to a Better Money Story workbook or join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.
Image courtesy of Katie Harp.