Emotional money scripts will always influence our financial beliefs and behaviors and thus every aspect of our lives until we die.
What are your wealth beliefs?
All of our financial behaviors, even the most self-defeating, self-destructive, illogical, “I should know better,” craziest ones make perfect sense when we discover the underlying “Money Script(s)” that drives them. These Money Scripts are at the core of all of our financial behaviors, both beneficial and problematic. They are the internalized and typically unconscious beliefs we have about what money is, what it is not, what it can or cannot do, the role we play in it, and the role it plays in our lives.
Money Scripts are formed in childhood and are reinforced by our experiences throughout our lives, often appearing as self-fulfilling prophecies. Money Scripts will always influence our financial beliefs and behaviors and thus every aspect of our lives until we die.
Then, amazingly, they will continue to affect those who knew us who are left behind. It is essential to identify and modify these erroneous Money Scripts if we are to reach our financial potential or change our self-defeating and self-destructive financial behaviours.
I came across the Concept of Early Childhood Programming when I was 30 and thought I had discovered the secret of undoing the Money Script and writing a new one, I was wrong. It took nearly another 12 years and struggling financially on and off and almost going broke before I discovered it. This was because the Money Script was a lot more complicated to undo and reprogramming myself to make money required three different components that I will mention later.
Before that I had to uncover and eliminate a few limiting beliefs that held me back significantly. If you actually look at the beliefs below, some of them actually seemed contradictory. However the reality was that each belief existed independent of the other.
1. More Money will Make Things Better
This is perhaps one of the most common Money Scripts afflicting Singaporeans and emerging first world countries. The problem is, that when the arbitrary “more money” target is met, the peace, security, happiness, or whatever else we believe “more money” will give us never quite seems to show up. So we look for more. Like the carrot just out of the reach of the donkey, though we are running like crazy, we never quite get there.
Entire lives, even generations of lives, can be dedicated to the pursuit of the fulfillment of this Money Script. The fact is, recent research suggests what so many people already intuitively know.
There is a saying: “Wherever you go, there you are.” This certainly applies to your financial net worth. If you are miserable at your current income level, more likely than not, you will be miserable with more money!
2. Money is Bad
While one part was into making money, another of me felt that money was not spiritual. As with all money scripts, there are many variations to the “Money is Bad” money script. They include such beliefs as: “ The rich are shallow/greedy/insensitive/unhappy; “The rich got that way by taking advantage of others”.
It took me quite awhile and dealing with many rich people to recognise that while the truth was that some wealthy people took advantage of others to become wealthy, others were just at the right place at the right time. Still others were willing to follow a dream, a passion, or a vision and it came true for them. There are people who are wealthy and unhappy. There are people who are wealthy and very happy. There are people who are wealthy and have extraordinarily intimate loving relationships. The point is that money is neither good nor bad in and of itself; it is our own relationship to it that will determine whether it turns out to be a good thing or a bad thing.
3. I Don’t Deserve Money
I also felt at times that I should not enjoy what money can give me, because others are not so fortunate. This was also a predominant script for those who work in the helping professions. It tied into the concept of the “barefoot” healer.
4. I Deserve to Spend Money
Another part of me kept feeling that I deserved to spend money. I did not spend money on things. I spent it on books and courses. In later years, they all proved valuable. It did mean for many years I was quite broke.
A related Money Script is one that says, “I might as well enjoy the money while I have it, because if I don’t, someone will come along and take it from me”. Quite often I had experienced members of family taking money from me as well.
5. There Will Never Be Enough Money
At the same time I also believed there would never be enough money. I set myself up to live a life of deprivation, experience constant anxiety, insecurity and fear. Workaholics, who sacrifice marriages, children and health, often operate from this money script. I know I was one.
6. There Will Always Be Enough Money
Paradoxically with all of that there was this weird belief that the universe would always take care of me regardless of my actions or inactions.
7. If You Are Good, The Universe Will Supply All your Needs
This used to be one of my own money scripts. I call it the “twisted law of Karma”. I lived many years of my life believing that if I did the right things, for all the right reasons, then I didn’t have to worry about anything, including my retirement or future because the “good karma” would guarantee that good things would happen.
After all, doesn’t the Bible say not to worry, for if God cares for the sparrow, why should we worry about our needs?
At the same time I also recognised that we are surrounded by many good people who dedicated their lives to doing the right thing for others at the right time and for the right reasons. Even so, because of a lack of planning for their future, they find themselves struggling to heat their homes, feed themselves, and to afford to get the help and care they need and deserve.
At first glance it would seem that the universe has not magically supplied all of their needs. Actually, the universe provides us opportunities, on a daily basis throughout our lives to help shape our own future. Some of these opportunities include things like budgeting and saving. If we fail to take advantage of these opportunities, it may seem as if the universe has failed us. That’s when I realised that while the opportunities were there, I would have to take advantage of them.
For years I, too, struggled to understand this force behind the shame and guilt related to my handling of money. A desperation that forced me to take the journey through the maze of past experiences with money. Looking at my early childhood experiences of noticing my father always being broke because of his hidden alcohol addiction and my mother always bailing him out. A childhood experience, which translated into confusion, guilt and shame connected to those acts involving money.
I recognised some curious habits that I had. When the chips were down and it looked like my clinic and other companies were in a bad way, I would buck up and figure out ways out of the situation. In recession years, I had the highest growth rate. In good years, we would grow, but I would be quite complacent. There was a two year period when I was thirty-six when we did a complex business development project that cost us $150, 000. We grew by $300, 000 in that time frame.
I finally uncovered my Money Script and understood what I needed to do to put together my Money Blueprint. I have spoken about the following in an earlier podcast. To recap. There were three components to the Money Blueprint;
1) Personal Success Blueprint
2) My Money Type
3) My 10,000 hour rule
It has been 13 years since. I generated more personal income then I had in my life. I am effectively debt free and I have created multiple businesses and multiple sources of income. I wrote more books, spoke to more high net worth individuals and generated more public relations on my own than when I had a paid media consultant. In a way the crisis at 42 allowed me to get real. What I find interesting is at this level is, I buy better quality products at lower prices and get special deals I never got before. Whereas before, I would dread banks calling me, I now get banks rushing to give me loans that I politely decline. It’s a funny world.
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