If you’re thinking that this post is going to give you a get-rich-quick set of advice, you’re wrong, so if that’s what you’re after, it’s probably best to stop reading right now as what I’m about to tell you actually has very little to do with money itself.
What I want to share with you here is a little of my personal story (and struggle) with money to help you if you too have been struggling with money lately, or living in constant fear of losing it, and show you how to change your relationship with money forever, and in doing so, completely change your life.
If I’m honest with myself, I don’t think I’ve ever had a great relationship with money. My Father had a very high-paying job in the music industry when we were young but although we were well off, we rarely saw him, so even from that young age, I associated having nice things with massive sacrifice and hard work. He was often sick with migraines when we did take a family holiday and despite having a good lifestyle and lots of beautiful clothes, a big house and nice cars, my Mum never seemed happy, only angry and resentful that she was doing everything around the house and bringing us up.
I remember the day I watched my Father’s life begin to unravel when a man arrived at our house to take his company car away. I didn’t completely understand what was going on but I knew it wasn’t good.
He had been made redundant during the 80’s recession, and although my Brother and I didn’t realise the full effects on our parents marriage until later, I remember the frequent final reminder bills on the mat and I also remember the very first time I saw my Father cry. He sat on the sofa with his head in his hands and suddenly looked so small and vulnerable that it terrified me. In the years that followed, all my Brother and I seemed to experience from our parents as their marriage fell apart was anger, resentment and negative language about money, particularly from my Mother;
“We can’t afford things like that anymore.”
“Rich people make me sick.”
“Just look at that woman dripping in money.”
“Money doesn’t grow on trees Natalie.”
“Earning money takes hard work and sacrifice and it’s very hard to come by.”
Having reflected on this time in my life I often think about my Mother and how hard it must have been for her since she was a primary school teacher and at one point her significantly smaller wage was supporting all of us, but one thing that now stands out to me clearer than ever is how unkind she was, not only to us but to herself.
Even when my Dad had plenty of money, she never seemed to be enjoying her life. She was continuously anxious and worried, she’d buy beautiful things but we weren’t allowed to touch them, she’d get angry with my Brother and I at the first tiny scratch we got on a new toy, and she never allowed herself to fully experience any joy in life.
It’s like she felt guilty that my Dad was working so hard, and so in turn we had to know that money wasn’t something to enjoy, but was something that came along rarely and in exchange for blood, which was pretty much how my Dad was getting it from how much he drove himself into the ground with stress.
But what I’ve realised is that I was holding onto a lot of beliefs around money that weren’t my own, and I was going to have to completely re-programme my thoughts around it if things were to change.
When I was still in corporate life, I followed a unintentionally similar path to my Father. I worked my way up, somehow ended up in management, felt that I had to ‘work hard’ and be grateful for a well paying job, exchanging my hours for money, even though deep down it wasn’t fulfilling me.
I felt I had to stick things out and ended up staying in my last employed role for 7 years, always allowing someone else to determine my worth and never believing I had it in me to become an entrepreneur.
Until the day I decided to quit and everything changed.
I felt free, happy, grateful and full of limitless possibility. But because I had yet to hire a business coach, my hard earned savings began to run very dry and my credit card bills began to mount up because I still didn’t have a sustainable business.
So what started as a joyful time became one of constant guilt that I wasn’t ‘working myself into the ground’ like I had done previously (because that’s all I knew how to do) and I experienced massive fear and anxiety all based around money, sometimes forgetting about what was really important. I began to tell myself thing like;
“You’ve done this to yourself Nat.”
“You’re never going to be able to pay these debts back.”
“Maybe you don’t have what it takes to do this.”
And I began to believe that I would be struggling financially forever. So much so that out of fear, I began to hunt for full time jobs in my old industry again and in the meantime, take badly paid temp jobs that would frequently turn out to be a total nightmare.
Somewhere along the line I thought that this was all I deserved, but what I was really doing here was blocking any form of abundance from my life and attracting all the wrong things to me.
I was in a total negative space with any meetings or potential partnerships that didn’t work out, I seemed to be attracting clients with the same money beliefs that I had who were therefore never going to invest, and I put my partner through a lot of anxiety too as he watched me worry and agonize over my finances meaning that for a while we never went out and pretty much all our conversations were about money or the lack of it.
I reached a point where I realised I had to pull myself out of the powerless hole I’d created for myself and took a step forward in the form of a 4 week temping contract doing some super easy admin work. The pay was terrible, but the people were lovely and I used it as a chance to regain some structure to my floundering weeks.
I was feeling a little silly at first for taking a job that was so badly paid, surely I could have ‘tried harder’ to find something better, and I sat doing sums and trying to work out how this and my yoga teaching were going to allow me to cover my outgoings that month.
Things were better but they still looked bleak. Until one morning when I received my Note from The Universe (which if you haven’t signed up to I suggest you do right now) which read:
“Natalie, this whole time you’ve spent worrying has actually all been for the best. From this moment on you never have to worry about money again”.
I let the words sink in and then repeated them to myself.
“I never have to worry about money again.”
As I sat and said them over and over several times, I suddenly realised, why had I been worrying about money so much? What really was the point? We worry about money yet we have no idea how long our time on earth is so why waste it worrying, and how is that worrying ever serving us?
From that moment on I decided to make that my daily mantra for a while. At first I wasn’t sure if my words held real meaning and belief from me, but as the weeks went by, something inside me began to shift and half way through my temping contract something amazing happened.
One morning my boss came in and said “We really like you so we’d like you to stay but we know you’re a business owner so we’d like to put you on a part time contract and increase your pay”. I couldn’t believe it. The following day I got a new private yoga client, the next week a new coaching client, the week after that a project that I believed dead came back to life booking me in, and shortly after that I was booked for some long term well-paid freelance design work with a fantastic team of people.
And beyond that things just kept growing. Seeds I’d planted suddenly began to sprout, I began to make money goals and places for the money to go in my mind (workshop fund, holiday fund), and private coaching clients just kept showing up. Suddenly, I had money coming at me from all angles (another abundance mantra I had been using even on the bleakest days) and I was able to take control of my finances and start paying my debts back.
But my biggest shift wasn’t really anything to do with money. Obviously I was continuing to do the work every single day on my business even when it felt like nothing was happening, but my most important step forward was allowing myself to open up and receive and remind myself that I was worthy after having spent years telling myself that I wasn’t.
I had to catch myself in the moments at my temping role ‘feeling bad’ for having such easy hours or easy tasks, and instead reminding myself that this was my choice and perhaps after all these years working hard and having to put up with some nightmare colleagues, it was my time to have an easier role that allowed me the freedom to develop other things, and to be in an office where there wasn’t some kind of weird tension or atmosphere that drained me.
My point here is that whether you share my beliefs in the Universe showing up for you when you need it to or not, when it does, you MUST allow it to do its work. If you’re holding up a subconscious hand telling it to back away, you’re going to block all the amazing things it’s trying to give you, so this is really about you telling yourself that it’s OK to receive good things in life, it’s OK for people to help you, its OK for things to feel easy and in flow, and it’s OK to enjoy your life and everything that it has to offer you. There is nothing to feel guilty about.
The other big thing I let go of was ‘the chase’. I hadn’t realised it, but I had spent years chasing money, asking for a pay rise, figuring out how I was going to make more because I often felt like I didn’t have enough or never would have, and coming up with ideas that were too focused on the outcome instead of the process, and then often even in the times when I was making decent money, because I still felt worthless and empty inside as a person, I would spend it as quickly as it reached me and never save any of it and always tell myself there was never enough because ultimately I didn’t believe I deserved it.
The more we chase money, the more it runs away from us. In fact, the more we chase or try to cling to anything in life, the higher the chance we have of losing it, so you have to just allow yourself to be, and let abundant experiences, people and also money flow to you and through you without judgment or attachment.
So my question to you here is this. Are you allowing yourself to receive what the universe is trying to show you right now? Do you believe yourself worthy of good things? If not, and money is something you feel is a huge problem in your life right now, it’s time to take your focus away from it and do the internal work first:
- Where in your life are you contracting instead of expanding?
- What beliefs do you have around money or feeling abundant that need to shift so that you can change your relationship with money forever?
- What ideas about money are you carrying that are actually your parent’s/friend’s/colleague’s beliefs and not your own?
- Can you allow yourself to feel grateful, abundant, joyful and free, instead of feeling fearful, constrained, lacking and trapped?
Whether we’re talking about money or not, we always have a choice in everything we do and we can either choose a feeling of fear or of love. Every single time. And making that choice, and choosing love in every moment, is ultimately how we heal whatever is feeling heavy or draining for us. That is ultimately how we can increase our abundance in every single area of our lives.
So which one will you choose?