Unpacking Your Financial Baggage

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Your upbringing and family members can often have a tremendous effect on how you treat money or what your beliefs around money are. In fact, money habits can form as early as 7 years old according to research done by David Whitebread, Ph.D., and Sue Bingham, Ph.D., at the University of Cambridge. “If parents support and model specific decision-making, children are likely to engage in the behavior and potentially develop similar habits,” they wrote. Because our parents are the first people we see dealing with money it’s only natural that we learn from what they do. We learn from them and often adopt their same habits and belief systems around money. For example, if Dad is always working and complaining about the family spending too much money or maybe Mom goes out and spends thousands of dollars on clothes and shoes and that causes a squabble between Mom and Dad.

The result is that money gets tied into many emotional issues within a family, like love, power, security, control, self-worth, and independence, say Olivia Mellan, a psychotherapist and coach specializing in money conflict resolution. When children pick up on the concept that money is a source of uncomfortable feelings and stress, this follows them into adulthood. Many will avoid talking about it. But avoidance leaves us lacking the skills and tools to discuss money or handle money practically and handle money effectively. The limiting beliefs around money cause feelings of lack and scarcity.

These limiting beliefs are very disempowering and will sabotage your success. There are four steps in eliminating these old beliefs.


  1. Recognize your old beliefs. You can do this by thinking about your current financial situation. Ask yourself, “What are you afraid of?” What are the feelings that come up? There are typically five underlying needs that we form our beliefs around. The need for love, security, value, respect, or validation.


  1. Acknowledge where these beliefs come from. Ask yourself which underlying need are you satisfying? Where did this belief originate from or from whom did you adopt them from?



  1. Forgive yourself and/or anyone else who was responsible for this old belief. Forgiveness is an incredibly powerful tool. This is the biggest gift you can give yourself or others. It is also necessary so you can move on. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you necessarily agree with the individual that you had the conflict with, it just means that you understand that they had a positive intention for doing what they did, even though it does not currently serve you. You also must forgive yourself and take responsibility that you are where you are in your life and/or business because of your beliefs and choices up until now. The great news is that you also have the opportunity to make different choices coming from a new empowered mindset.


  1. Let It Go. By holding on to these old beliefs, you will stay in a stuck pattern and continue to struggle and not get the results you desire. By “letting go,” you can create the space for new empowering beliefs to develop and for opportunities to show up that will assist you in reaching your personal and financial goals. Take a deep breath and focus on the feelings that arise when you think about your current financial situation. Then, ask yourself the next 3 very simple questions. “Can I let it go? Will I let it go? When?” You can repeat this process until it feels lighter and lighter and ultimately dissolves.


After working through these four steps, you can begin to start developing a healthy and empowered relationship with money. All it takes is patience and consistency to begin to unpack that financial baggage for good!


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MeganMegan Tull is an Entrepreneur Success Strategist, Transformational Leader in Business and Life, an Author and an International Speaker. Megan is CEO and Founder of Silverlining Concepts, LLC, a business coaching and consulting firm that specializes in innovative and transformational training and workshops for entrepreneurs, CEO’s and small business owners.

She has a new book called The Passion Belief Method- Own Your Value and Earn Your Worth in Business available in your favorite bookstore Fall 2015. For more info visit –www.megantull.com