I was recently talking with a client who courageously shared with me how uncomfortable she is talking about money. How when it comes to the point in a conversation where it’s time to share her fees – she feels herself shrink and freeze.
I so get it. That used to be me. In fact, I suspect that’s probably a lot of us.
Money is such a complex and taboo topic. We play an interesting dance with it in our culture. We are programmed not to talk about it; we learn to keep how much we make, how much owe, how much we have, to ourselves.
Which would be fine – except this includes keeping our money story to ourselves as well. All of our judgments, beliefs and fears about money end up bottled up inside too – which likely creates a misunderstanding inside that ends up getting in our way, especially when we are trying to make more money!
This misunderstanding is where the issue, or better stated, the opportunity resides.
The story I’m about to share may not seem related to money, but I promise you it very much is – if you hang in with me.
Back in 2008 I set out to see if it was possible to love the body I was given. I’d spent 20 years hating the skin I was in – participating in diet program after diet program – only to end up feeling disappointed, angry and like a failure.
For the first time in my life, I was open to something completely different. A new approach – one that wasn’t about changing my body, but was about appreciating and accepting the body I had.
This was not an easy decision. Inside of myself I had collected 20 years worth of evidence proving there was something wrong with my body – so setting out on this new path felt scary and impossible. And, at the same time, I knew I needed to change. I was so tired of the results I was getting – of the life I was living. So, I was willing to try. I was finally ready to take new and different action.
I spent a year in inquiry – getting to know my body. I slowed way down. What did she want? What did she need? What foods made her feel best? What exercise? Did she trust me to care for her?
I started to think of myself as being in relationship with my body, and got really curious about what that meant. What does a successful relationship look like and how I could I bring that to my relationship with my body?
What I discovered change my life forever. The result was/is more peace, joy, freedom and confidence – not only in my body, but in my life. This concept is now one of the foundational principles of bodyheart.
So, what does this have to do with money…
Let’s fast forward a couple years when I found myself $44,000 in credit card debt. (Hello panic!) It was the end of 2012 and I was feeling hopeless and helpless when it came to money. It seemed like no matter what I tried, my struggle with money was ever present. I never had enough.
And, given that money is a subject we don’t talk about, I was harboring a lot of shame and judgment about myself. I felt like a fraud. If you looked me up online, it looked like I was doing really well – and yet, I had this dirty little secret.
I found myself constantly asking, “how did I get here?” I wasn’t spending frivolously. I was simply trying to make ends meet – but, I never seemed to have enough money.
Can you see a theme here? One similar to my body story?
In this case, I had collected evidence to prove how awful I was with money, how money was never there for me, and how struggle just seemed to be a part of my DNA. This was my story – and I was tired of it.
I remember emailing my coach after having a windfall of money – for the first time in my life I made almost $20K in two months from my own services, only to have that money “taken” away due to unexpected home and car repairs.
In my email to her, I was so angry. I found myself saying: “Why does this always happen to me? Just when I feel like I’m getting ahead something like this happens to take it all away.”
I will never forget her response…she said: Dearest Amber: Have you ever considered applying a treatment plan to your relationship to money – similar to the way you did with your body?
O.M.G. I was floored.
That had never occurred to me. It never entered my consciousness that I was replaying the same pattern – instead of my body being the enemy, it was now money.
So, I went back to what I knew…
I again started by slowing way down and paying attention. I spent time with myself and got curious about money. What were my judgments about it? What did I learn about it growing up? What did I make it mean about me? What did I make my debt mean about me? What did money need from me? What did I expect from it?
Internally, all these irrational beliefs came to the forefront in the most beautiful way, and I got to see them, be with them and ultimately heal them.
At the same time, I started taking new and different action externally. Instead of practicing denial – which I was pretty much mastering when it came to my debt – I started facing it. I made a regular practice of looking at it – appreciating it for all the value it provided. I did the same for the money in my checking account.
I started to care about money the way I cared for my dogs or my body. I started to treat money with respect and more like a friend than an enemy.
I was so committed to healing my money story and experiencing true abundance that I made what felt like a HUGE investment at the time – I joined my first coaching group designed to support me in growing my coaching business. It was the biggest leap I had made in my life in a long time – and it was 1000% worth it.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but that decision pretty much put an end to my story of struggle. I chose to work with women who had thriving practices and were financially successful so they could teach me exactly how to create that for myself. I didn’t have to figure it out on my own – I just had to follow their leadership and guidance.
I had no idea how that program would impact my life. Before the six month group completed, I cracked six figures! And ultimately had my first multiple six-figure year.
I feel like a whole new woman – because in a way I am. I have a whole new operating system inside.
Changes like this require internal and external action – a mindset shift AND a behavioral shift. I was so ready, willing and committed to this change on every level. And, what I’ve learned along the way has been mind-blowing.
I now have a deep experience of my own resourcefulness. I know I will never have to worry about money ever again. And, that is priceless.
I have a new understanding of what it means to be of service. In the past my idea of service involved self-sacrifice – that I was supposed to give even though I wasn’t meeting my own needs. Now, I so clearly see how much more I can really help someone – how much more fun it is – when I take care of my own needs first.
I’ve let go of pleasing and trying to get people to like me. I’ve let go of this idea that I’m taking advantage of someone by inviting them to work with me. I am confident in my fees and the value my clients receive when we work together. And, I’ve learned what it means to be a true leader in my business and life.
Choosing to invest in myself and in my business was the catalyst to this transformation – which I am beyond grateful for. The gifts from that decision continue to unfold. And, for me, transformation is so much richer when it’s shared with others. When there’s an opportunity to support someone else in experiencing the freedom that I’ve experienced…
Which is why I am inspired to lead a powerful coaching group for professional women in the Coaching Immersion Adventure – or, the CIA. (I love spy movies and always wanted to be a part of the CIA—so, now I am. Plus, I like to infuse fun into everything I do!)
This group is designed for 8 female coaches who are ready to build a thriving practice, heal their money story and reframe their relationship with service and leadership – so they can make a bigger impact on the world.
There are only 4 spaces left.
If this program speaks to you and you feel inspired to learn more, email email@example.com for more information and next steps. I’m committed to talking deeply with everyone who’s interested in this group, and only offer spaces to those who will truly get value from participating.
I share this personal experience for your inspiration—to remind you of what’s really possible when we are ready to choose it.