How do you define your self-worth? Maybe you reflect on your skills as a professional, partner, parent, or friend. Perhaps you point to your excellent values, to your dedication to doing good in the world, or all of the above.
Regardless of the specifics of your response, you and much of the general population would probably agree that your net worth—the amount of wealth you have—isn’t a factor in determining your worth. But the inescapable truth is that if all of us truly believed that, we wouldn’t have so much angst when it comes to money.
Women in particular struggle to make this distinction, with nearly 40 percent reporting that just thinking about finances makes them feel overwhelmed, and 31 percent sharing that their money matters get them downright discouraged. On the flipside, only 9 percent of women shared that their current financial state makes them feel empowered.
So, what’s really going on here? Over the years, I’ve had the chance to find out—getting an up-close-and-personal look at what goes on in women’s heads when considering their self-worth. I’ve been a financial strategist, business leader, industry-recognized speaker, image consultant, communications specialist, and a financial life coach.
These roles have afforded me the opportunity to work with women of all ages and at all stages, to learn the intimate details of their lives during our time together. As a result, I had the opportunity to understand why so many women have such strong feelings about money. And while we were focused on financial planning, our interactions revealed a key truth: that there is a financial component to every aspect of life— career changes, following our passions, birth, divorce, death, and much more.
I also learned that we’re not wrong about our perception of our self-worth—it isn’t determined by our finances. Rather, our self-worth has a tremendous impact on the financial decisions we make and what that means for our overall financial situation.
Wondering what difference that makes? Well, it means that to have the greatest impact not only on women’s self-worth, but on the financial implications of personal values and histories, we must teach women to identify the factors in their life—societal, familial, and personal—that are inhibiting their financial well-being. I believe so strongly in the importance of flipping this script, that it’s become the basis of my work.
If you’re among the 91 percent of women who don’t feel empowered by their current financial state, it’s time to start asking yourself some questions, namely how your self-worth affects your approach to finances—and how you can begin to break down any limiting beliefs. Unsure about how you really feel about money, or where those feelings come from? You can start by assessing your Money Mindset.
Reference: Jennifer Brozic, “Nearly 1 in 3 Women in the US Feels Discouraged about Her Finances,” Credit Karma, October 4, 2018, https://www.creditkarma.com/insights/i/one-in-three-women-discouraged-finances-survey/.