One of my favorite things to do to relax is to peruse through Pinterest. I love getting ideas for outfits, haircuts, or to see all the DIY suggestions, however, I have noticed something interesting. Whenever I spend too much time on Pinterest, I start to feel a little anxious.
Maybe it is because I realize there is no way I can look this put together every day. Or maybe, it’s because being perfect in all areas of my life is something I can never attain. Regardless, when we start to tie our self worth to money, we lose sight of how many things we can accomplish.
To understand some of the real reasons women tie their self-worth to money and why they shouldn’t, let’s look deeper.
#1. It is easy to start to question your self-worth if you are measuring yourself against all the Instagram posts, celebrities or all those unattainable realities we see out there. But having money doesn’t mean you are any more worthy than anyone else. It may seem like it give you status in society, but if you are evaluating your own self-worth in comparison, you are missing something important. Your worthiness isn’t reliant on what you wear or the image you project. Your worthiness comes from within. It is how you treat people, and most importantly how you treat yourself. Your worth is better measured by your integrity and compassion as a human being.
#2. If you are focusing on the debt you have yet to pay off or your lack of earning what you really deserve, it may seem natural to feel a lack of self-confidence. I speak to many women, who feel they can’t figure out how to deal with this money thing, not because they aren’t smart or good with math, but because they have it in their head that a lack of self-confidence in one area spills over into another. When it comes to separating out our lack of self-confidence in one area of our life and money, start with exhibiting small acts of courage while embracing your progress along the way.
#3. What you think about others can say a lot about how you see yourself. I know this is uncomfortable but, it may start with you judging others about their financial status. If you have money, you may make judgments about those that do not. If you do not have money, the reverse can be true.
These judgments often happen without us really realizing it. But here is the point, when we judge others based on their financial status, we are also subconsciously doing the same to ourselves. Consider your own self-talk when it comes to money. Are you saying positive things to yourself? Do you really believe them? Are you able to look at your own choices, mistakes, successes, and failures with the eyes of someone who isn’t judging? When you start to release this judgment and say positive things to yourself, you can start to alter the narrative that has been running your life.
#4. We have all seen the bumper sticker “stuff happens”. But a past financial mistake doesn’t have to be something you live with forever. For so many of us, a past mistake has resulted in shame. Shame is different from other emotions. Shame hits you in your gut. When you experience shame, you are making a decision about yourself, and your worthiness. And it can often feel like you are exposed. Like somebody figured something out about you that you didn’t know or that you wanted to keep a secret.
Shame can manifest in a variety of areas of our lives, from family relationships, interactions with a love interest, to work performance. When it comes to money, however, shame is rarely part of the conversation. Don’t let a past mistake keep you stuck in shame. Forgive yourself, forgive others if appropriate, learn the lesson and move on.
#5. Society certainly hasn’t done us any favors. Like the belief that having money is a symbol of power. And it is true to some extent. Money can allow us to educate our children, help find the cure to cancer and feed the hungry, but we all need compassion and love in addition to money. When we use money to fulfill our values, then we start to see a shift. It starts with how we start to use money to accomplish the things we care about. If you want to see a shift in climate change, spend your money on recyclables. If you want to cure cancer, donate your time to calling for your local charity to raise money. If you want to see your community thrive, buy locally. Our money, if spent in accordance with what we care about, can start to shift this pessimistic view we currently have about money equaling power.
Remember, your self-worth doesn’t have to be judged by your net worth. But your net worth can reflect your self-worth. When you feel whole and complete regardless of how much money you have, then you can truly know freedom.