Thinking About Money And Self-Worth

by anne on August 4, 2011

money and self worthI was writing about the mistakes I’ve made in my freelance writing career and realized a whole bunch of them were based on confusing money with self-worth. I’m not alone in scrambling these two; there are at least two 12 Step Groups designed to help people with money issues (Debtors Anonymous and Underearners Anonymous) and innumerable books written on the subject.

I have all sorts of theories about how self-esteem and money get conflated, including everything from parental/family influence to advertisement and who knows what else. However it happens, it does and often takes a whole bunch of undoing.

How much money I have says nothing about who I am inside

One major truth in life  is how much money I have or don’t have has nothing to do with who I am inside. It says nothing about my soul or my core.

Of course, the money I have or don’t may reflect all sorts of things from an inheritance to laziness. While those may influence the view I have of myself, they aren’t my real worth just because I am.

The site, My Financial Awareness, has a chart showing how self-worth and net worth differ, which is helpful.

But another truth seems to be that unless I have decent self-worth I have trouble earning ample money on a consistent basis. That lace of self-esteem often results in one or more of the following:

  • not recognizing and accepting our talents whatever they may be
  • not charging enough for our work or asking for deserved raises
  • not following through either on the job or on other opportunities

There are, of course, other symptoms. In fact the list could get pretty long.

First, know you’re not alone

People don’t talk about money issues. In fact there seems to be more shame around not earning enough or having money problems than any subject I can think of. Yet so many suffer. It’s a shame we can’t talk about money more reasonably.

Of course, if you’ve got some self-worth/money problems you first have to admit it, at least to yourself.

There is help

Sometimes  just recognizing the issue and talking it over with a close friend goes a long way toward improving your view of yourself.

And if more help is needed it’s pretty easy to get. The above mentioned 12 Step programs are one approach that work for many, but they certainly aren’t the only approach. There is also counseling with professionals of one sort or another. You may find your insurance will help. Many churches can point you in a good direction.

If you’re like me you’ll end up taking a whole lot of approaches, all of which will, over time make a real positive difference.

What, if any, has been your experience with money and self-worth?

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne Wayman

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