Have you ever felt stuck? Like no matter what choice you make next, you’ll only end up right back where you started? Maybe you can’t figure out why, no matter how hard you work at improving your financial situation, you keep hitting the same obstacles over and over again? It's almost as if someone set your life on a rinse-and-repeat cycle. Or, maybe you're experiencing an unprecedented amount of success - everything going exactly like you planned, work-life balance in beautiful harmony, financial security within reach - but you can't seem to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself? It's almost as if you're waiting for the other shoe to drop.
If either of the above scenarios resonates with you, then it's time to take a closer look at the story you're telling yourself to make sure it's the one YOU want to tell.
The Power of Your Personal Narrative
Much of who you are revolves around the stories you tell yourself about yourself. Often referred to as a "personal narrative" or "self-talk," you probably aren't even aware of the story you’re actually telling yourself (and others). So it stands to reason that you might not also realize the tremendous power these stories have over the career(s) you have chosen/ choose to pursue, your relationship with money, your goals and dreams, and even who you consider yourself to be as a person.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
How to Write Your Own Story
The first step in changing your story is awareness: you have to know what you're saying to yourself in order to evaluate its effect on your life. Over the next few days, or week, listen to yourself and write down every negative statement or belief you hear yourself saying. Examples include:
- I am always in debt.
- I am terrible with money.
- I never have enough money.
- If I quit my (low-paying) job to follow my dream, I'll never have anything.
- I don't need more money than I already have.
- If I quit my (well-paying) job to follow my dream, I'll lose everything.
- I could never charge that much for my services.
- I have to clock in 50+ hours a week because money only comes from hard work.
- I struggle everyday - to get up, at my job, with the kids, balancing the checkbook, etc.
- I cannot do that [insert any task, goal, dream].
The next step in changing your story is affirmations. These negativity-busting statements help you adopt a new set of beliefs: the way you see yourself and the stories you'll tell. The key here is to remain positive and focus on the haves versus the have-nots. It may be difficult at first, that's normal. Examples include:
- I have a solid debt payoff plan with a completion date of December 31st.
- I am the master of my money.
- I can do anything I set my mind to.
- No dream is too big for me.
- I am expert at what I do; I deserve to charge that much.
- I have an awesome budget in place. I came in under budget for dining out last month.
- I have a warm, safe place to sleep. I have a job, clothes, and food.
- I choose to be happy.
- I love life!
After you have a new affirmation, or a whole list of them, decide how and when you'll use them. Do you want to stick colorful Post-It notes on the bathroom mirror to give yourself a boost each morning? Or do you prefer to keep a printout beside your computer to repeat while you're at work? How about a calendar reminder texted to your phone with one of your affirmations? Don't be afraid to think outside the box!
Using your affirmations, especially speaking them aloud, will feel weird, maybe even downright impossible. (For some reason, women often have a hard time saying good things about themselves. Go figure!) The point is, ignore that little voice saying it's strange to tell yourself that you deserve the best in life, or whatever your affirmation. By the way, you DO deserve the best in life, so stick with daily affirmations and you'll be amazed how quickly your story changes.
Step three in changing your story is support. Seek out other women with positive attitudes and uplifting stories. Don't, not even for a moment, think you're alone. Chances are, most, if not everything, you're going through has been lived through by another woman who can't wait to tell HER story and hear yours.
Savvy Ladies and its community are here to help you! Check out our Founder's story. And, if you haven't already, check out our fabulously FREE resources, including our blog, helpline, and weekly webinars.
Remember, no matter what story you told yesterday or the one you hear yourself telling today, the future is unwritten - a story net yet told – full of possibilities. Write your story the way YOU want it told.