“I’m bad with money”

I’m a CPA... so it might sound crazy that I sometimes have this thought.

But I want to share something:

I’ve had my credit score get trashed. I’ve forgotten to pay bills and incurred big penalties, more times than I can count. I’ve invested what was a lot of money for me at the time in the stock market, and watched my portfolio permanently go to a third of its value.

And sometimes, when these things have happened, I have thought: “I’m bad with money”. And how many times did I tell myself “𝗜 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹, 𝗱𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹-𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴!”.

𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. “It’s sunny outside." " I’m bad with money.”

𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘆. A way that empowers me and gets me different results.

Here’s what I discovered: When I was telling myself I was bad at money, 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆.

To go with the analogy: I wasn’t actually reporting the weather. 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 about the weather. I wasn’t saying “It’s sunny right now”. I was saying “The weather is good right now”.

𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲?

One is reality. The other is just my story or judgment about reality.

So when I let my credit score go down, or my stock portfolio that lost its value, I wasn't “bad with money”. That was just my story about what happened. That’s just the 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 I gave to what happened. All that happened was that my credit score was ‘fair’, and my stock portfolio was worth $2,000.

When I changed my narrative, I changed my actions. (And these days, my credit is back to Very Good, and my portfolio is made up of ETFs, and doing just fine.)

So, when you’re thinking “I’m bad at money”,𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝗮𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗻.

Just the facts please.

The alien can’t understand if you try to say the weather is good, or if you try to tell them your credit score is ‘so bad’ now.

Just state the facts 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗷𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀.

Once you do that, pretend you’re talking to a friend, and think: What’s a different way of looking at the current situation?

For me, I would come up with things like: “I made a mistake. I can learn from it.” and “No one is born ‘good at money’. It’s a process of learning.”

The story of “I’m bad with money”, or “I just don’t have the right personality to deal with money” does not serve me. It makes me feel resigned, and then I just avoid avoid avoid. (And then the thought becomes reality!)

𝗜𝗳 𝗜 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆, 𝗮𝘀 𝗻𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗮𝗱, 𝗜 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱.

And from there, I can create a new reality. One where money is easy. One where money serves my highest goals. Even one where 𝗜’𝗺 𝗮 𝗯𝗮𝗱𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗷𝗮.


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