Why your income does not determine your value
Money has always been huge in my family, but not in a good way. Everything we did, talked about, thought about revolved around money. Money was the end all, be all, the everything. How to save money, how to not spend money, how to clip coupons for hours to save a few bucks on items we don’t even use even when they were making good money.
My parents tried to motivate me to get good grades by paying me money. When I was learning algebra, I would skip steps because I was wanting to just get my homework done and over with, so they came up with the idea that they would pay me a penny for every step that I wrote out. It worked for a while, but it ended up having disastrous consequences for me later.
Everything my parents talked about to me revolved around me getting a good job out of college, even when I was in kindergarten. I knew the story by heart. Get straight A’s in elementary school, get into the gifted program, get straight A’s in junior high so I can get into AP classes in high school, where I would get straight A’s so I would get into a good college, where I would get a 4.0 GPA in math, science or engineering so I would get an internship every summer between school sessions so I would have a really good paying job for when I graduated. I would then work hard, make a lot of money, scrimp and save a lot of money, buy a condo, find a guy, marry that guy, sell the condo, buy a house, have 2.5 kids, work work work, save save save, finally retire at 55 and start living my life then. That plan was reinforced in me from the time I was born and I knew it by heart.
Suffice it to say, I quickly learned that my value was attached to how much money I made. I would only be loved if I made a lot of money.
Well, my life didn’t turn out like they planned. I got mostly good grades, I took college classes at a local community college while still in high school, I got my AA degree the day before my high school diploma, I got into a good college, I got a degree in chemistry (after failing out of the chemical engineering program). I had 1 summer internship at the place where I ended up getting a job that paid a lot of money, but I ended up being absolutely miserable. I almost got married, but I broke it off a month before our date. I almost bought the condo, but thank goodness the deal went south and I got out of it without losing any money. (That’s another story for the day. Always listen to your gut!) I ended up quitting my job and started on my journey as an entrepreneur.
My parents were very unhappy with my choice, as you can imagine. I heard it all, from why don’t you just go back and get a job. Why can’t you be normal like everyone else and just get a job? My dad even had the balls to tell someone that I was having a quarter life crisis.. While I was sitting there.
And so on this journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that it’s less about what you know or your skill sets, but more about what you believe. If you believe you are going to be a success, you will be. But there may be a tangled web of lies that were planted in your brain by the people around you when you were growing up that prevent you from having immediate success. And for me, I’ve had to untangle that big ball of yarn so I can make something pretty out of it and it’s taken me a lot longer than others.
In my morning journaling today, I discovered that I still attached my value as a person to how much money I am making. When I am making money, I feel great. I feel valued. I feel loved. But when I’m not making money? I feel like I’m the worst person on the planet. I feel like I will never be loved and that I’m never going to be good enough. I still believed I was worthless.
I’ve kind of known this was a root belief all along because a few months ago, I watched several videos from some big name online entrepreneurs and the theme that kept popping out at me was that once they determined that they were valuable no matter how much money they made, that’s when things clicked.
It’s like your bank account and self-worth account are mirrors. The more you value yourself and find yourself worthy, the bigger your bank account gets. And mine has been in the negative value for a while now.
So if you find yourself with money issues in your business or job or however you make your money, ask yourself if you have tied your self-worth to how much money you have. Journal out any memories or experiences that may have showed you that you are only valuable if you make a lot of money. What did your parents or others teach you about money? It’s vital that you sort these beliefs out when running a business because otherwise it won’t be you running the business, it will be your beliefs, and that can delay your success, just like it has delayed mine.
What did your parents teach you about money? Share it in the comments!