As long as I can remember I have struggled with money. I have struggled to make it. It’s always been something that has been so challenging for me to do. It has always felt like a nearly impossible task for me: to make money. I had concluded: I don’t have the ability to make money or something is wrong with me and that is why I can’t make it.
I never really understood or knew why I couldn’t make it. I just knew I had a really really really hard time making it. Money was always a source of stress in my life. I was always worrying about it. When will it come to me? Is it going to come to me? Can I have it? Why can’t I have it? Why doesn’t it want me? Why do I have such a hard time making it? Will I have to live like this for the rest of my life?
I constantly worried about money and I was always thinking about it. My sense of self was tied to it. I felt I was not good enough because I didn’t have it. I wasn’t worthy because I didn’t have it. I wasn’t valuable because I didn’t have it. I just felt really shit about myself because I didn’t have it. I was always embarrassed because I didn’t have it. I worried if people found out I barely made money they would think of me as less than, stupid, low-class, poor, stupid, unworthy, unlovable. I was embarrassed to let my secret out that I don’t have a lot of money and I have a hard to making money.
When I think back to my childhood, so many things come up for me. The things that come up aren’t really about money itself, but about myself. My parents really stressed the importance of having money. Money was like a God, and the whole point of existence was to make it and have it. Getting a good education, excelling in school, being at the top of the class, getting into a really good college, becoming a good doctor was the way to make lots of money. The goal of life was to make lots of money. The point of all the sacrifices my parents made for me was because I can make a lot of money, so then their sacrifices would be worth something.
I always had an enormous amount of pressure to do really good in school. You have to do good in school, get straight A’s, excel, do more, study harder, your only job is to be a student right now so that you can make something of yourself and your life.
These are a few things I constantly heard about money:
Nothing comes without education, it is the way to make lots of money. Money is what gives you value and importance in the world. When you have money people care about you, respect you, ask about you. When you don’t have money, no one wants anything to do with you. Money makes you powerful and important, and when you don’t have money you are of no use to anyone. Money is what makes someone worthy, valuable, respectable, powerful and accomplished.
I was always terrified of showing my parents my report card or telling them what I got on a test in fear of what they would say and how stupid I would look in their eye because I got a B. I was so afraid of their judgment and backlash because I didn’t get good grades. I really struggled in school because I was so afraid to be stupid and not get good grades. I was always worried about my test scores, grades on my report card and most of all the wrath of my parents when I told them I didn’t do good on a test. And what good was perfect marks.
My entire childhood and teenage years were all about being a good student and studying hard. When I didn’t bring home the grades my parents wanted from me, I was told:
You are going to amount to nothing, you are not worth anything, you are stupid, you are not going to be able to do anything, you will end up as a beggar, you don’t study hard enough, you don’t care about your future, we have sacrificed so much for you and you do this to us.
I don’t know if it was actually because I was stupid that I didn’t get good enough grades or was it because I had such an insane amount of pressure to do good in school, and that pressure made me freak out and do poorly. Or was it because I wasn’t smart in the way my parents wanted me to be, which was science and math smart. I loved writing, history, art, law, government. I loved thinking creatively and deeply about the wonder of life, and being smart in those things was useless because these things don’t make you money. Being smart in math and sciences is what makes you money, is what makes you a doctor, and I was never smart in that way.
I constantly felt like a failure and my parents always reminded me of that too. I was constantly told that they wish I wasn’t born, that I was unwanted, I was a disgrace, that I couldn’t do anything right. I felt so shitty about myself all the time. I never realized that I formulated such a deep-seated belief about myself that I am not good enough and I never will be.
Over the years I formulated a belief about myself:
The way my parents love me is when I make a lot of money, and because I don’t make a lot of money or can barely make money I was not worthy of their love.
Doing the inner work around money has led me to realize that my biggest block to making money is that I am not good enough to make it. Why? Because I sucked in school, didn’t get good grades, didn’t get into a good college, became a doctor — all the things that would make me good enough, which then makes me good enough to make money.
The things that make me good enough (that I learned from my parents) is excelling in school, getting straight A’s, getting into a good college, excelling and getting good grades in college, becoming a doctor, fulfilling my dad’s dreams of me becoming a doctor, make lots of money as a doctor, listening to what my dad thinks I should do, marry an Indian boy who is a doctor, wear name brand clothes, drive a name brand car, give money to my parents by helping support them for all the sacrifices they made for me.
I didn’t do anything of those things so that is why I am not good enough. That is what makes me not good enough. And because I am not good enough, I have to struggle to make money and I am not deserving or worthy of making money.
Doing what I want to do, being who I want to be, living the way I want to, doing what I want to do for work, marrying who I want to marry, making money the way I want to, honoring my truth is NOT good enough; therefore, I am not good enough.
As I realize all of this, I am baffled by how much this freaking belief: I am not good enough has contaminated my life, the way I see myself, my worth, my value and my ability to make money and succeed.
My question now to myself is what makes me good enough? Is it what I have been taught I need to be, do, have or accomplish that makes me good enough? Or is it a feeling, a knowing that because I exist, I am alive, I have breath that must be why I am good enough?
Uncovering this makes me realize that I need to change the way I have operated for so many years because of what I was taught who I needed to be in order to be good enough. Because I believe I am not good enough, I can also believe that I am good enough.
I am good enough to make money doing it my way — doing what I love. I am good enough to live my life the way I want and that it’s okay for me to live my life on my terms. I am good enough to have what I want. I am good enough marry who I want and still have a successful marriage. I am good enough to thrive in life being true to myself.
Being good enough isn’t what makes me worthy or deserving of money or success. If I base my worthiness or deservingness of money on how good enough I am, then I am constantly measuring myself up to something that can’t be defined or measured in the first place. Can you really measure good enoughness? Isn’t being good enough just a perception? A way of looking at yourself that isn’t tied to something or because of something like an accomplishment, achievement number, validation, approval, lovability, worth, job title, salary, way of life, etc.
What if being good enough has nothing to do with all of that? What if being good enough is exactly this: BEING GOOD ENOUGH. You can’t “do” good enough, you can only “be” good enough. It is inherently who you are.
Being good enough to me feels like no efforting, no trying, no doing, no grasping onto something, no defining myself as something or by something, no attachment to something, no needing it be this way or that way, no arriving at some point in life, no having it figure out, no measuring of myself, no external reasoning.
Being good enough feels like peace, calm, stillness, a knowing, a sense of just Being.
So my next question to myself is, what if I don’t have to do anything to be good enough to make money? What I just have to choose and decide to be good enough, and in that enoughness is all the abundance that is my birthright? In that enoughness is finally meeting myself beyond a mental construct of myself. In that enoughness is finally realizing that there was never really anything wrong with me. In that enoughness is finally knowing that who I am is not what someone else thinks I should be, but who I decide to be. In that enoughness is finally freeing myself from the need to be validated so that I can feel worthy or deserving as I am.
In that enoughness is finally choosing myself.
I am good enough right now. I drop all the things I have learned I need to be, do or have in order to be good enough for someone else, gain their validation and approval, to then be good enough for myself. What if being good enough is gaining my own validation and approval? Saying to myself I approve of myself and that makes me good enough. I validate myself and that makes me good enough. I love myself and that makes me good enough. I am secure in myself as I am and that makes me good enough. I trust myself and that makes me good enough.
I am good enough because I decided I am, and I no longer need you to decide for me if I am good enough. I take my power back now. I claim I am good enough to make money. I am good enough to be successful. I am good enough to be thriving. I am good enough to do what I love. I am good enough to live on my own terms. I am good enough to have what I want. I am good enough to marry who I love. I am good enough to be my own true self. I am good enough, and so it is.
You turn, write out your money story. What have you learned about yourself with money? What have you learned about money? What is your biggest block to making money? Explore all of this, let it out. I am here for support if you need to help through this process, please reach out.