Overcoming financial trauma and knowing how to rewrite your own personal money story as well as mastering your money mindset is a critical part of achieving holistic wealth and many experts now realize that teaching financial literacy without teaching money mindset mastery is a recipe for failure. On the Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair, we have had some amazing guests who have shared their own money mindset struggles, as well as tips and strategies to overcome financial trauma, improve money mindset and overcome money blocks (including ancestral money blocks).
Recent Research by the University of Southern California, by Dr. Galen Buckwalter, found that over 20 percent of the population meets the above criteria for financial PTSD. It is estimated that 23 percent of adults and 36 percent of millennials experience financial stress at levels that qualify as a diagnosis of PTSD.
The problem is that many people are stuck in trauma patterns and habits. According to Dr. Nicole Lepera on the Holistic Wealth Podcast with Keisha Blair, “upwards of 80 or 90% of our day, we’re allowing that autopilot to make decisions for us”. In my book Holistic Wealth, I outlined that “each of us makes at least 50,000 decisions each and every day and most of us make those decisions mindlessly and non-strategically“.
Signs of Financial Trauma
What is Financial and Money-Based Trauma?
Financial trauma is the trauma around money, which can also be generational, intergenerational, relational, societal, or systemic, some of this can originate in childhood. Research indicates that birth to age three, are the most important years in a child’s development. According to Dr. Lepera on the Holistic Wealth podcast: “We are in this open wide-eyed state of absorption we’re learning what it is to be human. We are impacted by the environment around us, and we’re taking in all of this information. We’re learning essentially how to think by hearing what other people think by having space to share our thoughts. We definitely learn how to navigate emotions in those earliest relationships. And each of those emotions whether negative or positive really begin to form into beliefs. Beliefs that we then carry about ourselves, about others, about the world, about our relationships, and that includes views about money”.
The Study of Epigenetics and Financial Trauma
“Epigenetics” is an emerging area of scientific research that shows how environmental influences—children’s experiences—actually affect the expression of their genes. On season two of the Holistic Wealth Podcast with Keisha Blair, in episode 29, I spoke with Jena-Sophia, Subconscious Specialist about healing ancestral money blocks. Jena-Sophia is a world-renowned subconscious specialist and healer who has worked with celebrities, Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes and high-performers. According to Jena-Sophia: “on a very energetic level, we are all connected to our ancestors”.
“The same eggs for example, that were in your mother’s womb, she was holding that life before you came. So you are actually absorbing the traumas, the perceptions and the programs and patterns that came before you. So a really great place to start to try to figure out your ancestral money blocks is looking back at what your parents or caregivers, were saying about money. What was the generation before that saying about money and really looking at the lineage of how money was talked about and related to how much you felt worthy of what you thought you could and couldn’t do”. It is the same with figuring out money trauma. If there are trauma narratives that were passed down from your ancestors, these can cause a trauma response with regards to money.
Signs of financial and money-based trauma include hypervigilance around money, avoidance of financial tasks, ignoring financial obligations, emotional blunting and lack of communication about one’s finances.
How To Rewrite Your Own Personal Money Story
Changing your relationship with money doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s an easy journey. However, it’s one of the most empowering decisions anyone can take – so it’s a journey that begins with making the choice with being curious, with hearing a new idea and with maybe over time beginning to become conscious of what is your relationship with money in adulthood. What are your interactions with money? What are your thoughts? How does money make you feel? It starts with those small promises, those small steps that we can begin to take each and every day.
Control Negative Thoughts
The first step in rewriting your personal money story is to control those negative thoughts – the script that keeps telling you over again that you’re no good with money, that you won’t be successful, that you are powerless to achieve your goals. In my book Holistic Wealth, I outlined strategies for “flipping the script”. Know how to stop the reel once it starts playing. Since a key feature of financial trauma is hypervigilance, it’s important to be mindful of thoughts and decisions around money. In order to rewrite your personal money story, create a new relationship with money, practice new thoughts about money, learn how to relate to money in a different actionable way in order to create change.
Know Your Own Personal Financial Identity
In order to rewrite your own personal money story, it’s essential that you first know your personal financial identity and then embrace its strengths and weaknesses. I developed the Personal Financial Identities Framework and free Personal Financial Identities Quiz, that’s quick and easy to take. Use the results of this quiz to start rewriting your personal money story. The Institute on Holistic Wealth also has a short video-based Personal Financial Identities Online Course to help you go more in-depth into the strengths and weaknesses and learn how to regulate both. In the Certified Holistic WealthTM Consultant program that I developed there is also training available and modules dedicated to creating a Holistic Wealth Portfolio based on a new relationship with money. The certification also allows you to work with clients to help them form a new relationship with money.
Embracing your own personal financial identity allows for self-awareness, self-preservation and self-advocacy. Whenever you feel anxiety, worry or stress around a certain money decision, practice the Holistic Wealth Method, that I outlined in Holistic Wealth, and start to think of your decisions as depletions or additions to your holistic wealth bank account. Use your personal financial identity to start re-writing your personal money story and you will immediately start to feel a shift in energy and abundance.
Cut Spending/Track Your Expenses
This is a critical step in rewriting your personal money story and controlling your financial future. The Holistic Wealth Personal Workbook includes budgeting spreadsheets and trackers to help you. Journaling and employing mindful money techniques are also helpful in cutting spending.
Align Your Personal Mission With Your Money Mission
There’s a famous Viktor Frankl quote that says “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure”. It’s important to have a deep sense of meaning around money goals and habits – and not get into a trap of spending for pleasure.
Having a personal mission statement is critical, particularly for those who may be at an intersection in life, trying to recover from something and start anew, and developing a new relationship with money. Your own personal mission statement is an outline of the new mission for yourself. It will help you recover, put the past behind you, and move forward. Your mission statement outlines how you want to live your life as well as what you want your lifestyle to be like. Ideally, developing such a statement will help you to chart a course in life that’s mission-led and mission-oriented. When developing your statement, you’ll want to use action verbs and include qualities that are aspirational, and in alignment with a new money story. (Think: dependable, reliable, open-minded, optimistic, courageous, passionate, purpose-driven, and organized).
It’s also worth noting that money does indeed factor into your mission statement. You should craft it with money goals in mind, but remember they’re just a portion of your overall mission in a holistic wealth mindset. The Institute on Holistic Wealth has a very short online course on Personal Missions Statements with a free template to help you craft yours. As with any kind of trauma, it’s important that we give ourselves grace and forgive the past mistakes around money decisions and habits. It’s also important to see yourself as a witness – a non-judgemental witness so it’s easier to recover and move on.
Additional Resources for Coping With Financial Trauma and Rewriting Your Personal Money Story:
In addition to all the resources listed in the article including online courses on the Institute on Holistic Wealth and the NEW Holistic Wealth Expanded and Updated book that’s now available for preorder everywhere online, here are a few outstanding Holistic Wealth Podcast episodes to help guide you on your journey:
Holistic Wealth Podcast with Keisha Blair, episode 29, I spoke with Jena-Sophia, Subconscious Specialist about healing ancestral money blocks.
Holistic Wealth Podcast With Keisha Blair, with guest Dr, Nicole Lepera, Clinical Psychologist about Financial Trauma and Rewriting Your Personal Money Story.
Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair, with guest Polly Alexandre, on How To Deal With Money Blocks, Including Money Mindset
Holistic Wealth Podcast with Keisha Blair – Manifesting Financial Abundance and Wealth with Hypnotherapist, Wendi Friesen