A caterpillar is focused on feeding itself to fuel its future growth and transformation and as it keeps feeding itself and growing larger, it must shed its skin multiple times.
When we are transforming our financial lives we are like a caterpillar! We feed ourselves with knowledge and training to fuel our growth. We learn more about our values and how we want to feel in our life so we can create a solid financial vision. As we fill ourselves with new knowledge and training we sort out what money stories and money beliefs no longer fit us. Then, we shed and release those ideas and beliefs so we are ready to move onto our next phase.
In this stage we generally feel an anxious excitement about all the possibilities we want to create in our life!
What knowledge do we need to consume on our journey as a caterpillar?
In creating a vision for the future the #1 thing that motivated me on my own journey as a caterpillar was Defining Success on my OWN terms!
Before I defined financial success on my own terms, I was in a tug of war between the vision I had for my life and the beliefs I held about what it means to be financially successful. This tug of war kept pulling me in conflicting directions that led me to not make any consistent progress towards my vision.
What I mean is that I would start to manage my financial life in a way that was aligned with my values and vision, but I would measure my results using standards based on what I believed it meant to be financially successful. Turns out the beliefs I held about financial success were not in alignment with my vision so when I would measure results in this way I would feel like I was failing. I would feel ashamed and embarrassed. I would feel frustrated, so, I would change my course to get different results. Later, I would sit down again and measure my results. Now I felt that I was more financially successful based on my standards ,but I felt less happy and less fulfilled and further away from the life I had envisioned.
I was again frustrated and this process was simply exhausting.
Thankfully, one day a coach of mine asked me:
“What does financial success mean to you?”
Without hesitation, I rattled off all the standards and qualifications that mark you as a financial success such as:
Own the home I live in and pay it off before I retire.
Contribute the maximum amount to a 401k annually.
Save 20% of my gross salary annually.
Save 100% of the anticipated cost of my daughter’s college education in a 529.
Have 6 months of an emergency fund
Don’t have any debt.
And on and on….I had a very long list of very strict rules.
As I spoke I felt suffocated and judged.
As I felt this, I said to my coach:
“This isn’t what I actually believe. This list is what I think I am supposed to believe”
In that moment I realized I don’t have to live a life based on someone else’s rules. It is up to me to define financial success. I get to determine what I need and what I want and then create it! It felt liberating and freeing!
While all of the things in my original definition can be components of financial success, we have the power to customize this definition and make it work for our vision! If you want to travel the world your whole life it might not make sense to make home ownership a top priority! If you have multiple streams of incomes and business investments, maximizing the 401k may not be necessary as there are many roads to a healthy retirement.
I want each of us to question what we believe being financially successful means. Ask yourself how you define financial success. Then ask yourself if this definition is aligned with your values and vision. If it isn’t why?
Creating your own definition of financial success may require you to release financial beliefs, stories and judgements that no longer server you! I know I had to shed judgements and stories that didn’t fit me!
What money beliefs and stories were you raised on?
These are some very popular ones:
- Money is the root of all evil
- Money is not that important
- Money can’t buy you happiness.
- More money more problems.
- Money is there to be spent
- Either rich or happy
- Having money is selfish
- Other people need it more than me.
These are just examples. You may have other beliefs that are holding you back
I would love to have more money but________________________
I want to be financially successful but_________________________
Your answers to these indicate your judgements and limiting beliefs about money! List as many as you can and then ask yourself if that belief and judgment is really true or if other possibilities may exist
You can have financial success in a way that fits your dreams, your goals, your vision!
If you are ready to release your limiting beliefs and start creating your definition of financial success click here for your call!