Megan Walls has been a certified life and executive coach for about a decade.
While working with professionals looking to make a change in their careers, or simply take better control over their lives, she noticed a recurring weak spot among otherwise intelligent, capable people: money.
“For some reason or another,” she explains, “these clients aren’t as mindful or deliberate as they’d like to be. Some are business owners, lawyers, or in education.”
When these clients started asking Walls to help them master their finances, she got right down to the heart of the matter: their core beliefs about money.
“A belief is a thought you think over and over again,” she says. “And then that belief gets buried in your subconscious, and causes an emotion — anything from contentment to fear — which then causes you to take action and produce some sort of result. That’s the chain: emotion, action, result.”
If these core beliefs are self-sabotaging, you can imagine how that chain progresses.
Here, Walls shares some of the more damaging financial thought patterns she’s observed in her practice, among the most impressive professionals.
Walls remembers a client who inherited money while in grad school and thought he'd be set for years.
Instead, he ran out halfway through school and swore he'd never let it happen again ... but it did. After some discussion, they found that his core belief was that money magically appears.
'As a kid, whenever he needed money, he'd ask his dad, who would hold out a $US10 or a $US20 bill,' Walls says.
'We had him replace that money thought with a new one, something to the effect of 'I am in control of my money and can make good financial decisions for me and my family,'' she says. 'He started meeting with a financial advisor and using Quicken to track his spending.'
Another client came to Walls with about $US12,000 in credit card debt, worried that it was starting to impact other areas of her life.
'Growing up, her family would always say, 'We can't afford that, we're going to run out of money,'' Walls remembers, 'and she started picking up on it and avoiding dealing with her finances. She came up with a new, positive, empowered belief: 'I am a successful professional living an abundant life.''
'I would say that the lion's share of money beliefs come from family or society,' Walls explains.
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