Secrecy about money is quite common in families, especially between siblings, and between parents and adult children. We’re secretive about money for a variety of reasons. Usually, it’s a result of one of the following: (1) we feel we have to protect our money from others, or (2) we feel we’re going to be judged for our income or money decisions. When a hoarder in a family meets an overspender, for example, watch out! There can be a lot of judgments on both sides. Sometimes, family members have certain ideas about how money should be handled and insist that we do it their way— even if we disagree.
It also creates beliefs that your self-worth and money are linked . . . and not in a good way. How many people do you know who think they aren’t worthy unless they make a certain amount of money? Given that, might they feel the need to embellish or stretch the truth about their financial situation? But lying about how much we make is a direct result of low self-worth. We don’t feel the need to pretend to be better off than we are unless we believe that the truth isn’t good enough. We’re worried others will judge us as “less than” because our bank accounts are . . . well, “less than”— at least in our perception. But if someone else judges us based on how much money we make, that says more about their values than it does about us, doesn’t it?
Still, many of us carry the belief that others will look down on us if we don’t make “enough” money. Underlying that fear is our own belief that our self-worth is dependent upon our income. And that’s a prime reason many of us are secretive about how much we make. Or we pretend to make more than we do in the hope that others will see us the way we want to see ourselves. In fact, a lot of people overspend in order to look the part of someone who has more money. To keep up appearances, they buy clothes or drive a car or take vacations they can’t really afford.
Did your family’s habits around secrets and lies create any unconscious limiting beliefs for you? Want to find out? Join me for a complimentary group coaching call tomorrow and find out more about the dynamics of keeping money secrets.
Let’s keep this conversation going! Head on over to Facebook and let’s talk about your money secrets…if you’re willing to share.