For some years now, I’ve been delving into women’s mixed emotions about money and power, including anxiety, pride, envy, anger and guilt.
I’ve been reporting on and investigating sex-based elements of leadership and entrepreneurship, looking at women’s social and political accomplishments and setbacks.
And during that time, whether among women with inherited wealth, women who have earned their wealth or women who live paycheck to paycheck, I’ve repeatedly seen that only after arriving at a clear understanding of your emotions about money can you attain the freedom to pursue power.
Coming to terms with money fears and feelings, owning and accepting and, yes, sometimes changing, your money personality, will lead to more authentic and effective choices, especially when it comes to giving and philanthropy. It will free you from denial, from running away, from giving over to a pro or a relative, from decisions by default.
By looking into what drives your financial habits and choices, and tracing these back to family experiences as a child, you’ll be able to take charge and express your true values and beliefs. You will experience your power.
I often financial services pros and experts organize what now are rather trendy conferences and courses designed to teach women about money matters. Invariably, the focus of these convocations is on transactions, not on transcendence. On spreadsheets, not spreading your wings.
Little of such approaches typically hits women’s screens and that’s because of both nature and nurture. Until and unless women explore and accept their emotional engagement with money, they tend to avoid money management and the transactional side of finances.
What’s missing from all the convocations and conferences about financial empowerment are how to address these complicated feelings about money, and that goes for men as well as women.
What after all is money for? Why don’t the seminars ever speak to the values we bring to money management?
Let’s think about building a bridge from the constant striving to get more to the blissful freedom of feeling like you have enough.