The stories we tell ourselves

What stories are you telling yourself about your financial situation?

Most of us have a story that explains why our financial situation is what it is.  That story keeps you were you are.  It does little to move you out of the situation you are in.  As an example, Barbara Stanny in her book “Overcoming Underearning” tells about a conversation she had with her financial counselor Karen McCall.  When Karen told Barbara that she was an underearner and that she was earning well below what she could and should be earning, Barbara immediately went to her story that explained why she couldn’t earn more.  It was because she was writer and everybody knows that writers don’t make any money.  This is before she learned that this is only a myth and since then she has made substantially more money.

What are the myths that you are holding onto?

A friend of mine told me about a conversation she had with a woman.  This woman was asking for some business advice.  In their conversation it came out that the woman thought that a man should come and take care of her.  This was what her mother had taught her, and she was still holding onto the myth of the knight in shining armor coming and saving her.  Not realizing that she was her own knight in shining armor and that she was the one that was going to save her.  Of course her business didn’t stand a chance until she was willing to stand up and take care of herself.  She would have to let go of the story that was holding her back.

How many of us have been telling ourselves a lie like that?  And guess what happens, the results are the same as it was for this woman.  But wait!   What if we told ourselves that we are the knight?  We are the one that can and should break through the barrier that is keeping us in the status quo.

To continue the fairytale metaphor the knight in a shining armor could also be a magic queen or king that with a wave of a magics wand changes the story.  Your story is unique and only you can make the change you seek.  If you don’t like the way you are living your life then wave your magic wand to change it.  By changing the stories that are keeping you trapped in the dungeon of underearning, you can escape.  Giving up the old familiar story might be scary, but think about it, which one is scarier, trapped in the dungeon of underearning or free, living a life of abundance?

So look at the stories you are telling yourself and question them.  Then change the ones that are not serving you on the path to living a Life of Abundance.

Love and peace,


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4 Responses to The stories we tell ourselves

  1. Catherine says:

    Hi Elín Anna,
    Thanks for this post. It’s so true that we women have been known to wait to be “rescued” or even just helped by someone else. Especially those of us who are a bit older and grew up in the dawn of feminism.

    I grew up with lots of myths: men should pay for everything, women aren’t smart enough to handle money, women *should* earn less, what we women do is less valuable than what men do. And of course, I think that men perpetuate that image because it would be scarey if all those powerful women out there came in to their own. I’m not saying that I think men keep us down as much as I say men buy into the picture just as we have. It is a rare man out there who encourages a woman to compete with him.

    I think attitudes really can be changed. But you have to practice it. At first it feels funny to say “I’m great with money,” but I think if we were to say that every day several times a day, we would eventually begin to believe it and the actions we take would change to make it true.

    Keep up the good work. Great articles.

  2. Karen says:

    This is a great post, very true. I am a middle-aged woman who was taught from childhood that my “career path” would be to grow up and hope to marry a successful man to support me. While I was waiting for the “one”, I was encouraged to be a secretary or work in some other administrative position. I always hated the idea, so when I was in high school, I asked my mother to help me gain financial aid for college. Well she almost hit the roof — in part because they didn’t have the money to send me to college so I should just let it be and not start trouble, and 2) a college education would be wasted when I most likely would “get married and “have babies.” I felt suffocated, angry and frightened. I had so many hopes and dreams but I bought into the lie my family fed me. Well, “Mr. Right/White Knight/Piggy Bank” came along for 15 minutes of married life and left me in worse financial shape than before.

    I spent years doing menial office work (not that I consider all office work menial, I do not. There is merit in every job) and all while dreaming of my true path … a career where I could use my intelligence and whatever God-given talents I possessed to do something I really loved. During the years spent years working in an office, I was “used and sometimes abused” all because I was working willingly and knowingly working under my capabilities, therefore having my supervisors “dump” more and more work and responsibilities on me simply because I could do it (and do it very well) while still accepting a meager paycheck. I was hesitant and afraid to ask for raises, or the salary I was worth within that capacity. I became like a hamster on a wheel — working just to survive and pay the rent, and most of the time, barely doing that. I am now pushing 50 and I have hit a brick wall. I finally get it. I’m swimming upstream, but as they say – you cannot change what you do not acknowledge as the truth.

    This is a wonderful website. Thank you.

  3. ElinAnna says:

    Karen, thank you for sharing your story. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with on your new journey. It is never to late to start on a new path. Make sure that you sign up for my free newsletter and e-course so you can attend any teleclass I have on this very subject. The sign-up is in the upper right hand corner of my blog.

    Love and peace,

  4. Bebhinn says:

    I love this post, it is very powerful in turning around that myth that we must be saved. We must reframe our thoughts. Indeed, we should be our own knights. Even the strongest women I know succomb to this myth that a man will make everything alright for them. It’s almost in the dna, it is so inherent in us. It is time we started to take care of ourselves. As pointed out in a previous response, I don’t think it is that men hold us back, as women, I think we hold ourselves back. We are our own worst enemies sometimes, and particularly when we have relationships with men. This is our Achilles heel. Let’s start being our own knights in shining armour!

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