After the success of the Confidence EmpowHER event in November last year, we were honored to provide The Glow Effect with a Money Belief Index for their recent event in LA called, EmpowHER: Crush Money Blocks & Raise Your Worth. This half-day conference-like workshop was built on the same event-design principles that I discussed previously with Glow Effect Founder, Saren Stiegel, but, this time, gave females the opportunity to explore money beliefs and their impact on feelings of self-worth and success.
The impact of Money Beliefs is not always understood. As Saren explains, “Money Beliefs impact how you spend, save, invest, and achieve your version of success. More importantly, they impact how you feel about yourself. More than having financial knowledge, Money Beliefs determine whether you’re gaining or losing power from your relationship with money.”
“The Money Belief Index helped give a holistic view of what these beliefs are in practice. It’s not just ‘Oh, I have money in my bank account’; it pulls you into a more holistic understanding; internal, emotional, and, decision-making. Money and confidence are two words that we throw around all the time. We also talk a lot about beliefs, but it is rare to take a second to truly understand what they are, and how they are ultimately ruling our lives,” Saren says.
At EffectUX we spend our time researching and creating Experience Indexes that decompose complex business and individual goals, or experience visions, into easy-to-digest success factors that enable people to really understand their current state, barriers, and opportunities on their path to achievement of the goal.
For the Money Belief Index, we wanted to really encourage focused reflection to bring tangible context for the entire Money Belief exploration. As one event attendee explained to us: “Before we even entered conversations, the Index really brought it home for people in a clear and concise way. It enabled us to understand that to identify empowerment and disempowerment in Money Beliefs we have to look at behaviors, thinking, and, actions in the world.”
What the Money Beliefs Index Covered
Using our approach to understanding factors of success, the Index focused on 12 factors across 3 drivers:
- Internal Beliefs: Your values and thought-system in relation to money and its role in life.
- Conscious Decisions: The process of thought in making intentional, value-based choices related to money.
- Emotional Relationship: The association between money, sentiment, and emotional experience.
After the event, some key insights demonstrate that many of us share similar Money Belief blocks. Here are the four common barriers that drain female leaders’ confidence around money:
1. Rationalizing poor financial planning and not taking accountability.
While many of the women at the event knew they needed to save and prepare for their future, the majority were not taking action. Some rationalized that they hadn’t gotten around to it because of a lack of time and others felt that they lacked information.
There was a perceived notion that financial planning takes a lot of time and effort, or that it is overwhelming, complex, and difficult. This belief can act as a barrier to even taking the first step in financial planning.
From our research, people with empowering money beliefs tend to play an active role in their financial planning. They take accountability (and do not make excuses) for their own actions regarding planning for their future in a way that still enables them to make the most of their present life.
2. Getting stressed about money.
A large majority of event attendees saw money as limiting their ability in pursuing their desired life. This was causing them to feel stressed or frustrated. These lower emotional vibrations can act as barriers by obscuring the sight of what one presently possesses and discovering new paths to achievement.
People with empowering money beliefs tend not to let the lack of money or the need for money make them stressed. This enables them to enjoy what they have, which, in turn, gives them a better chance at creating more experiences and achieving more.
3. Not having a logical attitude towards debt and not making conscious choices.
A majority of event attendees found it difficult to understand when to spend money, which can block us from enjoying life in meaningful ways, as well as making intentional decisions.
People with empowering money beliefs tend to have a logical attitude towards debt. While they make very conscious decisions to live within their means, which assures that they do not let guilt or stressful financial situations block their growth, they will also balance this by making “productive purchases”. They tend to spend money on things that improve their wellbeing, move them towards their desired future, or help others. This enables them to understand when spending more is acceptable to them, and when it isn’t.
4. Not being comfortable to talk about money.
The majority of attendees preferred not to converse about money, and if they have to, prefer to communicate in written form. Discomfort in talking about money can prevent people from having difficult conversations that really impact their lives, for example, asking for a raise.
In contrast, people with empowering money beliefs tend to be comfortable talking about money with others. Whether discussing a debt, asking for a raise, or negotiating a sale, they feel just fine to speak openly about the topic.
The Common Strengths
Not correlating money with their own happiness.
The majority of the female leaders understood that an unhappy person that then earns or obtains more money will still be an unhappy person - just that now, they are an unhappy person with money.
People that have empowering money beliefs tend not to correlate the amount of money they have with their internal happiness. Understanding the true drivers of happiness can empower us to seek success beyond money.
Understanding that money is not the same as wealth.
Many of the attendees understood that wealth is not the same as money. This is important because it encourages living a more fulfilling and enriched life as wealth is not viewed as something quantifiable, it is instead viewed as a mindset; a state of appreciation that can be accumulated by experiences, relationships, and connections.
While many people say they are grateful for what they have, sometimes they only project this outwardly and do not feel it internally. The difference we found in people with empowering beliefs is that they tend to be driven by ideas, by a desire to make a genuine difference, or by something other than money itself. Having true gratitude for what they presently possess allows everything beyond that to be an added bonus.
Furthermore, empowering Money Beliefs relies on building an understanding of personal values; so that where you spend your money can also align with your value system. This is the key to empowering your state of mind and includes the added benefits of having less stress, increased enjoyment, and the creation of an abundance mindset.
At the end of the day, awareness is the first step to development. Being conscious of the relationship between thoughts and behaviors allows people to grow their emotional awareness, make powerful decisions, and see optimal outcomes. As one EmpowHER event attendee said, “the results were spot on. While I had empowering money beliefs, the index was able to identify the one area where I got a low score, and this one area was throwing off the whole thing.”
So in the battle to overcome the barriers and promote women’s confidence around the difficult issue of money, Saren’s top take-away from the event was that “a woman’s education, experience and community are not an accurate reflection of her internal money beliefs. If I could tell women one action to take today, it would be just that, to take action. Do not ignore money, avoid it, or justify past behaviors. Talk to someone, start reading about it, or assess your current state. Just do something. If you keep going without action, you will stay in the same place.” Lastly, a huge thank you to all the women that made the event a success!