As is wont to happen on my walks I tend to allow the thoughts and ideas to freely flow through my mind while I am talking out the frustrations with myself. As I walked I inquired of my mind to pull up my first or most powerful childhood memory (memories) about money. They came up almost immediately and involved me feeling anxious, worried and the messages which came silently but strongly included the most poignant of them all, money is a scarce commodity, even more so for me whose mother is dead and father does not love me because he does not come to look for me or give any money to support me. I was adopted and am very grateful for my adoptive family, this in no way takes away from everything they did for me. However I unconsciously came away from these messages always feeling like there is never enough money, that I am not enough, not worthy. It was quite an intense realization for me, tears rolled down my eyes as I was walked and I saw how those deeply rooted beliefs informed my current contentious relationship with money. Always never having enough, always fighting to keep my head above water, always feeling guilty and second guessing my fees; being afraid to post my fees on my business website in case someone does not choose me. Even when I work at remarkable levels and produce superior work I have difficulty charging for my work or I get immediately defensive when challenged about my rates and inevitably low-ball myself if and when I do find the courage to ask for a fee that will reflect the work I put in.
Lately I’d been struggling because I have had quite a few requests to do work but all came with the expectation that I would either do it for free or take a deferred payment or do it for very little. Recent conversations with my accountability partner D, had revealed that I probably needed to fish in deeper more abundant waters for my contracts and clients, because fishing in the ‘community’ waters as it were, would not yield the kinds of money I wanted or should get. I keep working with clients who I know may not really be able to afford my worth or even if they could would not want to pay it. I realize now that it was because they represented that safe space for me where even if I did not get much at least I got something.
Against these revelations I looked more closely at the decision to walk away from that contract. Interestingly enough it was not a bad contract, it was a not too bad amount of money for the time and work required. It turns out though, that the reason for my walking away had a lot more to do with those early childhood memories coupled with feelings of condescension triggered by communication with the Project Coordinator. Some things left a not so good taste in my mouth and I was unwilling to enter a contract feeling as though I was being done a favor when in fact I was being paid for a service I would render. Of course the Coordinator is most likely unaware that some of her statements triggered these feelings in me and frankly it is not really important that she is aware nor is it her burden to bear. For me it is enough to now understand why even at the risk of losing Kilimanjaro I was willing to walk away from that contract. Was it worth it? YES the value gleaned from this introspection alone takes me to exactly where I want to be in my journey towards living life at the next level.
This turn of events obviously puts Kilimanjaro potentially on hold for a few months or maybe not. The gift that comes with digging deep and meeting your demons is that of conviction. The conviction to work through those demons and do better. In this case by the end of my walk I had come up with a few strategies to potentially make up the loss of that contract and get the dream back on track for December. It is a little late in the game but I have become the queen of impossible till it’s done so I am holding out on the dream; staying focused, continuing to train and push.
It was hard getting to the end of this post in part because so much happened internally on that 2.5hr walk. There was some shame, and a little feeling of failure having made all this hype that I am doing Kili at the end of the year and now facing the uncertainty that I might not be able to afford to do so. However by the end of the day I realized that Kili is not a dream lost but rather a dream possibly deferred to a later date than originally planned. Something which may actually bode well for my goal to raise awareness for my Charities and give me the time to do things bigger and better; sadly not so much for the wedding 😦
My walk was a paradox…I started out on a mild fall morning with bright blue skies, heavy of heart and unclear why. A beautiful Lake Ontario lapping peacefully at its shores, offered a calming to my spirit and an understanding that indeed all things are as they should be. I saw two older black couples trekking away on their own journeys and that made me smile. By the time I made my way back home, rain was threatening to fall and the skies were a darkening grey but my spirits soared and I felt wholly renewed.
What are your deep dark money demons? Have you stared them down and faced them yet? I very much recommend listening to the podcast with Natalie Sisson & Kate Northrup as a starting point if you haven’t. Better yet sign-up to take Kate’s Money Quiz to find out what your Money Love story might be! Who knows maybe you will have revelations of dream altering proportions!!
Interested in reading Part 1? Click Here
Till the next one I am yours always a Traveling Black Chick!
- Investment Lessons I Learned While Climbing Kilimanjaro (part three) (rlbrownfinancial.wordpress.com)
- To Dream Big (zaheedablog.wordpress.com)