Financial VulnerabilityJun 09, 2023
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it is our greatest measure of courage -Brenè Brown
Vulnerability scares almost everyone. So, if it scares you, don’t feel ashamed. You’re in good company. The reason it scares most people is because of judgment and self-judgment.
Vulnerability means exposing the parts of ourselves that we have judged negatively. If you were proud of something, it wouldn’t scare you to open up about it, quite the opposite. If you were proud of your child or the relationship you had with your child, you wouldn’t feel vulnerable when speaking about them. If you were ashamed of your child or the relationship you had with them, then it would take courage to be vulnerable.
So, the question is, how do you feel when it comes to speaking openly about your financial situation? If you feel vulnerable, then that is a direct indicator that you have judged your financial situation in life negatively. It is almost impossible to judge something that personal to you and not judge yourself as well.
When we are open and vulnerable about ourselves, something we love, or someone close to us, we are worried that others will judge the situation the same way we judge the situation and confirm our worst nightmares. Think about it like this, if you told someone about your financial situation and they shrugged it off as no big deal, would you still feel vulnerable?
This means there are two challenges to even becoming open and vulnerable about our financial situation. You have to get past your own judgment before you even speak to someone else, and you have to discern the difference between constructive and destructive criticism from others. Plus, you have to be able to use constructive criticism wisely, if that is the reason you are being vulnerable about your finances in the first place.
You can be vulnerable about your financial situation and not want constructive feedback. The only reason for this is to get in the habit of being vulnerable. To face the fear or the boogieman that is in your head in order to take its power away. You may practice this with someone who loves you unconditionally and can hold a safe space for your vulnerability before opening up to a financial shaman or anyone you want constructive feedback from.
Getting Past Self-Judgment
I could write an entire book about financial self-judgment and what a juggernaut it is to unravel and defeat. In our society, we have placed so much pressure on ourselves to have our finances figured out without help. It has become like the grading system we use for success in life.
Just like with school, when you are tested, you are not supposed to share the results of the test, especially if you are ashamed of that grade. Well, when we feel like we are failing the test of life based on our financial situation, it makes it that much more difficult to be vulnerable.
Self-judgment always comes from how your parents judged you when you were a child. The constant need for their attention and approval made you jump through hoops to get their conditional love. This happens to everyone no matter how amazing your parents were throughout your childhood. This is our collective obedience training that indoctrinates everyone to conditional love or the conditioning process.
As soon as you recognize that you are judged for the first time as a child, you immediately adopt self-judgment. You do this subconsciously in an attempt to win the approval of your parents. You believe that if you judge yourself how they judge you, or at least understand how they judge you, then you can avoid the negative judgment and the withdrawal of conditional love that comes with it. Essentially, if you can stop yourself from being a bad girl or a bad boy before they do, then you will only get the reward of love that you seek.
This self-judgment goes unnoticed until it causes stress like when it comes to financial vulnerability. The easiest way to begin unraveling self-judgment is to study evolution. What I mean is that with things that constantly evolve, you can see that they are always the best version of themselves while simultaneously knowing that they will be improved upon.
The easiest example of this is with technology. Even if you have the most cutting-edge computer or smartphone, you may still get an alert for updates this very day. Meaning that even though it is the best now it is constantly being updated to stay on the cutting edge of evolution. Well, why can’t you perceive yourself the same way?
When you are vulnerable and you are asking for honest constructive feedback, what you are really asking for is a software update of your subconscious programming. The indicator that your programming is outdated is the negative emotions you feel when you focus on your financial situation.
Have you ever had an older model computer or phone that needs to be rebooted more often than not? The operating system starts to crash if not restarted often because there are so many bugs in the system. Well if you are getting upset all the time with life, then it is safe to say you need to have your programming updated to harmonize with life and run smoothly.
If your finances are causing you stress, then you need a technician to look at the finances and the symptoms they are causing within you. Before you start thinking that this blog is a sales pitch for you to work with me or for you to buy my products, just know that you can be your own technician. You don’t need anyone else to help you update your outdated belief systems. However, you will need objective distance or an outside point of view.
What if all negative emotion was an indicator that some part of your mind was lying to you? What better way to go toward evolution than to feel bad if you don’t? -The Lucky One
Your Heart’s Perspective
A singular perception only benefits the ego. Said differently, if you only have one way to look at something then you can’t update that perception. You only have the choice of how much you believe that singular perception, but you don’t have anything to replace it with.
What this means is that you will need to understand how to find new perceptions of your financial situation to relieve financial stress. Being vulnerable and opening up to someone is one way to get another perception. The more people you open up to the more perceptions you receive. However, the most important perception is your heart’s perception.
Your higher self speaks to you through your heart. This is technically the only perception of yourself and your financial situation you need. I say technically because to be able to get to that perception takes practice. Imagine your higher self is high on a mountain top and you are walking through the valley below. The heart can see everything while you can only see what is in front of you.
Now let’s switch analogies and go to the classic perception analogy of the glass of water filled to the middle. If you have only ever seen the glass as half empty, you literally don’t have a choice in what you perceive. However, once another perception is introduced, that being the glass is also half full, then you have a choice in how you want to perceive the glass.
Your heart or higher self’s perception of your financial situation will always feel best to you. If you want to feel good about your financial situation you will have to find another perception and identify how each of them feels.
For instance, if you were taught growing up that “there is never enough money,” then when you perceive your financial situation will feel terrible because most likely, it isn’t enough. But that is just a perception, not necessarily the truth. When your higher self tells you through your heart that “there is always enough money when you follow your heart,” then you can look at the exact same financial situation and feel different. Then you have a choice in the way you want to feel.
To test this theory or understanding of financial emotional intelligence try shifting to a darker perception and see how it feels. If you see your money situation as not good enough then you could shift darker by thinking that you are going to be evicted, eating out of garbage cans, or that the Universe has abandoned you or doesn’t care about you. How do you think you would feel with that perception? Emotional intelligence always gives you a choice in the way you want to feel through understanding how you perceive anything you focus upon.
People only see what they are prepared to see -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stairway To Heaven
If you recognize that how you perceive anything directly correlates to how you feel about what you perceive, then I’m going to go ahead and assume you want to feel good more of the time. If you want to feel bad or are attached to your misery, reading on will not help fulfill your enjoyment of misery.
If you want to feel good about your financial situation, then you are going to have to cultivate a choice in the way you perceive it. You will have the choice between your outdated perception and your higher self’s perception. When you find your heart’s perception or higher self’s perception, then you have the choice to adopt that perception or not.
Here comes the fun part. Your practiced outdated perceptions will not want to be removed. Like every other living thing on this planet, they are very much vested in their own survival. It will be like getting a career politician or a dictator out of office. They have grown fat on being able to control the situation due to no other perception opposing their rule. Said differently, you have practiced these old perceptions so much they have become habits and to create new neural pathways you must recognize that the old ones are more worn in.
If creating new habits were easy, we would see a completely different world. For example, there is still violence on this planet. This means that even though we can see that violence does not help us evolve, we are slow to change the habit of reaching for violence instead of using conflict resolution skills.
Awareness is the key to all change. To change your financial situation, you will first need to develop an awareness of how you perceive money and finances now. This awareness will lead to understanding your current relationship with money. Meaning that how you currently perceive money will indicate your decision-making process when it comes to finances.
Before you make any decisions about money from now on, you want to recognize how the options you have to choose from make you feel. Abundance begins with an abundance of perceptions. When you have multiple perceptions of a situation then you have a choice and are not a lemming keeping your financial situation stuck on a hamster wheel.
The higher perception of anything the better you will feel. Listening to your heart’s perception will lead to better decision-making. As always, these things take practice and time. Nothing changes overnight. The point is to evolve by evolving perception, not get attached to how long it takes to see a change in physical reality. Better decision-making cannot help but lead to better results eventually.
Don’t focus your life on success, focus on making a change. There, you will find success -Kelvin Osaghe
Vulnerability Leads To Change
Are you feeling a little better about being vulnerable with your financial situation? If nothing else, just being vulnerable with yourself is enough. Can you admit to yourself that you don’t have life and money all figured out? That is an important first step in the process of evolution.
If you were to hold tightly to your denial that you indeed have money and life all figured out, then your misery will only intensify, not go away. Denial never feels good when the bubble inevitably bursts. Let the fear of being vulnerable simply be an indicator of where you are. Don’t let that fear stop you from being vulnerable.
Now we need to talk about the fear of judgment from others. Ultimately, the fear of all judgment outside of you stems from the fear of not getting the love you want. When you are raised on conditional love, it is difficult to not be a perfectionist. At least when it comes to measuring yourself as adequate or lovable.
There is a massive difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Constructive criticism will be given in the energy of helping you to grow. It will typically have the steps you need to help you evolve within the feedback itself. By contrast, destructive criticism will have the energy of shame built into it and it will typically be about something you cannot change which will make you feel not good enough.
Let’s use an example to illustrate. Let’s say you finally open up to someone about your financial life. Then they say to you something like, “Thank you for sharing this with me. I think you need to focus more on finding your heart’s calling than making more income at a job you don’t love.” That would be constructive criticism. Destructive criticism would sound something like this, “Wow, you are really in a bad spot, you are going to have to save a lot of money starting now to even think about retirement.”
Now the destructive criticism still had steps that “could” help you, but the energy was that you are far behind or in a hole. This will naturally bring shame. When people use destructive criticism, they do it for only two reasons. The first reason is that they are insecure, and you make them feel like you are above them, so they need to tear you down to their level to make themselves feel better. You would never destructively criticize or tear down people you felt superior to or equal to. Next, you use destructive criticism to manipulate others. The example line I used is what most people hear from financial professionals in order to manipulate clients into giving them their money to manage.
Just so you know from someone who has been in the financial industry for over a dozen years, 70% of all financial advisors and financial professionals are broke. They live paycheck to paycheck. This is mostly because they can’t update their own programming when they look at their finances. They can help others because they have objective distance, but when it comes to helping themselves, they are stuck with the financial perceptions they were raised with.
Being able to discern the difference between constructive and destructive criticism will make it far easier to be vulnerable about your finances, or anything for that matter. You must discard destructive criticism as soon as you hear it. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person it came from. It typically comes from toxic people with low self-esteem you might consider removing from your life.
When it comes to constructive criticism, some of it may be necessary to adopt and incorporate now, and some of it will be for later. The only way to know which is which is to ask your heart. Always remember, if you are not following your heart, what are you following?
I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose because settling is the worst feeling in the world -Rihanna