I just finished reading a lovely book about the magical Waverley women*. If you are a Waverley, you are odd but have a talent that borders on the magical. The Matteson men in the story are prominent business leaders while the Young’s are known for their physical strength. It is a source of pride for some, rebellion for others, but the stories about these families are long-lived and well-known. It makes it easy to know where everyone stands.
Of course, not everyone is ever any one thing all the time and certainly all members of a family aren’t the same. It is interesting the myths that can surround people or families, and it reminded me of a woman who approached me after one of my presentations. She told me how her father always talked about the “Smith family money curse.” The curse being that every time they got a little ahead, something came along to wipe out the reserves. The woman had heard the stories so often that she, and everyone, just believed that their family couldn’t get ahead. (Of course, the other way to view this is that they are fortunate to have extra resources in a time of trouble, but that’s a different blog!)
The interesting thing is the stories. The stories hold the power and can shape our beliefs. What stories are told about your family, both your immediate family and your family of origin? In particular, what money stories surround you and your people? Was grandpa known as someone “with the Midas touch” or maybe someone who had “a hole in his pocket?” Maybe great-grandma was a financial whiz who was ahead of her time (and hopefully handed down this great skill to her kids and grandkids.)
Stories can be powerful because they create beliefs. Those beliefs will take on a life of their own if our faith in them is strong enough. The big question is whether those beliefs are serving you and moving you in a positive direction. If they are, facts don’t really matter. Cling to those stories: “yes, I have grandpa’s Midas touch.” Go with it! If the beliefs are not so great and are holding you back, let’s dig for facts and start dispelling the myth. Even if grandpa had a “hole in his pocket,” you can carefully examine your own pockets and shore up all those seams! It is your choice. Just as the Smith daughter made the choice not to participate in the Smith family money curse, you can choose which part of the family lore you’d like to own and which you can leave to the mists of time.
To your financial stories and the success they may bring,
*First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (but read Garden Spells first as you’ll want to meet the Waverley’s properly.) These are perfect books for a cold day when curling up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a great book are a perfect escape from the drudgery of your to-do list.