I’m learning not to be ashamed of the life I live. I grew up never raising my hand in class not wanting to let anyone know I was a smart overachiever (yes I always did my homework and I lied and said I didn’t). Additionally, I didn’t want to raise my hand and have the wrong answer either. I’m not sure why I developed this habit but it traveled with me for the majority of my life until I realized I was an overachieving perfectionist spiraling out of control with anxiety. That never wanting to be wrong life is rough!!!
I now realize money gave me the same feelings. I knew and felt I didn’t make enough money, definitely not even close to what most believe attorneys make. But I was also afraid to show others that despite my income or lack thereof I had assets to show for the little that I did have. I bought my first house in 2011.
As I reflected on my actions I realized shame was at the center of my thoughts and feelings of money and my self worth. I'm still working on my WHY, but the first step is admitting you have a problem right?
Given my newfound understanding, I have designated this (i.e. where ever I am) a NO SHAME ZONE.
The wealth I have built and continue to build came with sacrifice. I don’t have luxury cars anymore. I did when I lived in Hawaii 10 years ago, which I’m sure you can believe was a horrible choice given how expensive that island is.
But I could afford it so "why not was the attitude". What I didn't know was I was missing out on building wealth and losing something precious I could never get back, Time. Eventually, I slowly changed my ways. I moved in with my mom while in school and definitely overstayed my welcome (despite already owning a house that I still own to this day) and having enough income to rent a place. But she welcomed me anyway and I love and appreciate her for being there for me.
Needless to say, it was not a glamorous life. But what gives me joy about all this sacrifice is knowing that my child has more money in the bank and invested than most adults (including me sometimes) all because I shifted my priorities and went against the grain to do something bigger than me. Build generational wealth she and her family don't have to start from scratch. Why be ashamed of that? I don’t know where this newfound no shame life will take me but I’m excited.
If you harbor any shame, get rid of it. It's holding you back.
My advice, raise your hand, talk about money, and understand that being wrong isn't the end of the world. It’s never too late to start.