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How To Stop Feeling Money Shame

Did you know that shame is the most common emotion associated with personal finances for working adults in the U.S., UK and Canada?

Why do so many of us feel shame or guilt when it comes to money and finances in general? For the majority of us, it all comes down to our past money stories and our current money mindset.

Money mindset has multiple definitions. But one way to define money mindset is "What you think and how you feel about money."

Money Mindset

The way to build or reset your money mindset isn't by looking in the mirror and repeating "I'm rich, I'm wealthy, I have more money than I could ever need..." Positive affirmations can be beneficial! But it shouldn't be the only step you take in order to master your mindset. Actionable items are essential.

The good news is that you can build your money mindset or reset your money mindset by putting in just a little work. If you just feel a little stressed paying bills when an unexpected expense came up for the month, you may just need to do one or two money mindset exercises. Or, if you're like me, you'll need to check-in on your money mindset every 3-6 months to ensure slow but steady progress when it comes to managing emotions about money.

Business Finances

If you're a CEO, aspiring CEO, entrepreneur or any kind of business owner, you have the added responsibility of managing your business finances. Even if you outsource most of that work and just check-in with your accountants from time to time, your business finances are on your mind regularly.

If the thought of money brings up strong negative emotions, you're likely holding yourself back subconsciously from breaking through the glass ceiling of your income. Scaling your business requires creativity to generating revenue and one way to do that is by increasing your prices. But, do you feel shame or guilt about moving into a new level of income? Or, maybe the emotion that comes up is fear. Many fear that they will become greedy or selfish with an abundance of income. Others may be tempted to take huge risks that they wouldn't otherwise take.

Check-in On Your Money Mindset

In order to recognize any potential pain-points that you have when it comes to your money story, you need to take action and do some inner work. Commit to doing one of each of the below 3 mindset exercises over the next 3 days. You'll understand your current money mindset and lay a strong foundation for having positive thoughts and feelings towards your personal and business finances by day 4.

Free Workbook: If you'd like to save and/or print the below exercises, grab your free copy of "Mastering Your Money Mindset With 3 Quick Exercises"!

Money Mindset Exercises

Step 1: Ask Yourself...

When you read the word "money" - what is your first emotion?

When you hear the word "finance" - what is your first thought?

Those words have popped up throughout this article. So, when you first started reading, did you feel hopeful, anxious, neutral or shame? Just take note of your initial thoughts and feelings towards money.

Step 2: Assessment

Next, take 3-5 minutes to do a money management self-assessment. You may find that you want to find a budgeting app for personal finances and that you want to schedule a consultation with a bookkeeper. Or, you may recognize that you're not consistently contributing towards retirement, despite that being a priority. Take note of what is and isn't working for you with your money management.

That will help you see what actionable steps you can take to begin to gain confidence in yourself with money management, helping you to build a strong money mindset.

Step 3: Self-Talk

Remind yourself that you have control over your finances. You have the power to make changes so that you can feel confident and secure.

It will take some work and time to achieve confidence and security. But if you commit to it, you can do it. It is way easier said than done, so find an accountability partner. It may be a partner that supports your money mindset journey, friend, therapist or finance coach. Affirmations that can help you include:

  • I am in control of my money story.

  • I use my money as a tool to benefit myself, friends, family and strangers.

  • I have the skills and access to resources to manage my money quickly and with confidence.

Step 4: Forgive Yourself

This exercise is difficult. I do it often but always find more to forgive. I recommend it to coaching clients, as well, but remind them that it can be emotionally draining.

When you do this exercise in financial forgiveness, don't pay bills directly after or make big decisions.

Physically write out a list of money "mistakes" you feel you've made.


  • Taken on credit card debt.

  • Missed a bill payment accidentally.

  • Made a risky investment.

  • Lost money on a business idea.

Once you've written down everything you can think of. Re-read them and acknowledge how they are major contributors to your current feelings of shame or guilt when it comes to money. Then, cross each mistake off and burn or rip the paper up.

Do this once a week until you really begin to feel lighter about those memories.

There are dozens of money mindset exercises out there. Everyone benefits from different ones, you just need to find what works best for you. If you'd like to gain instant access to the 3 most powerful money mindset exercises I use as a money coach with my clients, click here to grab your free copy of a mini money mindset exercise workbook.

Questions? Comment or email

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