money trouble

ADHD and Money: Why Mindset Matters

Day 5: Money Mindset

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In my experience there is a direct correlation between having adhd tendencies and money challenges. It’s not always that there’s not enough money, or that there’s not money available, or that there are problems doing the math of managing money, but rather there are issues around the topics of value, judgements, earning, saving, beliefs and what we make it all mean.

There are challenges with the mindset of money, which then makes money challenging.

To start with, I’m a “helper” by nature. I love to help others. I’m sure some of you can relate.

I was drawn to Major in Child Development in College (which by the way is an extremely fulfilling yet inherently underpaid profession). So out the gate I was a professional underearner, and remained one for about 10 years. I moved up the ranks (eventually to become the Program Director for a large school district) and still made less than $30k per year, often working 60 hours per week.

My next venture was a dance studio. I owned a dance studio.

As the parent of a dancer, I had always wondered about the high cost of costumes and recital tickets. It seemed so disproportionate for the level of dance (my daughter was 5 at the time). My vision was to do it differently, offering families a high-quality experience for a reasonable price. My program grew and grew, eventually hiring 13 instructors that I managed. Well over 2k children went through my studio in the span of 3 years. I poured my heart and soul into it, and while it was extremely rewarding I never actually drew a salary. Again, underearning.

My question was why?

It came down to a belief that I’d had for a very long time. It was buried so deep, I didn’t even realize it was there.

It sounds like this “I have to work twice as hard for half the pay as everyone else.”

I know, nice thought hunh?

How did I ever get that thought?

I believe it was because of where and when I was raised. It was meant to be protective and a gentle reminder to work hard and always do my best.

It was during the 1960’s and 1970’s and we lived in an all Caucasian neighborhood in Northern Ca. My dad was employed by the largest transit system in the Bay Area and there were a lot of things happening with affirmative action. At the time, there was a lot of inequality in the workforce if you were a minority. My dad saw and experienced much of it first hand and he wanted to instill a strong work ethic in us. It was honorable and came from a place of love. He wanted what was best for us and for us to succeed in society.

It was said in the vein of “remember you’re always going to have to put your best foot forward, make a good first impression, you only get one chance to make a first impression, you’ll have to work twice as hard, for half as much, but you can do it".

The problem was I already had a strong work ethic. I had an example of it in both of my parents. I was wired to want to please people. I wanted to do a good job.

This belief that my dad instilled in me took hold and my brain ran with it. And as brains often do, it ran down a path of it’s own, taking it to a whole new level.

My brain grasped hold of it and took it as literal truth. In some ways I was always operating from a fearful place of not being good enough, needing to work twice as hard for half as much.

My brain used it as a way to show me I was not good enough and not deserving of more pay. That to ask for more would be presumptuous, bold, out of line, unreasonable.

What I know now is negative thought = negative feeling = negative result.

My negative result was underearning.

The good news is that once I became aware of that thought, I noticed it. Saw it for what it was. A thought that I didn’t have to think anymore.

Instead I started to think “I work hard because I love to” “I overdeliver because I want to”.

Just this week I’ve landed on a new money thought that I love.

“It’s possible to make more than I’ve ever made this month.”

That thought creates excitement for me. It’s open to possibility. I work hard no matter what. I’m open to all of the value that comes with that.

It’s also a thought that can compound over time. So no matter the amount, it’s always open to grow.

If you’re reading this and you have adhd or adhd tendencies, chances are you have a belief about yourself, your ability or capability to earn more. Your story of how it got there may not be the same as mine. It doesn’t matter. If there’s a hidden belief that’s holding you back, it’s worth uncovering.

There was an episode last week shared on one of my favorite podcasts, The Life Coach School podcast with Brooke Castillo, called Underearning. She describes underearning as someone who is earning less then they’re capabale of, and they want to earn more. As I listened to this episode, it really resonated with me. It is the space that I lived in for most of my life. If this post resonated with you I’d encourage you to listen in. If you want to explore your money mindset, or just find out what that even means, book a 45-minute session via the button below. ~Shaun


What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed and Broke

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Did you know that the same culprit is at work when you're feeling overwhelmed and broke? Any idea what that culprit is?

Your thoughts!

Yes, your thoughts. Here's why that's important to know when you have ADHD tendencies. 

The problem is that when you struggle with ADHD tendencies, there are SO.MANY.THOUGHTS.

All of the time.

Did I mention all of the time? They just keep coming.

Thoughts are a double-edged sword.

When they are creative and positive, they help us feel fantastic and move us into productivity with our superhero like problem-solving ability. When they are negative and out of control, they can bring the strongest superwoman to her knees. They can sabotage everything just by showing up, swirling around and going unnoticed.

As you may already know, those of us gifted with non-neurotypical brains are the creative problem solvers of the world. We have this incredible ability to come up with solutions where none seemingly exist.

In fact, I've been told by a friend, that if the end of the world were here and we had to divide into teams to survive, she'd want to be on my team because she's seen my brain in action under pressure. It's something that I now embrace. A unique part of who I am. Us "tendency" people, we tend to do best under pressure. It's why you'll find many an ADHD tendency mind in careers such as firefighting, EMTs, Navy Seals, Entrepreneurs etc. The higher risk associated with these fields actually fits perfectly with the way our brains work. The adrenaline can pull us right into our sweet spot! Are you a person that loves a challenge? That plays into this too.

That's all fantastic but, remember, there is that dark side of thoughts too.

Let's go back to feeling overwhelmed and broke for a minute. These are two issues that many of my coaching clients struggle with. While there are things that are ADHD tendencies that contribute to the feeling of overwhelm, for example, the sheer number of thoughts happening at any given moment, the difficulty of prioritizing when you have an uncooperative Executive Function, the number of exciting distractions all around us (Ooh look a squirrel!), the truth is, the actual feeling of overwhelm comes from a thought or thoughts that we are thinking. 

Let's look at feeling broke. You do realize the word or condition of feeling broke is relative right?

I mean one womans broke is another womans aspiration and vice versa. Sure there are times you have less money in the bank, you are late on a credit card payment, you may not have enough to pay the bills, but when you really look at it, the feeling of broke comes from a thought that you are having about those things. Some of those thoughts sound like:

"I don't have enough"

"I should have more"

"I'm so bad with money" 

This is helpful to know for a few reasons. The main one is that we always want to blame a situation or person for how we feel. You may think you feel overwhelmed because your kids make a mess throughout the house and you can't keep up, or your boss expects you to get more done than you are able, or the daily demands of your life are too many and too hard to keep up with. It's your thoughts about all of that that is making you feel overwhelmed. 

You may think you're feeling broke because you're undervalued and not paid enough, or the cost of living is too high, or your ex didn't pay their child support. It's your thoughts about all of those things that is causing you to feel broke. 

The good news is that thoughts are in your control. All of those other things are not.

Not sure if you believe me? Book a 30-minute coaching consultation and let's take a look at what you're feeling and how you can make it better.