This has been difficult to write, I am so close to holding back because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, or to judge me. But that is me, and my ego trying to pre-empt all of your reactions and that is not my business. What I want to do is share my experience because I think it might be useful to others. It may not be useful to all of you, but I hope that this reaches someone who needs to hear it.
I’ve had a block for a while about charging my worth. I am dedicated to offering value for money as I haven’t always had much disposable income. I want my products to be available to those who need them. For a while now I have been building a library of free resources, sharing as much as I can that is useful in the hope that it will reach those in need with ideas to manage stress during these difficult times.
Talking about money is sticky, isn’t it. We are conditioned to think that its crude, or vulgar. As a result, I have spent most of my life pretending that I had more than I did in order to fit in and spent well beyond my means for many, many years. This is a trap that I’m sure is familiar to some of you. We grow up being told that if we work hard, we will gain all the things that are due to us, a house decorated to match the interior magazines we buy, nice clothes to match the fashion magazines we buy, car (or cars) and holidays in exotic locations around the world. Then if we don’t earn enough to be able to afford those things it feels like we have failed. Have we not worked hard enough? Haven’t we played the game right? We keep trying, and striving, and it wears us down. That’s the grind isn’t it.
I remember back in my twenties, while working in the head office of a fashion retailer, earning around £16000 a year, reading a magazine with a bag which cost around £300 and I thought that that was quite reasonable. These same magazines told stories of fashionistas, winning at life by saving money eating noodles from a packet in order to scrape the money for one of these designer pieces. That bag would surely make everything better in our lives.
In hindsight, this is absolute madness of course. I don’t know if this is the message that fashion magazines are still peddling because I don’t buy them anymore. I’m sure that had I had any sense I could have made that wage support me, but I didn’t and I borrowed and borrowed to make it seem like I was living the life I was supposed to be. I didn’t even buy the bag! But I did spend on clothes and eat and drink in restaurants and bars that I could not afford so that I could feel fancy. Like I was living the dream. It’s funny, and also very sad.
I’m sure that not many people are quite as foolish as I was, however, my point is that in many ways we are all sold this idea of how our lives should be, and therefore what things we should buy to fit in and succeed at this life. It might not be clothes for you, it might be something else. And when we struggle there can be a lot of misunderstanding about how we got there.
There is a lot of shame and guilt associated with addressing this stuff. Underlying beliefs that drive the way we behave. Did I overspend to make myself feel like I was good enough to fit in with others when perhaps I didn’t feel like I deserved to be there?
A grammer school boy, my father was deeply working class, with a chip on his shoulder because he neither fitted in with his family, or with the intellectual middle class that he probably could have been a part of if he had really wanted to. I probably soaked up that sense of not fitting in, and the awkwardness that goes with that is easily masked by buying the right clothes, or hanging out with the right people in the right places. Even if that means spending every penny you have on one dinner out with friends. I remember the so familiar feeling of dread and sickness as the bill would come and I would pray that my card would not be declined in front of everyone.
I have done so much work around this stuff over the last year. I felt like it was my duty to address it, as a hypnotherapist, I needed to walk the talk and use the tools to overcome these limiting beliefs and behaviours that were affecting not just me, but my family. With the help of Catherine Morgan, money coach, I have totally turned my way of thinking around. I got help, and it really worked. Changing your beliefs changes your behaviour. But what I am learning as well is that it isn’t necessarily a job that is done once, and ticked off the list. I still have work to do. I want to share this because what has helped me, can help you too if this resonates and sounds familiar. You can change our beliefs and behaviour, and it’s OK to reach out to someone else for help and support. You don’t have to do it alone.
This is a note to self, and to anyone else who is suffering with limiting beliefs:
You deserve it. You deserve it as much as anyone else. You are loving and kind and you care about your work and your family and your community. You have needs too. It’s OK to charge what you are worth.
So, I am increasing my drop-in rate to £8 per session.
And my Yoga membership to £30 for any new members as of next week.
This is your last chance to get the membership at £20 per month.
Founding members will keep the £20 rate forever.
The online course is going up to £24 – last chance to get at £12.
New pricing will take affect from Monday next week.
Frances Robertson-Ritchie, Yoga teacher and hypnotherapist