One of the things I do for living is speak about personal finance all over South Africa.
I find it fascinating how many young women come up to me and say, “Your parents and family must be so proud…”
At first I’d just dismiss this but now I’ve started telling them the truth – “I don’t know.”
The truth is, all I ever wanted was my parents’ approval
I lived for the day when I’d hear my parents say how proud they were of me.
I thought getting an MBA would do it, then I thought publishing a book would do it…
But then the book was published and a month later my mom asked me what was so special about writing a book and how writing a book made my life better.
My dad simply said, “So you wrote a book. Congratulations. I read it but what’s the hype, it’s all common sense.”
I’d never felt so hurt before – it was the opposite reaction to what I’d hoped for; I thought my heart would never stop breaking.
During a coaching session with my coach, I had this incredible epiphany – my mom was simply saying what I really believed deep down.
I can’t explain how grateful I am for my parents’ reaction with regards to getting my book published.
See, I didn’t think writing a book was special; I was waiting for my family to tell me it was special and only then would I feel proud of myself.
I didn’t know how to validate myself without family approval or validation.
But it was never about them. It was always about me and how I choose to relate to me and my achievements.
The one mistake we make with money when it comes to family
Most of us are petrified to follow our dreams or stand up to family members when they ask for financial; help because we’re too busy trying to win their approval.
The danger with this is we never put ourselves first.
We do what’s expected of us; outside we’re the nice girls and boys but inside we harbor a lot of resentments.
Not only that, but we also put ourselves under pressure to succeed to keep getting the approval.
And because we’re trying to win our family’s approval we stretch ourselves thin financially as we spend most of our salary to help others out, even when we don’t have enough for ourselves.
I saw this first hand with my mom, who spent her life trying to win over her parents’ approval by being the golden child - doing the right thing and supporting her siblings and their children.
By the time we went to high school my mom, had spent most of her investments on her siblings’ children and could no longer pay for our education and because she’d always been the main bread winner in the extended family, no one could help her or us.
In the end she felt used and unappreciated for her efforts, which led to a broken family; I haven’t spoken or seen to my mom’s family since my teens.
How my family became my greatest fans
For us to grow and play a bigger game, we have to release the need for approval and accept that we are enough as we are.
I stopped trying to take everyone with me on my journey and started making it about the journey; which lifted a lot of pressure off me and changed my approach to my business and eventually changed my finances.
As I changed, my family’s response to what I do has changed:
- Some of my family members have been my best paying coaching clients and my greatest fans
- My dad keeps the book at his pharmacy and shows it to every customer that walks through the door and is an amazing brainstorming partner for all my business ventures
- My mom has gotten most of her friends to buy my book and was my right hand at the workshop I held last month. She’s become a total fan
Of course there’s a lot more to this story and will be sharing this in the next teleclass.
What mistake are you making with money because of family dynamics?
Let’s talk money, family & changing money karma in the next teleclass (click on the image below for more information):