I worked 3 jobs to pay for my undergrad at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
My mom was unemployed and had no money and my uncle was going through financial difficulties.
My dad could have helped me pay for university but we’d had a fight about something (can’t remember what) in my first year and I was proving a point that I didn’t need him in my life.
And since he was the only adult who could help me; I ended up working 3 jobs to pay my bills.
I won’t lie, times were hard - I barely had money for food (I would skip meals to save money for rent and transport) and was always sleep deprived.
At some point, one of my friends forced me to go to the financial aid office to ask for help and it turned out that I was on the Dean’s List and was able to get a little bit of funding for my studies.
My friends had to beg me to take money from my mother and to apply for a student loan.
I only took the money from my mom because I was at the end of my tether; I remember feeling so ashamed that I took money from my mom, like I’d failed in some way.
Even in all my financial struggles, I had a very hard time receiving money.
This inability to receive money and allow money into my life has been one of my greatest entrepreneurial challenges.
It was a huge contributor to the collapse of my first business because it’s not enough to ask for money from clients and the universe, you also need to be energetically open to receive the money you asked for.
Why do we block ourselves from receiving money?
1. The fear that the cost of the money we’re receiving is too high
Growing you I’d see how the adults around me would behave when they received gifts - they’d ooh and aah over the gift for a few minutes and then soon start discussing how they could pay back the giver.
They weren’t talking about financial pay back - they were discussing a better gift to give the giver.
And if someone gave them big money, then that person wouldn’t just be gifted but also be treated like God.
The lesson I learned from this was that every gift must be reciprocated and the bigger the gift, the bigger the reciprocation.
My fear with receiving money was always that I’d be expected to reciprocate money in some way and that the price would be high, because the bigger the amount of money, the higher the reciprocation.
Most of us hold this belief, which is why we block ourselves from receiving or making “big” money, because we believe that to make lots of money, we need to work twice as hard and since most of us are already working so hard, we opt out of making more money in favor of rest.
But what if making and receiving more money is actually what will give/buy us more time to rest because suddenly we can afford to hire help?
2. Having to live up to the giver’s expectations
As a child I learned that when people give you things, they usually expect you to pay for those gifts by behaving in a particular manner and they get angry when you don’t.
When I was in primary school my mom took me to an orthodontist to straighten my teeth. The orthodontist prescribed plates.
He suggested that I learn to eat with the plates so that I don’t lose them.
Especially since those things were very uncomfortable to eat with.
So of course, I‘d go to school and take off the plates when I ate.
Until one day, I lost the plates.
When my mom found out what had happened, she lost it and beat me everyday for a week and told me she’d never spend money on my teeth ever again because I was determined to be ugly.
And true to her word - my mom never took me to a dentist or orthodontist ever again.
I learned to take myself to dentists and to look after myself at a young age.
This incident taught me that receiving comes at a cost to the receiver, so like most people I started being wary of gifts.
Most people tend to give with high expectations from the receiver and then get upset when the receiver doesn’t live up to those expectations.
It’s the same with money; of us will block large amounts of money because we’re scared of the expectations that come with that money.
We assume that higher paying clients or jobs are more demanding and would have higher expectations than lower paying clients or jobs and we fear disappointing them so we settle for less money.
3. We don’t feel worthy/ deserving or good enough
We’ve been taught that we need to be something or someone either than who we are in order to receive the things that we want.
Often we block receiving because we don’t believe we’re good enough to get the money we’re asking for and think that we need to be perfect and delay our own receiving.
We create our own hurdles and believe we need to first get a Masters or PhD or an extra certificate before we can make or receive the money we want.
What if we are enough as we are, in this moment?
Click the video below to learn more on this topic:
How do you feel about receiving “big” money?
What do you think is blocking you from receiving the money that you want?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.