When I went through my coach training, we used various metaphor tools to help illuminate how we felt about different areas of our lives. An example of this would be to consider your answer to the following question:
If your money was a person, place or thing to you, what would it be?
Some of the answers I’ve heard to this question are:
- Money is a lion and I never know if he is going to pounce on me and eat me or not even see me . . .
- Money is an alligator in my neighborhood and I have to sneak out so he doesn’t chase me all over the place . . .
- Money is a group of scary monsters in the corner that I can never quite see, but who is always there waiting, menacing . . .
You get the idea. How you describe your metaphor is how you describe your relationship to money. It can be useful to help a person clarify the emotional dynamics that hold them back from a better money relationship. But I’ve noticed for other people, they become mired in the metaphor and never make the transition to a sunnier money picture.
What Do You WANT Your Money To Be?
For me, my money metaphor was never that scary. When I was first asked this question, Tribbles popped into my mind (those things on the old Star Trek that used to multiply endlessly). There wasn’t a whole lot I could do with that to improve my thinking, so I never really worked with that (Or, I should say, I wasn’t inspired to work with that). But recently, I came across a NEW question:
If your money were a kind of plant, tree or flower, what would you want it to be?
The thing that IMMEDIATELY popped into my head was a white Daisy. Simple, pure, easily grown just about anywhere, hardy (not that I know a lot about flowers; this is my perception of a daisy). I don’t necessarily think daisies are the prettiest flower, but for some reason, the simplicity and lack of pretension appealed to me.
Then it occurred to me, a lot of times my financial planner background and upbringing makes me treat my money like it was an ORCHID—which I associate with constant tending, high maintenance, meticulous, fussy and easy to kill.
So very quickly after thinking about this metaphor, I had developed decision criteria for the money in my life: Make Daisy decisions instead of orchid decisions. What does a daisy decision look like?
- Choosing simple and easily executed actions over complicated and convoluted ones.
- Believing that the money coming into your life “pops up” like daisies do, instead of requiring constant maintenance like an orchid.
- Instead of believing that getting your money requires hard work, believing that your money is hardy and easily grown just about anywhere you’d like.
- Letting things grow where they will, instead of constantly trying to herd everything into the green house.
I’m still playing with this metaphor, but I know that every day I’ve meditated on it, I feel a weight released—that weight of expectation that I have to “do” something to maintain my money. When I believe my money is like a daisy, all I have to do is trust that it’s growing on its own—no maintenance by me required! And strange coincidence—I’m having a better-than-average month for new clients!
Actions This Week:
- Answer the question: How do you want your money to be in your life? If your money were a kind of plant, tree or flower, what would you want it to be?
- Find the contrast: How has your money previously been for you, and how does a new flower, plant or tree metaphor help? How does it change your decision-making process or perception of your money?
- Find a visual: Find a picture of your new metaphor for your computer or other space so that you can think about your money in this new way several times this week! Emotionally, I gravitate to pictures with LOTS of daisies, even though artistically, I prefer a solitary one. So notice how the picture makes you feel!
And in the comments, tell me …
What’s a new (and/or old) metaphor for your money?
And thanks for being part of the Creative Money Community!
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