When you commit to causing no harm in your relationship with money, you aim to understand how your choices cause harm to yourself and others and take action to mitigate that harm.
The sixth principle of Positive Money helps you recognize how you’re capable of inflicting harm on yourself and others in the ways you think, feel, and act in your relationship with money. This can look as simple as buying something that puts you in debt or as complex as ongoing patterns of feeling unworthy. If you use money for control or power over others as a measure of your self-worth or a way to separate yourself from others, it’s being used for harm. If you get down on yourself for not earning more or you think you’re stupid because you don’t know more about money, you’re also causing harm.
When you commit to the sixth principle of Positive Money, you get curious about the subtle or not-so-subtle ways your words or actions may cause harm and you aim to make changes that will lead to more positive outcomes.
Examples of Positive Money Principle 6
The following are some examples.
• Notice the words or phrases you use when talking about money that might be hiding your bias or making it ok for you to judge. For example, if you automatically say something is ‘expensive,’ is that a fact or your opinion? A fact would be that the price for a Mercedes is higher than that of a Kia. Your opinion may be that the Mercedes is expensive while someone else might not describe it that way. If you want to stick with the facts, the Mercedes is outside your price range right now, though perhaps it won’t be one day. While you reflect on how or when you use the word “expensive,” think about other ways you attach judgment to everyday words like ‘rich,’ ‘poor,’ or ‘lazy.’
• Replace old stories or habits that no longer serve you with ones that do. When one of my business clients realized how often she assumed what her customers could or could not afford, she decided that it was time to stay out of their pocketbook and focus more on hers. She thought about different offers she could make that felt good for her and her bank account, knowing that some potential clients would accept and others wouldn’t.
• Accept that others may not agree with you or adhere to your worldview. This can be a tough one, especially when you’re so certain about your beliefs and values that you judge others for theirs. For example, I’m worried about the impacts of climate change and can’t believe that millions of others aren’t either because they don’t know or don’t care. This causes me pain because I worry about our future and feel so helpless. I do have options, however. I can help to educate and advocate.