Step One: What is your story?

Your “money story” grows out of more than just your past experiences. It comes from events and people who are most dominant in your life, plus particularly traumatic or repetitive events. A traumatic event such as the sudden death of a parent can instantly reshape your family’s money story, which ultimately becomes yours. But so can small, repetitive happenings, like water dripping on stone and, over time, wearing a channel or groove into the stone.

There’s almost a parallel with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Everyone knows that a catastrophe such as being caught in a devastating earthquake can cause lasting PTSD in survivors—particularly if one sees others die: But what many people don’t know is that people can develop PTSD that is just as deep, just as serious, over small negative events that go on for years, thanks to the repetitive, cumulative effect. It’s like one of those old vinyl records, where the needle wears a deep groove in one particular spot, so that the tune always skips and repeats, skips and repeats, over and over again … every time.