Let me explain by using an example…
Meet Emma. Emma has a pretty successful service-based business, and she also has a passion project (i.e., what she REALLY wants to do with the rest of her life).
In Emma’s past, she had lots of love and support around her, but she also had lots of experiences where when she chose HERSELF and what she believed, what she felt was true, really needed, or really wanted over what other people wanted FROM her, or FOR her, this resulted in them either abandoning her, OR still “being there” and perhaps even still supporting her in some ways, but giving her the silent treatment, or ignoring her, even if ONLY AROUND THAT PARTICULAR THING Emma does (that thing being her choosing herself, her views, her way, instead of prioritizing them and their feelings and wants for her over her own).
As Emma moves into her passion project and her heart and soul’s true calling more, she finds she is absolutely pouring her time and energy into it, and it is just not paying back or paying off. She has no problem receiving money for her service work for others, but the money is just not flowing around what she truly loves.
This is because Emma’s heart and soul project is HER. It is essentially HER choosing HER.
She has a lifetime of experience of being “paid” (symbolically with everything from love, acceptance, appreciation, and belonging to praise and money) for doing for others, for serving their dreams and their wants and their needs…
So she has an EXPECTATION that she CAN and WILL receive for prioritizing others above herself. And this expectation is reflected in her experience.
But she also has a lifetime of experience of being ignored or abandoned when she chooses HERSELF and who she really is and what she really needs (in some way, shape, or form), and so now she EXPECTS that too. And this expectation is also reflected in her experience.
She unconsciously expects that when she chooses herself—it’ll be crickets, and she’ll be on her own. Because that’s how it was in her past when she shared how she really felt, what she really thought, or what she really wanted or needed.
Emma has the highest hopes for her passion project and for her heart and soul’s calling. She knows with every fiber of her being that it’s what she’s meant to do! But she has an unconscious expectation that choosing herself means loss of being seen and loss of love and support…
And Emma’s business and money flow is a perfect reflection of this expectation.
The passion project is her choosing herself (and thus feels ignored), and the service business or job is doing great because she fully expects to be supported lifting other people up… but NOT when she lifts HERSELF up.
She still has enough money either to get by or even to thrive, she is still “supported” in other ways (just like in the past), but the thing she loves the most feels ignored, overlooked, wounded, and like it has to fight to be seen/heard/appreciated and understood. (just like she felt in the past because she’s still living out that wounding).
So, to Emma, it feels like money is there for her plenty as long as she’s doing what others want or need her to do, but when she chooses herself, money “abandons her.”
Of course, money is NOT abandoning her at all. Money wants and would love to support her in her passion as much as anywhere else! But she just believes and subconsciously expects that she is only allowed to receive when she is pleasing others, not pleasing herself.
So how does Emma change this??
What we need to do is help Emma create a BRAND NEW experience of what happens when she chooses herself. A new experience of choosing herself and being abundantly supported in doing so.
How I’d start that process is to ask Emma to look for and find examples of when she DID choose herself and her own loves and her own ways in life, and it actually paid back big.
That could be anything from choosing a friend, choosing a partner, choosing to go on a trip, choosing to move to a new place, choosing to change a job, choosing more comfortable clothing, or anything in between! And I would have her make a list of those things.
I’d have her make a list of times when she chose herself, and she DID see and feel support around that specific choice (from friends or strangers), despite her fears about it. I’d ask her to look at if she was more focused on and looking for the evidence of lack there, or if she was giving any attention to the support that DID show up and does.
Now that we’ve honored more of Emma’s choices (that she may not have noticed at this point, have paid back big) and now IS noticing more…
I would then encourage Emma to choose herself anyway, no matter who approves of that choice or not, no matter what the past experience has been, and to continue to choose herself and to take note of any and all support that comes in for that, from any and all sources (not just specific sources).
This will allow her to see that the source of that support sometimes came in the form of many different things, places, people, jobs, situations, opportunities, and coincidences, and seeing THAT helps Emma to see that no person, place, or thing is her source of support. She is, and more to the point: LIFE is (and she is life), so she can relax and begin to trust that more.
I would also point out to Emma that those people in the past could not have possibly given her approval around choosing herself over others because we cannot do for others what we cannot do for ourselves, and those people simply did not feel they were allowed to choose themselves either…
But now… she’s breaking the chains.
And when she does that for her, she does it for them too, all the way back to all the ancestors and all the way forward to all the ancestors to come!
All this to say, if you’ve learned that choosing you and what’s right for you and true for you doesn’t pay, it’s time to unlearn that and create a new reality for yourself wherein NOT choosing you doesn’t pay!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Emma is me. Emma is all of us who are in the process of unlearning our cultural conditioning to push past our own internal sense of direction and what is true and right for us, and conform to what others want us to do and be instead.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a new affirmation and put it up all over the place that reads: it pays BIG to me.
I wrote it as a reminder to myself that being me and being my most natural self and doing what I most love to do will not “cost me” things anymore. It will PAY ME BACK BIG in every single way, not just in money, but also not dis-including money either (as I would have done in the past).
I put that affirmation on my website last year because that’s what I hope to bring to the world: that it pays big to be YOU. Just you, exactly the way you are, following your own heart and souls guidance and direction.