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Avoiding Money Because You’re “Bad at Math” Coaching Session

Money Skills for Therapists image with Linzy Bonham and Guest Nancy

“I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it and for me to develop helpful habits around it.”

 

-Nancy

Meet Nancy

Nancy has been a therapist in private practice since 2009 and a sole since 2013. She is the mom of an 11 year old boy and 7 year old Labrador. Nancy loves the outdoors and reading. She has been eager to finally get her finances in order!

In This Episode…

Do you think you’re bad at math, or just not a numbers person? Do you find yourself avoiding the financial parts of your private practice? In this coaching session episode, Nancy and Linzy dig into how childhood attitudes can impact our adult decisions, and we work through how that can impact our feelings and actions toward finances — and what to do about it! Listen in to hear how to construct new attitudes and routines toward the financial aspects of private practice! If you’re someone who feels like you are not a numbers person, you won’t want to miss this!

 

Nancy is in the Money Skills for Therapists course. The gateway to the course is through Linzy’s masterclass, “The 4-Step Framework to Get Your Business Finances Totally in Order.” Sign up today and get a free financial resource!

Don’t miss this fun SNL clip, “Delicious Dish,” referenced in the Apple Podcasts review Linzy shared in the episode! 

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Episode Transcript

Nancy [00:00:03] I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it. And for me to develop helpful habits around it. 

 

Linzy [00:00:30] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question. How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them and both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. 

 

Linzy [00:00:51] Hello, and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. Before we get in today’s episode, which is all about that story of being bad at math or not a numbers person. I’m really excited for it. Before we get into that today, I wanted to share another review that we received on Apple Podcasts. It’s been so, so nice to see the reviews coming in for the podcast. I so appreciate the feedback and the kind words, and I wanted to share a view that made me laugh. I feel mildly roasted by it, and the title of it is Don’t be deceived by the hushed tones. She says, “This podcast is some real talk for therapists in private practice. It’s soft on the ears like Delicious Dish radio program from the 1990s SNL, but filled with truth bombs about shame, martyrdom and finances”. I actually had to go look up what Delicious Dish is I’ll put a link in the show notes. And when I did, I had to laugh because I was like, I do sound like that. I do have this like, very soft, hushed tone, but we’re talking about real stuff on here and heavy stuff. So thank you so much for your review. Whoever left that for us. So today’s episode is a coaching call. So these coaching calls, these sessions that we do are actual coaching sessions with students that I have in the course. And today’s coaching call is with Nancy. We dig into some mindset issues, especially around this story of not being good at math. This is something that I hear all the time from therapists and health practitioners. I think that generally as a group, we are used to being very competent in so many ways, but rarely do we feel like we’re really competent with like emotions or or kinesthetically intelligent and also really good at math. Those are skill sets that rarely overlap. So with Nancy, we dig in to this story about not being a numbers person, not being good at math. We dig into where that came from, and then we look at how to integrate some new experiences that she was actually already having with money. And I mean, isn’t this so much of mindset work all the time and trauma work, from a therapeutic perspective, is actually letting ourselves be updated and taking the new information that’s around us. So that’s part of what we get into with Nancy, but I’m not going to give away any more. I want you to hear the progression as we have this coaching session. But for those of you who think that you’re bad at math or not a numbers person and find that really coming up and getting in the way of working on your finances, this episode is for you. Enjoy. 

 

Linzy [00:03:34] All right, so, Nancy, thank you so much for joining me today. 

 

Nancy [00:03:36] Sure. 

 

Linzy [00:03:37] So, Nancy, you are a student in Money Skills For Therapists right now, and I’m curious before we dive into our coaching topic for today. I’m curious about your decision to join the course. What made you decide to join the course? 

 

Nancy [00:03:49] Being organized financially, I think, has been a goal of mine for many years. From a personal finance perspective. But since I’ve been in business, that’s been something even more important to me, but I’ve never had really anyone to help me with that. So when I came across this course online, I thought, Go for it. It’s something that I really – I think I need.

 

Linzy [00:04:17] Yeah, there’s such a gap there in general, right? Like, there’s just so few resources that we find that are out there for us around business and money. 

 

Nancy [00:04:25] That’s so true. 

 

Linzy [00:04:26] So, Nancy, digging into your topic for today, so you’ve let me know that you want to explore some unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that have held you back around money or getting organized around money. So can you tell me more about that? 

 

Nancy [00:04:41] Some of the unhelpful thoughts are I can’t manage money. I’m not good at math, so I’m not good at numbers. Therefore, I’m not good at managing money.  

 

Linzy [00:04:56] And those stories like I’m hearing, there’s kind of like some identity stories basically 

 

Nancy [00:05:00] Right 

 

Linzy [00:05:01] About who you are and what you’re capable of. Do you have a sense of where those stories came from? 

 

Nancy [00:05:06] I think just growing up, I was not really a great student in math. And so there was a lot of anxiety around anything math related. So of course, it made it really comfortable to avoid anything math related. And then my family would try to explain money management concepts to me, and I think I just would freeze and a wall would just go up. So I really wasn’t absorbing what I could have absorbed. 

 

Linzy [00:05:40] So this is even as you were growing up, there was as well that would come up OK. And who was it who tried to teach you about managing money? 

 

[00:05:48] My parents. 

 

[00:05:51] What is their relationship to money like? 

 

Nancy [00:05:53] They have a positive relationship with money. They were good at managing it. Good at budgeting. And my brother is too. I just have one sibling and he’s good with money. 

 

Linzy [00:06:08] So there’s kind of like this family’s skill set that didn’t make it to you, right? Because of this wall that would come up. Like when they would try to impart it. It was like, you couldn’t. So Nancy fast forwarding to today, then how do you see these beliefs coming up now, like as you’re working through the course or as you’re working on your finances? 

 

Nancy [00:06:27] There are there are just a lot of times when I want to avoid doing the work that I know will help me in the short term and the long term. But it’s just really hard to not avoid and sit down and just take things step by step.  

 

Linzy [00:06:50] Yeah, because when you do sit down and you start working on it, what happens? 

 

Nancy [00:06:56] I feel better. I feel better. My thoughts about what the experience might be like for that like hour or two hour block of time end up not being as bad as I am expecting it to be. And I end up getting like, on this role and want to keep working with it. But then I might have something else that also needs to get done so. 

 

Linzy [00:07:20] OK, OK. And that experience of being on a roll? What is that like? What starts to happen? 

 

Nancy [00:07:26] I start to feel actually excited and relieved about the process and eager to kind of get a handle on what I’ve been avoiding for so long.  

 

Linzy [00:07:41] So, I’m hearing there’s these new kind of positive experiences that are happening. And how many of these new positive experiences have you had so far? 

 

Nancy [00:07:49] I would say quite a few. 

 

Linzy [00:07:51] OK. So is it pretty consistent at this point? 

 

Nancy [00:07:54] I think so. 

 

Linzy [00:07:55] OK. 

 

Nancy [00:07:56] In terms of the content that’s part of the program, I’m still in the early stages of really digging into the numbers of the business, but I’m expecting that to also be positive as I keep moving forward. 

 

Linzy [00:08:15] OK. So closing then, like this new experience that you’re having, I’m hearing now when you sit down to work on it, you actually manage to find flow and you even start to feel excited. 

 

Nancy [00:08:25] Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:08:25] And this has become a reliable enough experience that you can even expect that this is probably what it’s going to be like as you continue to work forward  

 

Nancy [00:08:33] Yeah, it’s foreign to me to think of it that way. For sure. 

 

Linzy [00:08:39] This is a new experience.

 

Nancy [00:08:41] I’ve never been excited about numbers of anything. 

 

Linzy [00:08:43] Right. So there was this old experience, this belief of like not being good at math and avoiding these things that was decades long. Right? And now there’s this new experience. That’s. Like a month or two long so far? 

 

Nancy [00:08:58] At the most, uh huh.

 

Linzy [00:09:01] So I’m wondering, Nancy, if we were going to start to maybe update this story a little bit. You know, the story that you’re not good at math or you’re not good at finances, what’s maybe some new information that you’re starting to get that is not supporting that. 

 

Nancy [00:09:18] I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it and for me to develop helpful habits around it. 

 

Linzy [00:09:41] Yeah, yeah. And it’s good to have a realistic expectation there, right, that it does take time and the habits are so important, right? This like repetition, both in terms of like giving yourself those positive experiences over and over, but also in terms of like working away at these things little by little. So they don’t build up and become big. I’m wondering, Nancy, like, how would you be able to kind of deepen those new experiences that you’re having, like integrate them more into your sense of who you are? Is it like talking to other people? Is it putting reminders like visual reminders? How do you really kind of like process and start to really be connected to something new? 

 

Nancy [00:10:17] I think one piece of that would be making time. Carving out time because I’m still working on putting that into my weekly routine because my habit has been to avoid. So really making sure I carve out that time and I don’t respond to unhelpful thoughts when that time comes. Like, Oh, I don’t feel like doing it right now. Maybe I’ll do it later. I just I do it anyways. I think that over time, that will be helpful and the support person that I am connected with through the program. 

 

Linzy [00:10:57] Yes, your accountability buddy. 

 

Nancy [00:10:59] That’s I think, going to continue to be really helpful because we arrange a weekly Zoom time to just see where we’re at and support each other and text each other during the week to do the same. So I definitely want to continue that as well. In addition to the other, the other options that you provide. 

 

Linzy [00:11:21] Yeah. So yes, that’s that’s another positive support to keep you connected. So I’m wondering on the practical side, Nancy, like do you have like regular money time in your calendar that you are sitting down and working on these things? 

 

Nancy [00:11:33] I have two days a week when I do that one weekend day, one day during the week. 

 

Linzy [00:11:42] OK. And do you work on both of those days or is one a backup? 

 

Nancy [00:11:45] Both of those days. 

 

Linzy [00:11:47] OK. Yeah. And have you figured out a sense of like how much time you want to work on these things in one go? 

 

Nancy [00:11:52] A couple of hours I usually schedule. 

 

Linzy [00:11:55] So I’m curious, Nancy, is there anything you’d be doing differently if you were anticipating this to be a positive experience twice a week, rather than this old story that it’s going to be a negative experience? 

 

Nancy [00:12:07] Are you thinking like things I could incorporate while I’m doing this? Every day I fix myself a latte. I have an amazing espresso machine at home, so just doing that while I’m working on this makes it more pleasant. Or maybe if it’s a nice day outside at summertime, going outside while I’m doing it, sitting on the porch. 

 

Linzy [00:12:33] Yeah, building in those nice environmental pieces. Because what I’m what I’m hearing is there is still kind of this like, there’s these remnants, right? You got this kind of leftover stuff. And I’m wondering, part of it is going to be time, as you say, right? Just to be like honing the skills, getting back to habit. And it sounds like you’ve already really integrated it. I’m wondering if there’s a way to kind of like even deepen it to be something that you can be looking forward to, right? Or that there could be celebration afterwards. Like, how do we even move it into more of a positive experience that you know is going good and better. 

 

Nancy [00:13:12] Maybe viewing it, which I wasn’t seeing it this way before, but viewing it as part of self-care? 

 

Linzy [00:13:18] Yeah, right. 

 

Nancy [00:13:20] Now, self-care is really important to me. 

 

Linzy [00:13:22] Mm hmm. Right. 

 

Nancy [00:13:24] And this has also been important to me, but I never viewed it as a self-care, as a form of self-care. So I think reminding myself of that.  

 

Linzy [00:13:35] And if it’s if it’s part of your self-care, you know, how would you feel towards it if you saw it as part of your self-care? 

 

Nancy [00:13:41] More positively. 

 

Linzy [00:13:43] Yeah, yeah. Like, what are the words that you associate with self-care? 

 

Nancy [00:13:49] Well, when it comes to money, I think vacation,. 

 

Linzy [00:13:53] Yes. 

 

Nancy [00:13:53] But in general, I think just the idea of especially in the work that we do, how important it is to do good work. That requires self-care on our part. 

 

Linzy [00:14:06] Yeah, absolutely. In our work, it’s like a life preserver, self-care. It’s not like a nice extra. It’s an essential. For you, what are the kind of like adjectives that go with self-care – trying to get a sense of your flavor of self-care, like is it nurture, is a joy, is it relaxation? 

 

Nancy [00:14:26] Calming. 

 

Linzy [00:14:26] Calming. OK, OK, calming is part of your self-care. 

 

Nancy [00:14:28] Peaceful. 

 

Linzy [00:14:32] So can money be part of like a calming, peaceful way of taking care of yourself? 

 

Nancy [00:14:38] Definitely. Definitely. I think for me, there’s been a lot of unknowns around my finances because I have been avoiding, but moving from the unknown to the known with my finances. The result of that will be more peace. And I think a greater sense of control. 

 

Linzy [00:15:03] Yeah, right. Absolutely. And what are you noticing talking about it this way? 

 

Nancy [00:15:07] Power. 

 

Linzy [00:15:09] OK, so it’s coming towards the end of our our time together. What sticks out for you? What are you taking away from this conversation? 

 

Nancy [00:15:17] I think this is one of the best things I’ve really I’ve done for myself in a long time, and I didn’t realize it when I signed up. 

 

Linzy [00:15:27] Oh, that’s a nice surprise. And knowing that this is one of the best things you’ve done for yourself, like, what do you know about yourself? What does that show you? 

 

Nancy [00:15:39] I’m worth taking care of the financial aspect of my life, and I’m able to do it with the right support, for sure. 

 

Linzy [00:15:51] And I do have to say, Nancy, the parts therapist in me, is just imagining that little you, that little one who struggled at math and believe she wasn’t good at math. I’m imagining that part of you being able to start like here and take in some of where you’re landing and the work that you’re doing with the powerful work you’re doing to care for yourself. Thank you so much for joining me today. 

 

Nancy [00:16:16] Thank you. Thank you. 

 

Linzy [00:16:33] I really love the progression of this session with Nancy. The energy at the end just felt so different than the energy at the beginning, and so much of that was just helping her get in touch with the experience as she was already having around money. And I think that’s so often the case when we have these really strong stories from childhood about who we are. You know, I am not a math person. I am not good at numbers. The other people in my family can do that, but I can’t. Is that then we exclude exceptions to that story. You know, evidence to the contrary. And in Nancy’s case, it was that she was already starting to have good experiences with working on her finances and starting to feel on a roll and excited as she was working on these things. But she hadn’t quite connected that yet back to the story of being bad at math. So if you want to hear more from me, you can follow us @moneynutsandbolts on Instagram. That’s really where we hang out on social media and put out free money content related to therapists and health practitioners all the time. We’re putting stuff out there. If, like Nancy, you want to jump in and start really changing your relationship to money, having some of these new experiences to overwrite your old stories while you get your finances working for you, the way to get into Money Skills For Therapists is through watching my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Private Practice Finances Totally in Order. So I have the link to the masterclass below. The masterclass lays out my approach and framework. Even if you are not thinking about joining the course, it gives you tons of helpful ways to think about private practice finances, but it’s also the gateway into Money Skills For Therapists. So if you’re curious about the course, check out the masterclass. The link is in the show notes. Thanks for joining me today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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