Mothers’ Day is coming up this weekend (in the UK) and even if you don’t like to buy in the commercial maelstrom it probably gets you thinking about your mother or a maternal figure in your life (I’ll be using the word “mum” as a catch all for this article.)*
Maybe your mum was a successful business woman, a stay at home mum, a 2-jobs-just-to-make-ends-meet mum. Maybe you had a wonderful, nourishing relationship with your mum, or maybe you went (or want) to live on another continent to get away from her, maybe you had two mums, or maybe your mum wasn’t around at all for whatever reason.
Whatever your relationship with your mum, it’s a relationship that influences us from birth (and before) and affects our beliefs and behaviour as an adult, in turn influencing how you run your business. Becoming aware of these beliefs can be the first step to either clearing or reframing the negative ones or embracing the positives. So here are four types of business-related beliefs that you might have learned from your mum (or any other prominent person in your childhood).
* If even thinking about your mum triggers you, jump down to the end of this article where I share some links to the websites of four wonderful women who specialise in helping release unhelpful emotions and thought patterns learned in childhood (or any time of life.)
What behaviours did your mum display when you were growing up that may have influenced your beliefs about yourself? Was she always on a diet, never quite believing she was good enough unless she reached a certain size or weight? Did she look after herself and treat herself well or did she neglect herself because she was too busy putting the family and/or work first? Did she beat herself up over little things or did she let problems go like water off a ducks back?
These things might not seem very business related but if you observed any of these behaviours you might find yourself:
Your mum’s behaviour towards you and things she told you will also have influenced your beliefs about yourself and your worth, whether she was loving and caring, or distant and cruel. Even something as simple as “Be a good girl or Father Christmas won’t come to visit” can make us think we need to behave a certain way or we’re “bad” – and that behaviour usually doesn’t involve putting ourselves out there in a way that gets us noticed or looking after ourselves first, which might be seen as selfish.
The beliefs you picked up about other people can equally affect your behaviour in your business. For example, your mum might have always treated everyone else’s needs as more important than her own. Or she might always have worried about “keeping up with the Joneses,” comparing herself and her life to others all the time. Or she may have seen rich people as "bad" or "greedy." This might show up in your life as:
You can see how things might be different if the example you got from your mum was a woman who believed she was just as important as everyone else, knowing that her own needs must be met in order for her to help others, that she doesn’t need to compare herself to others, and that being rich doesn't mean you're a bad person.
Did your mum have to work really hard for her money? Was she a stay at home mum with little money of her own and so her hard work was all about the home and family? Was she a high flying career-woman or entrepreneur? Did she have to work two jobs just to pay the bills?
Your mum’s working life can have a direct impact on your beliefs about work and business. for example:
Or maybe something else.
Many of us grew up with mums who were born in wartime or post-war years. Perhaps she had food-rations as a child. Perhaps she was well off either in her own right or because your dad was the bread-winner and so she didn’t need to worry about money much. Maybe you saw her make lots of money and then lose it all. The phrases you heard as a child can become ingrained as beliefs. For example:
If you heard lots of phrases that came from a lack mentality, then that can play itself out in your life, making it more difficult to attract money in your own right. But if you heard plenty of positive money-talk you are more likely to have more positive beliefs.
Before I go on, I want you to know that this is not about blaming your mum or anyone else in your childhood. Like all of us, she will have been doing the best she could with what she had and knew at the time, which she in turn will have learned during childhood. So if you did learn some beliefs and behaviours from your mum that are no longer serving you, don't hold it against her (in fact forgiveness can be the next step after awareness to letting them go.) Same goes for the other influential figures from your childhood.
As well as noticing the unhelpful beliefs, it’s also worth paying attention to any positive beliefs and behaviours that you picked up as a child from your mum or anyone else - even if some of those were a form of rebellion 🙂
For some people, being aware of these beliefs is enough to reduce their impact on your life and behaviour, which is why I wanted to write this article. However, there are others (like me) who need a bit of help to release negative beliefs and break old thought patterns and habits.
If you’re one of the latter, or this article has brought up some “stuff” from your childhood, here are a few fabulous women (listed alphabetically) who can help, each of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with myself.
5 wonderful women who can help you shift childhood beliefs and behaviours that are no longer serving you:
Can you see how your mum (or another maternal figure) might have influenced some of your business-related beliefs and behaviours? What's one belief that it would serve you to let go of? I love to read your ideas and insights, so please share in the comments box below.