Your attachment style doesn’t just show up in your relationship with people – but money as well! Learn how your attachment style affects your money relationship as a business owner.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by money as an entrepreneur…
*everyone in the room raises their hand*
Chances are (since you’re here with me and reading this article) you’ve had some ups and downs in your money relationship. Or maybe just downs (totally been there).
You’ve set intentions and goals. You’ve made marketing plans, outlined sales strategies, and committed (over and over again) to your business and creating the wealth that you desire.
But no matter how much you effort (and girl, I know you REALLY F*CKING EFFORT), the money doesn’t show up.
Which leads to defeat, frustration, and heartbreak.
Friend, I see you. Welcome to my work.
Money. It’s a tense topic. But one that ALWAYS comes up in your growth as a business and business owner. We want it and feel ashamed want more of it. We’re curious and feel like we can’t ask questions.
Yet, you chose to create a business. That wasn’t an accident. The reason that you are a business (and not a charity) is that you’re here to make money.
But the journey feels anything but easy, flowy, and fun. Your manifesting powers feel broken. And the action is anything but inspired.
I’m committed to changing that with you.
The conversations that we’ll have together (if you choose to stick around) aren’t going to be your typical business profit conversations. I’m not going to promise you a 3-step foolproof strategy to closing sales and booking five-figure clients.
I’m ALSO not going to tell you to “act as if the money is there” or that your “thoughts become things.” Because these are blanket statements and aren’t going to help you when you have deep money wounds to heal and discomfort to sit with.
Instead, I’m going to talk A LOT about you…and your family.
Specifically, the family wounds that are asking to be healed – the ones that are calling the shots in your business.
You wouldn’t let a scared, hurt child be the CEO of your company. But this is exactly what so many of us do subconsciously.
This is what happens when we people please, lack boundaries in our client relationships, try a strategy for a hot sec and instantly give up, and emotionally torment ourselves when we feel like we aren’t making or doing enough.
And yes, you can learn all the “strategies” that you want to market, sell, and “deal with” people-pleasing, co-dependency, and validation-seeking behavior.
But at the end of the day, these stem from wounds from your inner child.
The only way to break the cycle and stop the pattern is to heal the wound that’s creating it.
If you’re willing to do the uncomfortable work, then welcome to your second home. You’re always welcome, accepted, and held here with me. Exactly where you are. Exactly who you are.
Today, we’re going to talk about you + money. If you and money were in a relationship, how would you describe it? We’re going to take a serious look at the attachment patterns that you’ve learned as a child and how you’re replaying them in your money relationship.
And of course, how you can start to heal.
Attachment Styles and Where They Come From
According to Psychology Today, our attachment style is a pattern ” established in early childhood attachment and continues to function as a working model for relationships in adulthood.”
We develop our attachment styles as children based on how we learned to attach to our parents. This affects how we show up in our future relationships as adults, how we communicate love, and how we receive love and a sense of belonging.
Often times, people talk about attachment styles as they relate to other people. This frequently shows up in conversations related to dating, marriage, and even developing lasting, supportive adult friendships. For me, understanding my attachment style was a core part of my healing journey as an adoptee.
Entrepreneurship brings another powerful relationship to the forefront of our minds – our relationship with money. Personally, I believe that understanding, healing, and improving our money relationship is a core part of our job as business owners.
Once I understood my attachment style, I was able to distance myself from the chatter in my head and create more emotional space with money. I didn’t feel like I had to instantly (and emotionally) respond to the thoughts in my head. Instead, these thoughts became an expression of my attachment style. But not a representation of reality.
For example, if I had a money-related stressor occur like a making less than expected one week, my brain (feeling threatened) would sound off the alarms “You’re broke! There’s not enough money! You have to hustle and make some sales and do something to fix this immediately!”
Before knowing my attachment style, I might have jumped on the computer, did a TON of busy work that didn’t really mean anything, then closed my laptop feeling defeated, depleted, and even more broke.
Now, I can witness those thoughts, love the part of me who’s scared and trying to protect me, and intentionally choose how I’m going to bring myself to my money relationship and money generating activities. My interactions with money are dramatically less emotional. That, my friend, is true freedom.
Ultimately, money cannot help us feel safe. Only we can do that for ourselves. Money-related stress usually triggers security and worthiness wounds. It’s not actually about how much is in the bank. Rich is a feeling.
Entrepreneurs with secure attachment feel safety and security at their core. These individuals can experience external fluctuations with money. But maintain a core sense of stability. Even as other money-related “stressors” might arise like unexpected expenses, a launch making less than expected, or a client making a late payment, entrepreneurs with secure attachment in their money relationship trust that money will show up and that they’ll be taken care of.
Secure attachment also creates a willingness for individuals to have open and honest money conversations with themselves, financial partners, and collaborators. This contributes to high sales because they are less attached to making the sale for the money. The openness invites potential clients and customers to buy over pushy energy that simply pushes people out the door.
Entrepreneurs with secure attachment typically maintain strong money boundaries with themselves. For example, these individuals are firm on what they are and aren’t willing to disclose money-wise and to whom, what money-related content they’re willing to consume, and regularly practicing good money hygiene like bookkeeping, checking bank balances, etc.
Ultimately, secure attachment creates a core belief that your needs will be met – regardless of how things look on the outside. #moneyrelationshipgoals
Anxious attachment manifests a high fear, anxiety, and insecurity when money “isn’t there.” When sales are low, a potential client decides to not work with you, or the bank balance is less than desired, individuals with anxious attachment get, well, anxious. They believe that the “absence” of money in their immediate, physical presence is a sign that money will never “come back.”
I put these phrases in quotation marks because the “presence” of money is defined by your attachment. Did money actually “leave” or is it on its way but not yet in your field of awareness? Like how after a payment is made, the processing still takes a few days until it’s in your bank account. Sometimes, the payment are still coming through in a quantum sense before they physically manifest. But individuals with anxious attachment see this absence of money from their awareness as abandonment.
Often times, individuals with anxious attachment look to money to rescue them from discomfort. This can manifest in business as setting lofty, fantastical, and demanding money goals. The goals aren’t grounded in the reality (crunching the numbers to see what money needs to come through). But instead, are set sky-high so that the individual can emotionally escape the discomfort of feeling broke / that money isn’t there for them / that there’s not enough money. When money doesn’t show up for them in this fantastical way, the individual often shames and attacks money, then themselves. Which ultimately creates more emotional turmoil in the money relationship.
This emotional turmoil causes tension and jealousy when individuals with anxious attachment see other people’s financial success. Posts like “How I Made [ALL THE MONEY] in July” are especially triggering. Therefore, practicing consumption boundaries are especially important for entrepreneurs with anxious attachment to heal.
Anxious attachment can be summed up as “I can’t see you = you’re not here and never will be.” Then, resulting in emotional anguish and anxiety.
Dismissive Avoidant Attachment
Individuals with dismissive avoidant attachment shut down when tension arises in their money relationship. They emotionally distance themselves from money. For example, when money-related stressors arise, saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness, more money causes more problems anyway, I don’t need money, etc.”
The abandonment of money can also be a subconscious action. For example, avoiding wealth creating activities like lead generation, audience growth, networking, etc. Entrepreneurs with dismissive avoidant attachment will follow cycles of not showing up for their money relationship (by not selling and/or maintaining good money hygiene) then emotionally shutting out money because it “didn’t show up for them.”
Often times, this emotional shutting down causes the individual to bury inwards and break off emotional connection with the outside world. Which can perpetuate the cycle. That’s why it’s important for entrepreneurs with anxious avoidant attachment to create relationships with people who can call them out if they’ve distanced themselves too much. The emotional distance usually shows up in multiple relationships and not just with money.
Individuals with dismissive avoidant attachment are all about “I’ll abandon you before you can abandon me.”
Fearful Avoidant Attachment
Fearful avoidant attachment in your money relationship creates an emotional roller coaster of high highs and low lows. There’s a constant push and pull of deeply wanting to be safe, secure, and supported by money. While simultaneously being terrified of exactly that happening. Kind of like a “I hate that I love you” relationship.
Their greatest desire is also their greatest fear. This can manifest as becoming “clingy” to money when it feels like it’s “absent” or “not enough”. Then creating barriers to money (not selling, blowing off leads, etc) when it’s abundant and present.
Individuals with fearful avoidant attachment try to keep the emotional desire or craving for money at arms length (“I hate that I need you”). But ultimately become overly emotionally invested in wanting money. Note, there’s nothing wrong with wanting, desiring, or craving money. But it’s the high-charged emotional aspect that creates pain for our fearful avoidant attachment friends.
Money relationships for fearful avoidant attachment can be summed up as inconsistent. As money ebbs and flows, the emotional experience of the individual jumps up and down. The biggest consistency is the lack of consistency in having your needs met.
Personally, I most identify with fearful avoidant attachment in my money relationship (with a hint of anxious). I deeply feel the push and pull of
- Wanting to be loved, but wanting to reject everyone
- Wanting to be seen, but desperately wanting to hide
- Wanting to feel safe, but squirming at the thought of it
This up and down can make it difficult to sense what “normal” is. This often manifests as instability, drama, and chaos. If it’s not one problem, it’s another.
How to Heal and Create More Secure Attachment with Money
Ideally, we’d all have secure attachment in all of our relationships. But most of us don’t and that’s totally okay. Your experience, conditioning, and consistency in having your emotional and physical needs met as a child developed your attachment style. While you had little to no control of what attachment style you developed, you have power now in how you heal.
The only way to heal a wound is with love. Loving and accepting yourself as you are now. There’s nothing wrong with you and you aren’t broken or less than because you don’t have secure attachment or a “perfect” money relationship. We’re all wounded children who grew up. But with more awareness of our wounds, we continue to show up for ourselves, stay with ourselves, and heal.
Creating more secure attachment with money starts with awareness. The more you can recognize panicked thoughts and emotions as an expression of pain, the less control they have over your experience and reactions. Then the most important part is to stay with yourself through your healing journey. Continue to show up for yourself, love and accept yourself, and get the support that you need to grow.