Money talks ... but you don't

So how might your secret money challenges show up at work or in your dental hygiene career?

Here’s a quick, three-part quiz about one of the crucial issues most individuals grapple with these days.

  1. List the most frequent points of contention that recur in relationship after relationship.
  2. Name the biggest fear women have about their future.
  3. Guess the secret we hold dearest, beyond even our most intimate relations.

If you answered …

  1. communication, sex, and MONEY
  2. losing control of their physical or mental facilities or being on the street because they don’t have any MONEY
  3. the amount of MONEY we owe

… you’re absolutely right.

According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, anxiety about money is the principal source of stress for 73 percent of Americans. Everybody, it seems, has money issues, but, sadly, hardly anybody genuinely talks about it. Money is our secret, both in private and in public (career/business). Sometimes we don’t even acknowledge our worries to ourselves.

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Like most secret fears, anxieties about money spread like the common cold until they’ve infected our attitude and behavior, smothering any sense of well-being. Because we don’t talk about these anxieties or admit to them, we are held back from doing anything about them.

So how might your secret money challenges show up at work or in your career?

  1. You may care more about the heart-to-heart connections than about making money, so you may likely shrug off basic finciancial topics in the practice.
  2. You wish you didn’t have to think about making or managing your own money, therefore could not give a darn about hygiene and/or doctor production.
  3. You avoid facing your money situation, hoping it will improve, and rarely talk to patients about finances or fees. Your potential explanation: “It’s not my job.”
  4. You’re extremely frugal, and are careful to live below your means, so you become a defender of other people’s money (spending) and may be selective with treatment discussions or what you advocate in regard to their care.
  5. You may think that there is an unequal balance of wealth in the world, and thus deduce the “office,” (the doctors) are actually making enough.
  6. You find asking for what you’re worth requires every ounce of courage you possess.

Once the fear is given voice, however, some of its power is taken away, and we can begin to take action. Suze Orman, author of The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, believes that the sooner we deal with our fears, the more money we will be able to create. “When you heal your heart, you help your pocketbook,” she says.

Often, it is the early messages we received about money that influence our current beliefs. That relentless, looping tape recorder in our minds picks up and continues to play old ideas that are sometimes so subtle we don’t even realize their presence.

So, one of the first steps in dealing with current money issues is to consider early beliefs that still have a grip on our attitudes and choices. Make notes about these old messages. Write a “money biography” — the history of your relationship with money from childhood to present. Also, list your fears about money, no matter how silly or contrived they might seem.

Our unspoken attitudes and ideas about money issues may be getting in the way of a sense of well-being and financial stability in our lives. In fact, we may not even know they exist. And, like finding our way through a darkened room when things are going bump in the night, it always helps to turn on the lights.

To your success!
Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, MSEC
Director, RDH eVillage

Kristine’s disclosures: Kristine’s website is http://www.kristineahodsdon.com and she is a consultant and trainer with Pride Institute.

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