Uncensored Money Season Five: Are you Holding onto the Right Things? Mel Talks Power and Rituals.

Melissa Browne: Ex-Accountant, Ex-Financial Advisor, Ex-Working Till I Drop, Now Serial Entrepreneur & Author, Financial Wellness Advocate, Living a Life by Design | 01/04/2024


Show Notes

On this solo episode of Uncensored Money, Mel talks about the power and rituals, asking the question, are we holding onto the right things? Brought on by an exciting (and absolutely terrifying opportunity), Mel discusses these things from our past that we’re holding on to, are often the same things holding us back.

Books and resources mentioned in this episode

If you're on insta, come play over at @MelBrowne.Money and make sure you’re signed up to Mel's Money Musings for more tips, tricks and ideas on how to best work with your money.

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Mel: Hey everyone. I'm Mel Brown. I'm an ex-accountant and ex-financial advisor, so I have the theory, but I also have the life experience. I'm now financially independent in my own right after coming back from less than nothing in my early thirties. I want this podcast to be like a chat with your girlfriends about money. My aim is to help you discover why you're behaving the way you are with money, to suggest new ways you might behave that are a better fit for you, and to increase your financial literacy and financial confidence. I hope it inspires challenges, educates and empowers you with how you do money. So let's get into it. Welcome to Uncensored Money.

Mel: This week, it's April Fool's Day, the 1st of April. And across the western world there will be April Fool's pranks going on across households, across friendship groups in workplaces, across peer groups. Certainly on my Insta channel, on a spoiler alert on the 1st of April, you are gonna be seeing one there. And certainly in my family it's something that we've really embraced. My nana who grew up in Hong Kong, we both Western and Chinese influences. So she was half Chinese would ring every 1st of April and all she would say would be pinch in the punch first of the month and slam down the phone <laugh> like, and she would just think that was hysterical. So we build these rituals and we build these gorgeous moments around days and occasions, but we also build rituals and moments around days or occasions that actually aren't helpful. And what I wanna do today is talk about the power of rituals that talk about the power of things that perhaps we are holding onto or even we are saying, and really help you to see whether that's helpful or harmful in your own life.

Mel: And maybe either amplify or undo some of those things that maybe you've been holding onto. It's gonna be super short podcast episode, but sometimes you don't need to bang on about something for it to be impactful. So as I said, I started with this concept of April Fools and how in my household, certainly it was something that I think about like every 1st of April I think about my nana and I just smile and it brings the most beautiful memory that I caught myself this month saying something that when I stopped and thought about it, I thought, God, that's become so unhelpful and it's got to do with me going away. So when I travel, I'm the sort of person that I kind of like travel, but I'm not like Lawsie who loves travel, who lives for adventure because of things that have happened in my life.

Mel: I need an element of control. I need my stuff and safety around me. So things like safety and security are massive values of mine. And so when I go to travel, sure there is a part of me that looks forward to it, but there is a big part of me that just feels discombobulated and really feels off kilter and my stress levels can really go up. And in January this year, I was meant to go on a retreat with a great friend that I was really looking forward to. And some things happened in life and some personal issues happened with family that meant that I needed to cancel that trip. And this is not the first time that it happened. And I remember saying to my husband and to Lawsie, I just don't know that I'm meant to do this. I just think next time I just don't know that I should be doing this.

Mel: And of course when you say something like that, it always comes up again, right? So I've been procrastinating on writing my next book. I've been asked by publishers to write one and I just keep putting it off because if you've ever written a book, it's a big deal. It's a big undertaking and I just, I just don't wanna write something for the sake of writing it. I wanna write something 'cause I feel like I've got something meaningful to put out in the world that's gonna make an impact. And I'm kind of getting to the point where I know what I want to write about, but it scares me a little bit. So I've been putting it off and I met with a good friend to be held accountable to this. And I said to my husband a few weeks ago, I just need to stop procrastinating and by the end of this month I need to put out the outline and I just need to start writing this thing.

Mel: And I got home and within two hours I received an email from an ex-client that said, Hey, we are running a writing retreat in Tuscany. We've had two people become ill and they can't get here. It's in two and a half weeks or three weeks time. So we are not even sure if you're gonna be able to make it. But we wanted to put it out there that, you know, we wanted to contact some people who might be able to say yes to the opportunity. And I just was reminded of that conversation with my husband and I went, March is a nightmare for me. There is no way I'll be able to go. But the six day window that the retreat was on, I would get there at one o'clock in the morning and the retreat starts the next day and I've got a women's forum on straight after, so I would could arrive back at 10:30 PM at night and turn up to the women's forum the next day.

Mel: So it was kind of sandwiched beautifully. And then the threw a mistake of calling Lawsie, who of course said yes, do it 'cause she loves adventure. And I rang my husband and he's like this, we are so not that woo people, but you were just talking about this and now this has landed in your lap. You have to, you have to do this. Like this is why you work hard so you can have these opportunities. So in a move that was very unlike me, I said yes. And of course what happened is then I start to have this low level anxiety about going and about the timing of it and about jet lag and was this really a smart move and all that sort of stuff.

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Mel: And then last week something blew up in another business that I own was, that was so incredibly stressful and that I will absolutely have to deal with when I'm away. Where it's at the point where the business really, you know, was, was shaken by this thing that has happened to us. And I was so stressed and I've had so many sleepless nights and I said to both Lawsie and to my husband, I just need to say no to these opportunities in future. Every single time I say Yes, this happens, I just think I'm not meant to do this. And it was just that emphatic, it was just like, I need to say no in future, you know? And I even said to Lawsie, you can't encourage me in future 'cause I'm just not meant to do this. The anxiety's not worth it. Something always happens just before.

Mel: And I really considered canceling this trip and I would have had every reason to, but I've kind of taken a deep breath putting on my big girl pants and going, knowing that we've hired some great people and it's all gonna be fine. As I was reflecting today when I was walking, I thought me saying that is so decidedly unhelpful, me saying that is almost like me putting out there that I'm not capable of this because these other things are going to happen. And I was reminded that I do that a lot throughout my life. You know, I'm a western Sydney chick and I've talked before how I had this money story growing up around not being enough. And I would say to myself, I would give myself excuses and reasons and I'd list the litany of things that had happened to me. Some incredibly awful that would absolutely make if I was to lay them all out, make you go, oh, Mel, you know, look, just go and take a nap.

Mel: You can, you know, whatever you need to do to get through, life's fine. You know, for anyone that's had those big things happen to them, it's kind of that thing, right? And even if you've had small things happen, it's that thing where you as women, I think we can say to ourselves, look, I'm just, this is just not meant for me. I just, I'm just not enough for this. I'm not up to this. I don't think I'm capable of this. And what I see myself doing with this ex these excuses, and let me just say these are very fair excuses by me saying, I just don't think I'm meant for this. I just don't, I think I need to say know in future is it's kind of a version of that not enough story. I'm allowing though that ritual of every time I say this, this will happen.

Mel: I'm allowing that money story and that ritual to dictate how I'm gonna behave. And I grew up, as I said, with that Nana, who was from both had the step the foot in both Eastern and Western camps. You, I grew up knowing that when one thing happened, you look for the other two things to happen. I grew up with so many knock on wood, black cats, walking under ladders all the rituals of Chinese New Year <laugh>. It's just, I feel like they're embedded ibi, they're part of my DNA. So I feel like I'm almost creating my own rituals to hamstring and to give me a way out of things that scare me, to give me a way out of things that I feel uncomfortable with. And part of the reason I'm telling this quite convoluted story is 'cause I believe that many other women and men are doing the same thing.

Mel: We are creating rituals, we are creating reasons, we are creating stories around why this isn't possible for us. Why this opportunity is not meant for us. Why I just need to say no to, to this, you know, my parents, I have a fractured, uncomfortable relationship with my parents for many reasons, but I'm so grateful to my mom for one thing, and that is that I was quite an anxious child and she would drag me to opportunities and say, no, you need to go in and do that. You know, you need to go in and stand in there and do that or ask for that. And I'm so grateful for that because it would've been very easy for her to look at me and go, you know what? I'm going to go and do that for you and really hamstrung me and really make it so that I, I had every reason to believe it wasn't possible.

Mel: But what I see myself doing and what I see other women doing is through these unhelpful rituals, we are creating these unhelpful narratives, these unhelpful stories. We are creating that environment where we are giving ourselves an out. We are giving ourselves an excuse. We are giving ourselves that you know what, don't just sit this one out. You don't need to do this. You are not enough. You are not good enough, and that's okay. Or this is just not for you and that's okay. You are not built for this. I wanna call BS to a lot of that because as I said, I could put up such a valid argument and I reckon you could too, as to why this isn't possible for you. But you could also flip that narrative to say, actually, because of this, this is the strength that I have. So I, abso freaking can do this.

Mel: I just need to do X, y, z so that it happens personally so that I didn't cancel my trip that I've now been on by the time you hear this, but happens on Monday. We had to hire an incredible person to advocate on our behalf. And to be honest, we needed that anyway. But the truth is, other than feeling an overwhelming level of stress, there's nothing I can do. There's nothing that would serve me by staying. Yes, this thing has happened the minute before, I'm due to go and it's overwhelming and it's awful, but there's nothing that serves me by staying. I'm far better going and taking advantage of this opportunity that scares me, that absolutely is out of my comfort zone. But that is not reason enough to not do it. For many of you, money or investing or debt or talking about money is completely out of your comfort zone.

Mel: Thinking about the future, creating goals completely out of your comfort zone. For some of you, the rules and the rituals and the stories you have created have are almost like a vertex or a whirlpool that are pulling you a particular direction that you have allowed yourself to go, but that is actually not serving you. And I wanna challenge you today on April Fools to call BS to that in the same way that you would call BS naturally and elegantly to all of the many April fools pranks that come out today. I want you to understand that sometimes we create circumstances and rules and rituals and stories that keep us trapped, that keeps us small and minimises this and makes us feel okay about where we are. And today, this week, I wanna challenge you with that and to have you believe that you can do it.

Mel: If you know that you need more help, if you know that you need a community that will help you with that, if you know you need me as a guide to really help pull you out of the vortex you've placed yourself in, make sure you jump on the wait list for the My Financial Adulting plan. The link is gonna be in the show notes because pre-sale opens in just a few weeks and this round we are only opening 400 places. Which just to put that into perspective, if we did that in 2023, 200 people would've missed out or more than 220 because I wanna make sure that for the people that have chosen to do more with their finances, that the results are financial transformative. So I wanna create a safe space to create a new ritual for you, a new story, a new way of being so that you know that you've got this. I can't wait to work with you. Make sure you come over to insta @melbrowne.money and DM me and let me know what you are doing. Let me help cheer and let me help you hold you accountable. You've so got this.

Speaker 1: If you enjoyed this episode, we would love it if you subscribed and give us a review, then make sure you come and play with me on Insta. I'm at @melbrowne.money Remember there's an E on the end of Browne. I'm one of those fancy Browne's, and don't forget to check out the show notes for even more ways you can work with me to transform your finances.



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