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“We make good money,” I threw that phrase out there while speaking with a friend and was shocked at her response. She thanked me for being so open and honest and then proceeded to tell me that in the past she has been shamed for her family’s financial success.
She was like me, very proud of what she and her husband had accomplished through hard work, long hours and dedication. She wasn’t bragging or trying to rub her success in anyone’s face but struggled with the knowledge that her financial success somehow set her apart and made her the object of envy.
As we talked further, I was reminded of similar times in the past when I’ve kept quiet about my financial success in an attempt to make others feel good.
Later as I thought about this conversation I realized that we are doing ourselves a great injustice by shaming others for their financial success.
Aaron and I are financially successful.
There I said it.
We have both worked hard, spent long hours at work and are constantly working to better ourselves and be more successful.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my life and what my financial success will mean for my future.
I shouldn’t allow myself to feel ashamed because of the decisions I’ve made in my life that have led me to this point.
I’m lucky enough to have a group of friends that are also financially successful. They say you are a reflection of the people that you surround yourself with.
If so I’m going to end up being even more successful in my life.
I’ve got multiple friends who have paid off homes and who live completely debt free. I’ve got even more friends who are budgeting with that specific goal in mind.
All of them are hard-working people who are sacrificing to make their financial dreams happen.
Do they deserve to be shamed for being successful – no.
- Are they in the top 1% right now? No
- Do some of them have that potential? Yes.
I’m proud of my friends and what they have accomplished and hope that as I continue to work hard and make wise financial decisions I’ll be in the same position.
So what is it that causes us to be ashamed of our success?
I thought a lot about this concept recently and realized that for me, most of it is tied in with a desire not to act like I’m better than others. I just don’t want to appear cocky or make others feel bad about themselves.
Both are valid reasons for keeping quiet.
I don’t want to discount the need for discretion when sharing financial success. You aren’t sharing with the right mindset if you rubbing your success in other people’s faces.
There is nothing worse than that friend who constantly overshares their financial success. You know the one I’m talking about. They are constantly bragging and do it with an air of smug superiority.
That isn’t the type of monetary success I’m talking about.
However, since starting this blog I’ve made a very important realization. By sharing my successes, I’m helping to motivate other people to accomplish their goals.
There is nothing more motivating than hearing about the successes of other ordinary people.
I’m an ordinary person. Yes, we make good money, but we work really hard. Our success has come over years and years of living within our means, paying down our debt and building an emergency fund. We didn’t take shortcuts to our success.
I love talking to friends who have paid off their homes. It gives me that little bit of extra oomph I need when budgeting and saving are getting me down.
I know from talking to friends that my experience paying off 293,000 in debt has made an impact on their lives.
I’ve lost count of the people I’ve spoken with since writing about our experience. I’ve talked to multiple people who began their debt free journey after reading my post.
You can read about how to begin your debt free journey here.
I’ll never know the full impact my decision to share our story has had. What I do know is that my decision to share has positively impacted many people.
Is this bragging? Maybe it is, but I don’t care. I’m so glad that our story has helped to impact and change people’s behavior.
So again I go back to the question why are we ashamed to share our success?
I don’t think there is any right answer and everyone has their own reasons. What I want is to encourage people as they work towards their financial goals to share the experiences, both positive and negative.
The support that comes from others is invaluable in helping each one of us lift and inspire ourselves and those around us.
Don’t give up! Someday I want to hear about how you are making good money too!
Here are a couple of posts that highlight some of the decisions I’ve made to become a better financial decision maker:
- How to Identify and Avoid Personal Triggers that Lead to Overspending – Living within your means is the best way to manage your money. Self-control really is the key to happiness.
- Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals – Little daily habits have a huge impact on all aspects of our lives. Check out some of the habits that will change the way our manage your day.