When I was a young woman, younger than I am now, I wanted to marry a firefighter. I loved how big and strong they were and how they put everything on the line to help others. There was something about them that just did it for me.
That was until my friend said my infatuation with firefighters was because I secretly wanted to be rescued.
I almost fell off my seat.
You see, at the time I was in my early 30’s and was climbing the corporate ladder. I was recently divorced, a single mother, living independently, making ends meet and working on achieving my piece of the American dream.
I was interested in finding a life partner, but I wasn’t consumed with the idea of ‘needing’ a husband.
So her proclamation of my lust for firefighters was somehow linked to my need to be rescued, hit me with such force that it was like I had been struck dead by lightning. Could she be right? Somewhere in the back of my mind, hidden from view, did I want someone to rush in and save me from my life? Did I want to be relieved of my financial burdens?
Did I secretly want to be rescued?
Women of a certain age (my age), were raised to believe the Prince Charming myth. We were encouraged at an early age through television shows like Leave It To Beaver, that it was a man’s responsibility to make the money and take care of their woman.
Many of us straddled the concept of independence and dependence. On the one hand we wanted to believe we could bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan, and on the other hand we wished for the release from the stress of having to make our own way.
But the Prince Charming myth isn’t just about the man, and it occurs in women at all ages. If you daydream that winning the lottery will rescue from your financial woes, then you’re pretty much barking up the same tree.
I’ve been single for over 20 years. During that time, I’ve been solely responsible for paying the bills. I know what it’s like to barely get by and I also know what it’s like to be living comfortably. I’d be lying if I said I never dreamed of a Prince Charming rescuing me from my financial responsibilities.
Anytime we secretly wish something or someone will end our financial nightmare, we are living in a fantasy world.
What would have happened if Prince Charming had never shown up? Would Snow White still be stuck in that glass coffin? Would she have eventually woken up and figure it out on her own?
It’s a question smart, independent women ask themselves everyday.
[tweetthis]The most important financial mindset shift you’ll ever make is dispelling the Prince Charming myth.[/tweetthis]
There’s no singular right way to accomplish this task. But, the hard-core realization usually occurs when three things happen:
1. We are willing to imagine the possibility that Prince Charming may never show up or worse yet he’ll take a left at the fork in the road and never return home. Statically speaking, we will all be faced having to manage our finances alone at some point in our lives whether it be from divorce, being widowed, or due to never marrying.
2. We must see the truth of the situation: That no one will do this for us.
3. We must recognize that we have the power within and are capable of doing this for ourselves.
But just like any other process, it won’t happen in one full swoop and even when you feel like you have finally reached the point were you fully accept Prince Charming isn’t going to take care of this for you, some life circumstance will rear its ugly head and have you wishing once again for him to appear.
But don’t be discouraged as this is part of the process. Each time you have that thought or revert to your old desire, it creates an opportunity for you to have another breakthrough, and to go deeper than ever before.
I bet some of you who are married are wondering if this applies to you?
It does, if you secretly are happy you don’t have to worry about the money or you’ve left all the financial decisions to your husband or partner.
You’ve got to get involved in the process, learn the ins and outs of your own personal finances and start being a part of the decision-making process.
Remember, at some point in your life, it’s more than likely you’ll end up needing to be in the driver’s seat of your own finances.
When women stop dreaming of the fairy tale conclusion and instead start embracing their financial reality, their lives can change in profound and dramatic ways.
This is just one part of the process of gaining control over your finances that include emotional, psychological and strategic elements.
Saying bye-bye to the myth is an essential component for any woman who is ready for true financial independence.