Ep #283: Lying About Money

I am dumbfounded about how often people lie about money and how convicted people are about it.

Some are afraid to post all of the fun and exciting things they are doing on social media because they believe they will be perceived as bragging about them. Others don’t want to share that they have to clean their own house or work three jobs to pay for their possessions and only prefer to post the “perfect” side of their lives.

Lying about money is lying.

It is not showing up authentically.

On this episode, I share my perspective on not telling the truth about money and why deliberately hiding the truth about it in order to control how others think about us is not useful or healthy.

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What You will discover

  • Why people lie about money.
  • Why it is not okay to do it.
  • The detrimental effects of deliberately hiding the truth to manipulate what people think about you.
  • How to manage your mind around having wealth in your life.
  • How you can achieve true freedom of who you really are.

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Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 283.

Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, master coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hello. Hello my friends. Okay, so this week taking my babies to college. Both the kids literally are getting dropped off two days apart from each other. I'm starting to feel it, my friends. I'm going to need a collective podcast, huddle hug. I love my kids, I love them. I love being with them, and they're going to be so far away. Christian always comes in at night and gives me the low down of the day. I can't even imagine that not happening and just seeing his beautiful face and being able to go in and sit on the bean bag with Connor. So I'm excited for them. We're doing all the dorm stuff right now, but I'm also, I'm missing them ahead of time. They're here right now and I'm already missing them. I love them so much.

So anyway, I just feel it's like such a huge thing all of a sudden. And I know that I have an incredible life and I'm going to see them all the time still. I mean, they come home from all the breaks, but it's a transition. So, that's what we're going to do in this week. But before I do that, I'm going to talk to you all about lying about money. Now I had a different podcast schedule to record, but I feel like I need to talk about this one because it has been all around me this summer. This is craziness, my friends, craziness. And I am dumbfounded by how often this is happening and how often people are talking to me about it and how conflicted people are about it. So I'm going to give you lots of examples that I've experienced, but here's what I want to tell you. Lying about money is lying. It's lying, you all.

It's pretending. It is not showing up authentically. It is not being polite. It's lying. Okay? So I do not understand how this kind of lying is justified. And so I'm going to call you all out on it and I think I'm pretty contrarian with my viewpoint on this, but I'm sticking by it and I want to give you my perspective so at least you can consider it. So we went to Lake Tahoe, this is example number one. We went to Lake Tahoe with some friends of mine whom I adore. The situation is that it's a couple of people, one of them has a lot of money, one of them didn't grow up with money and doesn't have a lot of money and the one that doesn't have a lot of money was telling me, "Hey, I don't like posting on social media all the things that I'm doing because I feel like I'm bragging. So going on all these trips and staying in all these beautiful places and doing all these amazing things, I don't want to post on social media because I feel like the people in my life will see that and they'll just be jealous and they'll think that I'm just bragging.".

And I said, "But you are doing those things. You aren't bragging. Those are the things that you're doing, so to post that you're doing other things and not those things is just as much lying as if you're posting only things that you think people will admire." You see what I'm saying? So it's like, "Oh, it's okay for me to hold back the things I'm really doing and only post these other things that people won't be jealous about." That's okay. Posting only the good things is not okay. I think it's all BS, you all.

Now, first of all, I'm not on social media so I'm not posting things. So I agree that I speak of something that I don't do and something that I don't watch, but when I hear people saying, "I don't want to post the reality of my life on social media because of what people will think.", it goes both ways. So people will say, "I don't want to post when I wake up in the morning and I don't want to post that I have to clean my own house and I don't want to post that I have to work three jobs. I only want to post that I have these beautiful handbags and these beautiful shoes." That's as much of a lie as it is pretending that you're not doing all the expensive "things" that you're doing. And when we justify the one at the expense of the other, I think we're missing the whole point.

So I said to my friend, I said, "You're just pretending to be something that you're not." And they were like, "What? No, I'm not doing that. No. Those are the people that are always posting all the great things." I'm like, "No, no, no. You're just doing the opposite of that. You're posting all the mundane things when really your life is exciting and amazing and has all these awesome things in it and you're diluting your life, which is just as much of a lie as if you were pretending that it's better than it is.".

And I think it's super important that you at least tell yourself the truth to yourself about that. The second example that I have about this is a friend of mine who is an influencer, who is super successful, doing amazing things saying, "I don't want anyone to know, especially my customers, that I fly private." I was like, "What? Why? Why not?" "Well, because they'll think that I'm not relatable or they'll think that I have all this money." "But you do have all this money and lying about flying private and lying about the money that you have does make you a little bit unrelatable in that area and that is the truth.".

And so I think lying to your customers about who you are, whether it's telling them that you have more money than you do or have less, it's still lying to them.

The other example that I have was I went to this group, super exciting group of women making lots of money in their businesses and you all know me, I'm always talking about money and my goals with money and how much I love money and how great it is and all of that. And one of the women said to me, "Whoa,” her friend was there that wasn't part of the group and she's like, oh yeah, we don't talk about money in front of her." I was like, "What? She's your best friend. What do you mean?" She's like, "Yeah, you know they won't understand. She not in our world of money and wouldn't understand." And I was like, "What are you talking about? You make this much money. Why is it something that we won't talk about with other people because they won't understand?".

It's not like they won't understand because we're talking about like trigonometry or we're talking about something in our business that they'll be bored by. It's like deliberately hiding it to control what they think about us. That is some bullshit, you all. I do not sign up for such things. I do not think that lying or pretending that you have more than you do or that you have less than you do is healthy. And I don't think it's useful to try and control what people think about you.

Everyone in this group agreed, "Oh no, you don't tell your friends that. You won't have any friends if you tell them how much money you make." And I was like laughing. I'm like, "Well, I guess I don't have any friends because I talk about it all the time with all the people.", and they're like, "Well, don't people think it's obnoxious?" I'm like, "Maybe, but here's the thing. My mission in life is to be an example of what is possible.” One of the ways that I'm doing that is by demonstrating how powerful the model is when it comes to making money, something that's traditionally challenging for people. I'm going to talk about it and if people think I'm obnoxious or crazy or don't like me or whatever, they're just not liking the truth of who I am. The alternative of pretending that the truth is different so they'll like me goes against every single thing I teach in the world. I have to tell the truth about all of it. I don't want someone to... I think about my friend, I don't want someone to find out she's flying private and be mad at her. That's ridiculous, right?

She's hiding that. It's like there's shame in it. If people knew, oh listen, be who you are. Tell the truth about who you are. The people that don't like it are not your people but if people like you because of the lies you're telling them, they don't even really like you because they don't even really know you, and you end up feeling like you have to hide the truth of your success. You have to diminish and dilute yourself in order for people to like you. It is ridiculous. I do not recommend it. I am not on board.

I will not hide who I am. I will not stop talking about it. I will not tell lies or pretend to be anything other than I am. And that includes my success. And it includes my failures and it includes my chronic anxiety and it includes all the mistakes I made and all the wins that I have. I'm so happy that people and women shared their wins publicly so I could be inspired by them, and if you feel diminished or mad or upset by someone else's success or by my friend flying in a private airplane, that is not her problem. That's your problem if you feel that way, that's your work to do and to expect people to hide that or to not talk about it or to spend their money otherwise is absolutely insane in my opinion, and I'm not changing my mind on this, I'm not. I think this is an insidious problem that we are having and as I have more students creating more and more wealth and more and more success in their lives, the more important this is.

Your success is nothing to be ashamed of and you should not hide it. It doesn't make you better than anybody else, but it certainly doesn't make you worse than anybody else. It's just the truth of how much money you've earned and what you choose to spend it on, which is your prerogative. Now listen, if you don't want to become unrelatable to your students, you have to embrace your own humanness, but lying to them and pretending is not a way to stay relatable, my friend. No, that is the opposite. Being relatable is, listen, I have a lot of money and I fly private and I still feel like ass half the time. That is the truth. That is the human experience. That's what makes you relatable and letting people know what your true experience is will make you relatable as a human. Pretending that it's different than it is will do the opposite of that.

The last example was my mom. I was talking to her. We went on a walk together and she said, "Hey, you know, I didn't want to tell my friends that you got a book deal. I don't like to talk about your success because I feel like I'm bragging, so I just don't mention that to my friends." And I was like, "Well, there's no reason to hide it. I tell everybody on the public podcast, so we have no secrets up in here, no secrets about the bad, no secrets about the good, no secrets about anything in the middle.', and I asked her, "Why is that bragging? What does that even mean? Bragging my daughter's better than your daughter." That's insane. That's just the truth of what is. You'll know your intention. You'll know why you're telling something by the way you feel, but you'll also know why you're hiding something by the way you feel.

Hiding information, withholding information as a way of manipulating the truth, as a way of manipulating what people think about you comes from a place of insecurity and comes from a place of not accepting who and what you are, and it is really a problem. Hiding success is the same thing as hiding failure, pretending to be something that you're not. And I want to tell you why this is so important to me and why it is so important that I teach this to you. If you have shame over who you are, it is because you think that the circumstances, the results you've created in your life are who you are. And that is not true. Who you are is unaffected by all of it. And the relationships that you have in your life are separate from the things that you've created in your life.

And if someone says to you, "I don't want to be your customer because you fly in a private airplane or I don't want to be your customer because you talk about money all the time.", that is valid and that is good and that is okay. What is not good is to say, "Okay, if you don't want to be my customer if I do those things, I will change so you will want to be my customer too. You will want to be my friend. I will not be who I am so you can find me more acceptable." Because then you'll live your life in a dance of pretending to be someone that you're not for the sake of having a customer, a friend, a family member. Listen, this is the truth of me. This is who I am and what I do in my life does not determine my worth as a human, but it may affect whether people want to spend time with me and the question becomes, are you going to be who you are or are you going to pretend to be someone for other people?

There's a shift that I've seen as I've watched the evolvement of my students and their desire, all of our human desire to be accepted, to be liked, and we're afraid that we won't be liked if we don't suffer enough, if we're not relatable, if we're too successful. I used to have this belief that if I got too big and too successful, I wouldn't have any friends, that no one would like me, that everyone would think I was too big for my britches. And the truth is, in some cases that has been true and that's okay. And what I mean when I say that's okay is like, that's okay that they don't want to be around me or they don't like me or they don't want to hear what I have to say. That is absolutely their right, but I will not change so they will like me.

And I've watched this happen way too often with people manipulating the truth of who they are for acceptance from other people that they may or may not even care about. It's the thought air that happens in our brain that we want to be accepted by the tribe. So as this relates to money, I have been fascinated by how much people downplay their success, how much people downplay their wealth, how much they hide it literally. I've had so many clients talk to me about how they're hiding from the people in their life because there's so much shame associated with being successful and having money and everything that it can buy and what it means that if you're rich, you're not a good person or you're greedy.

I talk a lot about this in my book. I talk about how having money and creating wealth and being a successful businesswoman is a completely separate conversation from being a good person. They aren't defined by each other. And listen, if you're not relatable because you've had so much success in your life, it means you're just not relatable in that one area. It doesn't mean you're not relatable as a human. It doesn't mean you're not worthy of friendships as a human. It doesn't mean that you can't have a conversation about life and going to the grocery store and experiencing pain and sadness and frustration. And when you pretend like it is, you disconnect and then you become one of those really weird people that doesn't represent success and wealth very well. People won't like me if they know the truth about my success is a very common thought. People won't like me if they know how much money I have, if they know how wealthy we are. There is shame on both sides of that equation. And listen, I've never seen shame preserved well, and that's what you're doing when you lie.

So I'm going to make a call out here to all of my very wealthy, very privileged, very successful friends, all of you. Telling the truth is always better than lying even if you risk the relationship. Hiding who you are or what you have or how successful you are is not serving you in your life. It's not increasing the capacity or the connection. It's doing the exact opposite.

So here's my suggestion. If you are someone pretending to have more than you have, pretending to be happier all the time than you are, take a look at why you're doing that. Do you think it means that people will like you more because it sometimes has the complete opposite effect. And if you are on the other side of the coin, like my friend that went to Tahoe with me, who's pretending that their life is less than it is and that they're doing less exciting things, less expensive things, or my friend who pretends that she doesn't fly in private jets or my business associates who pretend to their friends not to be making as much money as they are or to my mom pretending to her friends that I'm not having the opportunities that I am.

I really want you to question the truth and authenticity of your life and I want you to ask yourself this question. What if you just let yourself be who you are and tell the truth about who you are? Don't pretend to be better than you are. Don't pretend to be worse than you are. We pretend to have more, have less. Just be the truth of you. Own it, own your life, all of it, all your success and all your failures and what you will get is true freedom, freedom to be who you are and you will give freedom, which means you give people the freedom to like you or not like you based on the truth instead of some manipulation because if they like you, because of your lies, they don't even really like you. They just like your lies and you know that and you'll feel that. I want to challenge you to be courageous enough to be as successful as you possibly can for as much as you desire that and then not to lie about it. Stop lying my friends. It's not serving the world. I'll talk to you next week. Bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come and check out Self Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the lifecoachschool.com/join. Make sure you type in the, thelifecoachschool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in self coaching scholars. See you there.