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Change Your Money Story, Change Your Financial Life

Updated: Oct 5, 2022



Note: transcription provided by Otter.AI, which is a technology company that develops speech-to text transcription and translation applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: So welcome, everybody, to this week's podcast episode for the Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast. And I'm your host, Dr. Christopher Loo. And as you know, we talk about four different types of freedom: financial, time, location, and emotional freedom. And my mission is to empower you, bring you guests from all over the world doing a variety of things so that you can become educated and make informed decisions about your freedom journey.

So today, we have Michael de Haan, coming from Australia, and he is a financial wellness leader. He's going to talk about financial wellness, resiliency, and emotional resilience. He's got a very impactful story that I'm excited for the listeners to hear. So Michael, welcome.

Michael de Haan: Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to the podcast.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: I'm so glad we were able to connect and, like I said, you have a very interesting story and it's very inspiring. So tell everybody where you came from and what you're doing now?

Michael de Haan: Yeah, so my background has always been with money, financial planning. I've done that for over 30 years. And I knew how to invest money for people and create wealth for people. But I never really understood the emotional side of it, the psychological side of money. And I went down a pathway where I had a good job earning lots of money. And I was, in a sense, disconnected from myself and my family. So it was all about earning more money. And what I found was, I was finding myself under a lot of financial stress.

So over time, what that did to me is that I started to have anxiety that led down to the depression pathway. And then I was diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer, which I'm quite well now. But I actually had to start looking at what was going on in my life, why did I continue, continually have this financial stress, and then look internally around my behaviors and my beliefs around money, and how that was creating the stress in my body. So what I did was, I started to do the internal work and really understand my money story, my money journey. Growing up in a family, we had a lot of scarcity and self worth. And I was just playing that out in life. I was on autopilot.

So I really had to look internally to really go through what that is happening for me, and how to really support myself to create the freedom, to create the joy back in my life. And really live life intentionally on what I desire. And unfortunately, my 22 year marriage broke up at the same time, but now I've done the internal work. And I've actually got a mapped out vision about what brings me joy. I've got financial freedom in my life. So, I can make decisions based around my purpose, around relationships, and around, as I said, what's going to really bring me that joy and happiness in my life. So it's a big difference, when you can actually just look at where you've been, look at where you want to go and have a clear vision of what that looks like. And then start living that everyday.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: You brought up a lot of good points. And I just finished with the book, The Body Keeps the Score, which talks about where we store up emotional trauma and really, a lot of the limiting beliefs about real money and relationships come from our upbringing. So it's quite interesting.

What impact does societal norms and conditioning have on both men and women when it comes to finances?

Michael de Haan: Certainly you find, in particular with men, that we just can't express our emotions. So whatever we're feeling, as I said, has been brought up around scarcity where money you can't talk about money, but you bottle up there's emotions in the body. Men aren't supposed to be vulnerable, men aren’t supposed to cry and in doing that, you can actually express and sort of reach out and ask for support. So then I've had internalization with my beliefs around self worth, how I was brought up, that's how I found myself sabotaging. I found myself making poor financial decisions, even though I pretty well knew deep down that I was making poor decisions. And that's what was creating that financial stress.

And if you look at women in particular, they are taking on this, generally speaking, this caretaking role. And the caretaker is looking after everyone else first, not putting themselves first. So that in itself, in regard to the money side of that, that can be that dependency where they're dependent on someone. And that in itself can create a control. So it's really around both men and women, being able to talk about their emotions, talk about their beliefs, and talk about their journey. And when you do that, Chris, you actually release it from your body. And when you hear yourself talking about some of these stories that no longer serve you, you can start creating new stories. And that's very powerful.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, yeah. And what's interesting is, because I like to look at it from an energetic standpoint when we talk about emotional trauma. You said internal work, which is very fascinating, because I'm always on a journey of personal development. How do you transform limiting beliefs and behaviors around money into something more empowering?

Michael de Haan: Yeah, that's a really good question that comes up a lot. And when I say doing the internal work, I really had to be vulnerable with myself and look in the mirror and just go, Well, how was I brought up? What are my beliefs? How can we talk about self worth, and how I was brought up, and I had what I call that sort of ceiling where I'm not worthy of anything more. So then, what I was doing was self sabotaging, as I said, and making poor decisions to keep me under that ceiling, keep me under that self worth. Who am I to have financial freedom? Who am I to have joy in my life and, and live on purpose and create change in the world?

So that's, I suppose, quite vulnerable when you actually look in the mirror, and these are all stories that I've carried in my subconscious mind. I've been on this sort of hamster wheel for 30 years of my life. And just living a life that was designed for me, I wasn't living my own life. So in saying that, I actually said, Well, what is my future self looking back? What beliefs need to serve my future self? And that's the empowering thing. So I've had a sort of a victim and very innocent mindset, where I just don't look at money and just hope it'll fix itself, which he never does. And then I was holding trauma in my body around that victim mentality, so those two in particular kept me stuck. And the freedom of actually saying that I'm worthy. This is my future self. This is what I need to change.

Those stories, as much as they're valid, because they did happen when you experience them and bring them up in your body, and actually say, well, there was a reason for them. I'm choosing to change. I've got an awareness now and I want to transform into this new life, which is all about that purpose, that joy and that freedom, which everyone deserves, Chris.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, absolutely, that's quite interesting. And then I'm very fascinated by the release in So what role does the subconscious mind play in stopping people from creating financial well being?

Michael de Haan: I think that's a really valid point, because the subconscious mind runs 95% of our life. So I talked about sort of being on autopilot. So the subconscious mind in this sense is there to keep you safe so whatever beliefs or programs they're upholding your subconscious mind, and generally from quite a young age, when you're in that sort of survival mode in your conscious mind hasn’t formed. And then events during your life and societal conditioning that's what sort of runs your life.

So when you actually can delve into the subconscious mind and go, Well, what's it in there? What are my beliefs? What are my programs? What are the habits that I'm showing? What are the behaviors that I'm showing which no longer serve me?

And I love a quote by Dr. Bruce Lipton, who has really supported me in transforming my life, which is, your life is a printout of your subconscious mind. So if you feel stuck or feel that you're under a lot of stress, and really have to look externally for any sort of validation, look internally and just go: Well, that is my life. And I acknowledge that. What I do now? Awareness is very powerful.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: How do you support people to have a clear vision of their future self and live intentionally towards that vision?

Michael de Haan: That's really, people actually understanding. And I take the money side out of it, the money is just energy. So I work with our clients to create that future vision. And it's around five principles. So it's very much around, where do they want to live? What do they love doing? What do they want to be learning? What is their legacy, or whatever they want to be known for. What makes them laugh, what really brings them joy?

And we start to paint that picture of what that future stuff looks like, and it might be five years down the track. And then we actually do some sensory work around that. So we actually get the feelings associated with that. So you're walking in there, is it nice and bright? Is it ocean views, where you can actually see and smell the waves? Is it in the countryside, where the trees are? The winds are going through the trees, and you hear the birds. And actually start building this really strong story in your mind about what your future is going to be. And then when you can paint that picture, then you go well, that's what I desire. That's what will bring me joy, and having that clarity around that future self. And you can say, Well, what do I need to do now? To be more intentional around tracking towards that future self?

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. I like that intentionality? And then the other question I have is, why do people self sabotage their ability to create financial well being?

Michael de Haan: They self sabotage because that's the role of the subconscious mind, which is to keep you safe, to keep you in this sort of safe mode. And the subconscious mind, it's the programs and the beliefs that are hidden in the subconscious mind. So that’s saying that you're not worthy. Who were you to build wealth, you're not good with money. You're born up around scarcity around money, mom and dad fought around, fought about money all the time. And these are just examples.

So a lot of times to feel safe. You don't accumulate money, because it's not part of the program. So you can actually make poor financial decisions that keep you stuck. One of the biggest things I'd say, especially for high income earners that don't have a great relationship with money, is that money flows in and money flows out as quickly as it flows in. Because there's no intention around that. There's no intention around the flow of money. And accumulating money for the purpose of bringing new joy is the key.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, it's interesting, because when you talk about all of the different programs, and all of the beliefs. Because money is basically an idea and it's financial energy. And so what types of resources would you recommend for people interested in getting into the internal war? Becoming more aware, and then possibly getting working on themselves and deprogramming and releasing all of these negative beliefs.

Michael de Haan: And the first thing is really having a curiosity around money, around your beliefs and what that looks like. And we do a financial wellness scorecard where people can actually tap in, answer a number of questions and they can get a snapshot of where they are in regard to their money in regards to their beliefs around money. And then they can actually start going through a questionnaire which identifies different money types that might be disempowering them from achieving financial freedom.

And that's important, there are two keys there in regard to starting to unblock limiting beliefs around money. Then you actually go through your money story. You pay your board up around money, because a lot of this, as I said, sits in the subconscious. So when you can bring it up and understand your money stories, understand your relationship with money, your emotions and your feelings around money, then you actually start from a point there, going, well, I'm so confident around money, I believe that money has a purpose of creating financial freedom for me. What do I do now? How do I actually create a flow of money that supports me? In regard to physicians, how do I take back time? How do I get off that hamster wheel in regard to working long hours and start building that life of financial freedom? So having that clarity as well.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, I like that. And then, you specialize in creating safe conversations around money for couples. I'm just curious. When you mean safe conversations, describe what the elements of the safe conversation are around money, versus toxic or negative.

Michael de Haan: If we look at the stats, we're looking at money being one of the leading causes of relationship breakdown. So the reason is that we don't talk about money. Generally speaking, it's generally a taboo subject, or if we talk about it, it's generally a sort of argument. So as an example, one partner might be a spender, and one might be a saver, and the saver might have that belief, because they've had scarcity in their life. And the spenders living in the moment.

So having that conversation, not when it's heated, like you get the credit card bill, and you go through and you see your partner just spending on all different things and you feel you feel heated, you feel not heard, you feel not respected. It's really having a conversation in a peaceful space where you can actually say, let’s just start understanding our money beliefs, let's talk about, how were you brought up around money? What does that mean to you? Let's talk about what we are trying to create. What does that freedom mean to us as a couple?

And start aligning your vision, start aligning the different stories, and they're quite powerful. The stories were terms. I'd say that brought up a lot of scarcity around money, mum and dad were really poor. And whenever I get money, I just spend it, because I've never had it. I've never understood accumulating money. because my family, we never accumulate money.

So when you actually get to the root cause of why people were acting in different ways, you create an understanding. And with that understanding, it supports intimacy in the relationship where you're showing vulnerability, and then you can actually start mapping out a playing game. So if I spend a little bit less, I've listened to you, if I'd spend a little bit less, that's gonna make you feel heard, and it's gonna make you feel safe. And the saver might say, Well, how about I start working on my beliefs around, I need to hold on to all the money, for whatever reason, whatever their limiting beliefs are, and start working together, in regard to honoring each other's sort of money beliefs, but actually working as a couple. Working in a partnership.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Mhm, yeah. And then we're nearing time, and then you've given a lot of deep insights, especially deep inner work. And working with coaching clients you can hear some of the beliefs and frames that either propel or hold them back. How does one change their money story and then change their life?

Michael de Haan: With changing the money story, it's having an awareness of the money story. And we'll get back to that autopilot where people are just going through life, run by their programs, run by the subconscious. So consciously looking at where your money story is. And that can be quite vulnerable. And we always look at your mom and dad, how you were brought up, and they do their best job. So you just look at, well, that's one of the stories outside of saying how that's played out. For me, it was around making poor financial decisions, when I knew that they were poor. I look back, and there's a bit of shame around that. But then honoring that, saying, that was how I was brought up around money. This is how it's played out in my life around money. That's my money story. And here's what my future money story looks like. Here's what my future self looks like.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's very powerful. Well, you've given a lot of great insights. And I really enjoyed this conversation. Actually I had a lot of deep insights about myself. I know a lot of people are interested in contacting you and working with you or visiting you, how can they do that?

Michael de Haan: There's something on my website, which is They can organize a 30 minute meeting, just to really start that awareness that sort of digging a bit deeper around what that looks like for them. And it's in a very safe environment. I do have, as I said, one of the most powerful tools that I offer clients is their financial wellness scorecard. So I can send the links through to you because they can do that in their own time. So they can get an idea and start looking at some of the transformational tools that are available through that scorecard application. So that's a really good starting point, Chris.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And for all the listeners out there, Michael's links in his bio, and all of his resources will be included in the show notes. So, Mike, thanks so much for coming on the show. It's been a pleasure having you and we look forward to hearing from you again.

Michael de Haan: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!


Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.


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