The real root of all evil is not money; it’s lack of self-acceptance. By the way, even the Bible doesn’t say it’s money. There it says the “love of money” and love as used in the proper translation would be “lust” or attachment – in other words, greed. This is where lack of self-acceptance comes into the conversation.

We are so conditioned to look for love in all the wrong places outside of ourselves that we overlook the very source of so much of our pain and suffering. What drives greed, truth be told, is a fear of powerlessness and insecurity. Humans are driven by essentially two questions: “Who am I” and “Why am I here?”

If we start out in life as young children being taught that what others think about us matters more than our own values, gifts, and talents, then why are we surprised that so many people are depressed, feel like fakes or are practically manic in their everyday striving to “do” more? (They believe that if they “do” more, they can “be” more – this is backwards.) Children make sense of their world by relating their experiences to “Who am I.”

Unfortunately, there are ample opportunities for others to project their own feelings of “not enoughness” onto the child. Such as, “Little Johnny, you are not smart enough because you are not good in math.” (It doesn’t matter that he’s a genius or visionary in other subject matters.) Or, if a child doesn’t conform, she or he is shamed into feeling “bad.”

Dr. Brene Brown has some wonderful research on the power of shame to hold people down. The other association with shame is aggression and violence. That’s a very high cost to society for classroom order and conformity. Attacking the “Who am I” of children is not wise, even if done with good intention. I don’t blame the perpetrators, per se, in that this kind of passing down of social conditioning is done in ignorance. I know from my own life that when I really knew better, I did better. Now here’s the key to what I mean by “know”:

“To know and not to do is not to know.” ~Chinese Proverb

Knowing has to do with belief, and belief is linked to thoughts AND feelings. We don’t “know” something until we can apply it and experience it. When we feel bad about who we “think” we are, we are in constant self-protection mode. We look for love based on the paradigm of “survival of the fittest.” This is only a way of seeing life. It is comparable to the childhood fear of the boogeyman under the bed.

It is fear of the unknown, seeing others as competition. and seeing one’s self as helpless, powerless, or not adequate. It is a huge source of feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The interesting point is that now there is enough research from brain studies to examine “logically” the flaws in this belief system. Who you “think you are” is what I call the “Mental Me,” formed in our brain/mind as “autobiographical memory,” mostly originally in early childhood. Our conscious sense of self for most people is locked into the beliefs based in fear and a need to “hide out.”

We carry memory in our body at a cellular level. While affirmations can be useful and are a place to begin, it is critical that we re-educate and rewire our brain to stop fearing feelings, recognize that “reality” is based in our own individual perceptions and can be changed.

Become aware that the “real you,” the “Mindful Me,” is the source of awakening to your true potential, peace, and joy. Since we project into the world our experience coming out of “who we think we are,” and since this stems from left-brain awareness, if we feel self-rejecting and insecure, we are much more likely to create drama and stress in our life.

The left-brain unbalanced with the right-brain tends toward tapping into its two dominant feelings – anger and aggression. Research has shown we are assigning the meaning to our life, just as we did as a child when we were yelled at for spilling milk. It’s not that we were “bad”; our bodies just were not as coordinated. The person yelling may have just been fatigued and upset by their day and was not present to the situation or patient.

One of the most powerful things I have done is to develop self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. This comes from reacquainting myself with my True spiritual nature. This spiritual nature helps to heal the misperceptions of our human nature. Also, understanding how your amazing brain forms this misperception can speed up the healing process. The more I grow in this, the less I am tempted to get sucked into wasting my time and money on things that I don’t really value, and the more likely I am to see life as an adventure, take risks and seek innovation.

I’ve become a better friend, a more caring person – not to get the love and attention of others but to truly desire to serve for the contribution itself. If I love me and feel reconnected to the Universe, I have more overflow and energy to give. Stop giving to get. Stop hiding out. You are more than enough now. Getting more stuff or money is not the answer once your basic survival needs are met.

You will simply have to pull up some courage, learn how to retrain your brain, and get back in touch with your True Self and joyful feelings so that you can live the life you were born to live. You will need to learn how to eliminate those “cataracts of the soul” that block your unique magnificence. Either way, you are loved by Life. Hopefully, you can “know” this to take your business and life to the next level. Business and life don’t need to be “hard,” but do need to be integrated. Integration comes from aligning your mind with heart, the physical and the spirit, and learning how to let go of the paradigm of fear and separation. You have the power. Stop giving it away to external props.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at