I have a lot of great memories growing up. I really liked my school, my teachers, my friends, where I lived, etc. I can’t imagine a better childhood of love and acceptance. But somehow around 3rd grade I learned that I couldn’t do story problems. I can picture myself in the classroom but I can’t recall whether it was my own voice or a suggestion that someone else made to me. The crazy thing is that I believed it to be true so it became true. I would be doing math and then someone would say something about the story problem and my brain would shut off because “I couldn’t do story problems.” That was just the way it was. I got awards in my penmanship, I was the teacher’s pet, I got to run errands and do things that very few others were allowed to do, but when it came to story problems, I didn’t do them. Then in high school I convinced the school councilor that I didn’t need to take geometry to graduate. (I guess I can be very persuasive.) I remember my brother-in-law telling me that I would be sorry. I emphatically told him there was no way I would be sorry, but I have been sorry many times. I got good grades, graduated in the top ten percent, and received scholarships to college. Then I went to college – but didn’t take math. When I was dating (for my future children’s sake) I made sure I married a math wiz. I thought I had accepted my handicap, but in reality, it just kept getting pushed down deeper and deeper while infiltrating every aspect of my life without my knowing it. Subconsciously I knew it was still there because when I had to do math or solve a problem I would get overly frustrated and beat myself up for being “stupid,” then give up and just let Lee figure it out. I rarely tried to do anything if it had to do with numbers. Then came the opportunity of my returning to school to finish my degree. My biggest challenge, however, was that I knew I needed to take college algebra. I was determined, however, so I completed a Kumon Math program and moved to Utah to attend BYU. I started the math class three times before actually staying in the class past the first test – I was so frightened of it. In the meantime, I took chemistry and learned how to do conversions. After taking soil science, plant propagation, and business finance I had finally gained enough confidence to take College Algebra. It took me a lot of work, but I actually enjoyed the class! I thought I had finally mastered this phobia, but deep down I still didn’t believe I could do story problems. And so I still avoided numbers and still got frustrated when doing our budget. Then during an REIC business developer meeting, Kris Krohn asked us to close our eyes and think of the first thing that we felt when we heard the word “money.” I felt anger. He asked me what memory I had where I learned to hate money. I couldn’t think of anything other than trying to work through our finances. He kept probing me and eventually after a lot of very difficult soul searching, my third grade memory came to mind and I knew it was because I couldn’t do story problems. This one belief had wrapped itself around everything associated with numbers, especially money. So he put a story problem on the board – a third grade story problem – and asked me to solve it. And I did. He then told me that as a third grader I could do story problems perfectly for me. This was a very emotional moment for me. I had been harboring a belief for more than 40 years that I didn’t believe could ever be changed but by acknowledging it and replacing it with a new belief system I was free. My third grade mind now believed it could do story problems. Since that day I have literally felt boxes opening in my mind as I have helped other students understand the math problems in our bidding and estimating class last semester and now taking over the family finances. (Lee really appreciates that I don’t get stressed about them anymore.) It has been a very empowering feeling to overcome a negative false belief that was stopping me from doing a lot of things that I wanted to do, replacing fear with love. The wonderful thing about this all is that since finding out that making shifts is possible, I have been able to repeat this process several times without needing someone else to guide me through it. There are lots of things that hold us back because of false beliefs but I have discovered that there is a way to remove the fears. It starts with an acceptance of where I am right now and a consciousness of where things began, visiting that place then replacing the fear with love which removes the negative thoughts. When I do something that seems to be repeated over and over, I start exploring to find out what my belief is and try to change it. Kris said he does this almost every day. I haven’t quite got to that point of honesty with myself, but I am working on it. And the more I do it the more exciting it is because of how free I feel.