Modern Family Matters

Understanding The Co-Relationship Between Self-Worth and Net Worth Post-Divorce

October 19, 2022 with Nancy Pickard Season 1 Episode 70
Modern Family Matters
Understanding The Co-Relationship Between Self-Worth and Net Worth Post-Divorce
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we sit down with Master Life Coach, Nancy Pickard, to talk through the relationship between self-worth and net-worth for women who are navigating divorce. In this interview, Nancy discusses the following:

•    Understanding how self-worth is directly tied to net worth. 
 •    Why self-care and healthy boundaries are key for women going through a divorce.
 •    How childhood self-esteem wounds can create shadow beliefs around money.
 •    Why low self-worth can be financially costly in a divorce.
 •    Learn some basic skills to develop self-trust and self-love.
 •    How you can gain strength and move forward with your new life and new identity.
 •    The importance of not being other-referenced and how to reference yourself first. 

If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys, please call our office at (503) 227-0200, or visit our website at

If you're interested in getting in touch with Nancy, you can do so by visiting her website: or send her an email at:

Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.

Welcome to Modern Family Matters, a podcast devoted to exploring family law topics that matter most to you. Covering a wide range of legal, personal, and family law matters, with expert analysis from skilled attorneys and professional guests, we hope that our podcast provides answers, clarity, and guidance towards a better tomorrow for you and your family. Here's your host, Steve Altishin.

Steve Altishin 
Hi, everyone. I'm Steve Altishin, Director of Client Partnerships here at Pacific Cascade Legal, and today we have Life Coach, Nancy Pickard, with us to talk about women and divorce and understanding the co-relationship of self worth and net worth. Nancy, how you doing this morning?

Nancy Pickard  0:51  
I'm great. Steve, how are you?

Steve Altishin  0:53  
I'm well, you know, it's not raining, and that's always good in Oregon. Nancy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before we start in?

Nancy Pickard  1:02  
Sure. So I am a international best selling author of the book Bigger, Better, Braver, Conquer Your Fears, Embrace Your Courage and Transform Your Life. And I am a Master Integrative Life Coach, so I work with healing your heart, I work with shadow beliefs, I work with relationships, marriage, I work, you name it, I work with it. 

Steve Altishin  1:27  
I like it, I like it. And so that fits right into what we're going to talk about today. And so I guess my first question is going to be, because this is the topic we're talking about is, you know, how does self worth relate to net worth?

Nancy Pickard  1:44  
So, it relates in a lot of ways. But I want to go back first, so that I give a little bit more credence to why I'm here and why I'm talking about this. I was married for 26 years. And when I got divorced, my whole life fell apart. I was unprepared, I didn't have the tools. I had never like paid my own bills or taken care of any of that kind of stuff. And I was truly unprepared. And I thought that my life should still continue exactly the way it is. I was watching my ex husband get remarried to somebody that was just two years older than my oldest son and, you know, living a big, huge life. And I believed that I, too, should be living a big, huge life. And I'm here to tell women that that will just get you in trouble. And so what happens is that most women are very other-referenced, which means that we see ourselves the way other people see us. So as long as my husband loved me and thought I was worthy, and thought I was sexy, and bright, and all of those things, that's how I saw myself. But as soon as he no longer wanted me, then I no longer wanted me. And my self esteem and my self worth was basically in the toilet. And I didn't have the tools I have now, most women don't. So when we get divorced, we really not only lose, you know, whatever financial security we thought we had, we also lose our self worth because we were other referenced. So it all plays into that until you learn to hold yourself in warm regard, and realize that you are worthy, just because you're here on this earth. You're not worthy because your husband thought you were, you're not worthy because you drive a Mercedes, you're not worthy because you still have the big house or the diamond ring. I gotta tell you, losing my ring was like losing my identity. And that's true for a lot of people and a lot of women. So there is a revamping that has to happen. Now I can get to your questions. I needed that setup, so that people would know I've been there. Trust me, I've been there. My money manager tells me all the time that I am like the poster child for how a divorce woman should be. But what really happens is you feel entitled to still have the life you lead. So women are very hard to sell their big homes. They think that you know, it's already disruptive for their children. So they want their children to stay in the house. And they're really not aware of their money issues or the long term plan. They're just stuck in, I deserve, I deserve, this is what I had, I don't want my life to change. And also they're watching the life of their husbands. So they're, you know, my ex husband was often buying yachts and living big and going on to do huge things, and I couldn't keep myself on my own side of the street, like, how can I be happy when he's doing all those things, and I'm not doing those things, and that happens to women. And so I'm really here to tell women, that the quicker they can learn their own self worth, and the quicker they can learn that their life has changed, regardless of what the man's life looks like, their life has changed. Even if they-- I mean, two people can't live the same way together as they're living apart. So your finances are going to change. It's just part of the reality, for man or woman. That's part of it. And if you don't get on top of it-- did you want to say something?

Steve Altishin  5:51  
No, no, I just agree with what you're saying.

Nancy Pickard  5:54  
Yeah, it's, it's a hard fact. But the longer it takes you to recognize that every choice you make matters, and you're in charge, you're in charge of every choice you make, until you grab hold of that and really hire someone to talk to you about your finances, take the blinders off and really see, where is your money going? How fast is your money going? What budget should you be on? Forget about the life you've lived, how do you take yourself today, and guarantee you're going to have money till the day you die? And until you get to this place,your self worth is so tied into your net worth. Because if you don't think you're worthy, you're actually not looking to see, how are you going to make more money? How are you going to hold on to your money? How are you going to protect yourself in the future? You're so busy thinking you deserve, or somebody else should be paying for this, or you know, you gotta fix your picture and find a new partner that's gonna support you. It's really, it takes time for women to like, look at themselves and say, Whoa, okay, I'm a grown ass woman here. How do I take care of my own finances? Maybe I have to go back and get a new job. I mean, I recently had a client who said to me, I'm not the kind of woman that can work nine to five. In the meantime, she was getting alimony, she was living with a man and upset that the man wasn't taking care of her, and she was gonna lose her alimony, because she was living with the man. And she was taking money from her father and her son. And I basically said, so wait a minute, you're not the kind of woman that can work nine to five, but you are the kind of woman that can take money from your ex husband, your boyfriend, your father and your son? Like there's something wrong with that picture. 

Steve Altishin  8:02  
That kind of took my brain back to what you talked about, this whole idea of other referenced and self referenced. Can you expand a little bit on that, and maybe how to break that chain?

Nancy Pickard  8:22  
Yes. I'd be happy to. I can speak about my own life. I didn't know it, but I had the shadow belief that I wasn't safe alone. And I also believed that I was this powerful, energetic, fun woman because I was half of a whole. I could be everything I was because I had a man at my side. And when that man was no longer at my side, then I lost my sense of self. And I didn't feel I needed to fix that picture. I needed to be half of a whole again. And once I really learned how worthy I was by myself, I recognize that I am whole all by myself. So I don't need anybody else. And so I am now self referenced. I'm self referred. I know how worthy I am. I don't need to look outside myself to find that worth. And that's a big problem for divorced women because we are people pleasers and conflict avoiders. We twist ourselves up in a pretzel to be to be digestible to other people. And we don't set healthy boundaries and start--divorced women need to start asking themselves, what do I need? What do I want? How am I going to support myself in the future? What smart moves do I need to make and who do I need to ask for help? Instead of how am I going to do all these things, because it's so overwhelming? And you're so used to--

Steve Altishin  10:10  
The overwhelming part, also, it seems to me, can be, where do I start? I mean, do you start working on your self worth, do you start working on your net worth? Or is there some other kind of mechanism that you kick in to start both? 

Nancy Pickard  10:29  
Well, yes, so the the way to love yourself more is to learn to be accountable to yourself. So everything you say, you're gonna do, you fall through with it. How many people say I'm going to meditate every day, I'm going to lose 10 pounds, I'm going to stop drinking, I'm not going to call my ex, or send emails, or do any of those things. We tell ourselves these things all the time, half the time, we don't even remember that we made those promises to ourselves. So the first thing to learn to love yourself and trust yourself, is to have a vision and a goal for where you want to go and what you want your life to look like. And then every choice you make needs to be in alignment. So you need to stay in integrity with the things you say, that's how you love yourself.

Steve Altishin  11:14  
I was just gonna say, if then I come to you, and I say, you know, what sort of skills do I need to do this? I mean, what can I practice?

Nancy Pickard  11:32  
To learn to stay in integrity? Well, I mean, honestly, that's why people hire life coaches, because life coaches number one, help you uncover the very beliefs that are in your subconscious that you're not aware of. The disempowering beliefs that keep you from loving yourself, trust in yourself, like, we grow up with beliefs such as I'm broken, I'm unworthy, I'm not enough, my needs don't matter, my voice doesn't matter. I can't do it alone, I'm not smart enough, I need a man, all of these things are so buried in our subconscious from our childhood, that we're not aware of them. And they keep us playing small. So you can't actually, you're handicapped from moving forward. So I think if you're in overwhelm, and you just get into a divorce, actually hiring a healing your heart coach, or a shadow coach, and both of those helps you number one, get back on your side of the street. Recognize where you need to work on your own self esteem and your own self worth. And then help you take the blinders off of you, so that you can see what you're not looking at, you know? Do you know how much money you have? Do you know how much money you spend? Do you know what a budget looks like? Do you have anybody helping you? Because when you feel unworthy, then you feel like there's not enough time, there's not enough money, there's not enough freedom, there's not enough love. Like, it's a Sub Zero game. She has this, then I'm not gonna get that. It's not like that. And sometimes you just need the support of somebody else who can help you see what you're not seeing.

Steve Altishin  13:23  
And that's where you fit in. 

That's where I fit in, or any coach. 

You talked at the beginning also, you used the term shadow beliefs. What is that?

Nancy Pickard  13:38  
So shadow beliefs are the beliefs that are formed in the first 10 years of your life, something happens and you're not emotionally mature enough to understand it. And so you give it a meaning. So, remember before when I said that I had the belief I wasn't safe alone? Yeah. Well, when I was five years old, I was playing with a lighter that was sitting on the coffee table, and I put myself on fire. And so the belief that I didn't know I had, by the way, that I wasn't safe alone, makes perfect sense for a five year old, who just put herself on fire. Right. I was in the hospital for a week, I was home for a month. And the reality is I didn't know I had that belief, but it became part of my operating system. So it made me the best girlfriend and the best partner and the best everything because I would twist myself up to be digestible to everybody else so that they would want me and need me. That was my shadow believe and that kept me safe as a child. I mean, it kept me safe most of my life. I always had friends. I always had a man in my life. Until it doesn't. These beliefs keep us safe until they start to keep us small. So I got divorced, and instead of feeling like I am financially secure, I my my kids are grown, I can go anywhere, I can do anything, I should be happy. But I couldn't be happy because the little girl deep inside of me, didn't feel safe. Once I uncovered it, I could give myself a new empowering belief. Like, Hey, girl, you're safe, you can do hard things, you can do big things, you can reinvent your life.

Steve Altishin  15:22  
So you can get past these shadow beliefs, but first you've got to realize they're there, because it sounds like you're saying they're sort of almost subconsciously there. And you don't kind of realize the connection.

Nancy Pickard  15:38  
Yeah, they're not sort of there, they're 100% in the shadow in your subconscious. And then you not only have these beliefs, but you make these underlying commitments. So you have a belief, and then you build in a strategy to keep the belief alive. So if I don't feel like I'm safe alone, I make a promise or a commitment that's also in my subconscious, I will never be alone, I will do everything possible to not be alone. So I help people uncover these beliefs, because these beliefs are keeping them playing small. They're living in their fears. They're not moving beyond their fears.

Steve Altishin  16:23  
It sounds like during a divorce itself, it can be very detrimental and affect a person's decisions on how to settle,what to ask for, all of these different things, because you're not really asking or referencing yourself.

Nancy Pickard  16:49  
Right. I remember the belief that I couldn't make my husband mad while we were getting a divorce, because he would give me less, which only makes him feel more grandiose and gives him more of the one up. And I think that that's probably really normal. I mean, I coach a lot of women going through a divorce who will be like, well, I can't say that, or I can't do that. Because he'll get mad, and then he'll make my life even harder. They'll use financial against the woman.

Steve Altishin  17:29  
That's really common, we find. That whole sort of feeling and some people never get beyond it. How can you help someone get beyond that? That sort of breaking that fear of I can't get them mad, or else I won't get what I want or deserve or anything like that?

Nancy Pickard  17:54  
It's a tricky question, Steve. Because it's very possible that it's true. So as you know, when I speak, man versus woman, I'm actually speaking, whoever's holding the purse strings. Whoever's holding the purse strings is the one in power, is the one that's one up. And so it's not always man or woman, it's whoever's holding the purse strings is the one holding the power. So there's some truth to that. I think maybe even just getting it out on the table with your soon to be ex might be a good conversation. I think that you know, what happens, unfortunately, is that both partners are not in their conscious, wise adult. They're in their adaptive child. They're in their fighting. They're in their wounds. They're in all of those disempowering beliefs, and they're not actually having a conversation from their adult wise brain, which is where they need to get to. And that may take work, that may take joint counseling, that may take making yourself a priority and asking for what you need with grace and ease. I feel scared when I feel that you're going to shut me down. If I say this, would you be willing to hear me without reprimanding, you know, without any consequences? I mean, you've got to start asking for what you need, but in a way that is not triggering to your partner. You want to try to get to their adult wise brain themselves. 

Steve Altishin  19:39  
Yeah, that happens in a lot of high conflict kind of divorces where you know, there's generally one of the sides just refuseing to be rational, and, you know, playing the other one.

Nancy Pickard  19:53  

Steve Altishin  19:54  
So, it seems to me, the other thing is that if I come out of the divorce, I was the one without the purse strings, and I come out of the divorce with less than 50/50, which is going to happen in a lot of cases because it isn't necessarily designed to split everything 50/50, or r even if they do, the incomes aren't always 50. I mean, there's ways--

Nancy Pickard  20:21  
Yeah, what happens after? The other person can go on to make zillions, you know?

Steve Altishin  20:27  
Yeah. And so how do you fight not falling back into that afterwards?

Nancy Pickard  20:33  
Into the disempowering feeling? 

Steve Altishin  20:37  

Nancy Pickard  20:38  
You have to get to a place of acceptance and surrender. And acceptance and surrender doesn't mean you love what happened. It means you're going to say to yourself, Okay, this is where I am. I never thought I'd be here. I didn't see it coming. I don't, it's not my first choice. But this is where I am. And if I can accept and surrender, that this is where I am, and I can believe that the universe has my back, and that everything that happens happens for me, and not just to me, then from this place of surrendering, I can say, Okay, what's next? Well, how do I move on? You can't do that till you stop fighting and resisting what is. So that is the first step. This is where I am. Let me get give a hard look to what I really have here. How am I going to protect what I have? And how am I going to let it grow? It was really important to me, I sold my big house and I lived under my means in terms of where I lived and how I lived, until I really got to a point where I had accrued a lot of money. And I could finally let that go. And I could finally loosen my purse strings. But not until I felt really safe and secure. And just go back for a minute to shadow beliefs. We all have shadow beliefs around money. I was brought up from a depression age parent. You know, my parents were from the depression and my parents, like, did not spend a penny. So I grew up believing that it wasn't good to spend money. You know, you were like bad to spend your money, you look down at spending your money. But there are other people who feel entitled, you know, they spend every money. I mean, I know people whose parents lived a big life. And now my age, people are taking care of their parents, because they didn't do it right. But you still, you come up with all these beliefs. I'm not good with money. Religious people don't care about money, or, you know, good people don't care about money, money should be saved and not spent, or the opposite. I'm worthy of having my needs met. I have clients who believe that, you know, I'm going to take care of these things and I'm going to, the man should be doing all these things for me. And like in today's world, that's just not necessarily the way it is. So we have to clean out the attic of all these beliefs, and get real with what is so that we can clear out our money beliefs, see which beliefs are not serving us. I had the opposite. I finally had to get to a point where I could say, your father and mother's beliefs are making you play way smaller than you need to. And so I had to go the other way. That didn't happen until my parents died, and it was so much money. You never would have thought they had a penny. And I thought, I don't want to do that. I don't actually want to die with all my marbles. And so, there's a lot here, but you have to figure it out for yourself. Because you have to make yourself a priority. 

Steve Altishin  21:00  
This is an ongoing project, isn't it? You were talking about your parents, you know, and then when they got--this isn't something that just you fix yourself and forget about.

Nancy Pickard  24:27  
Well, we are a product from our parents. And our parents are a product from their parents. So when you start to think about it, your beliefs could be 200 years old, they don't really apply. But you don't know that because you're running your life on autopilot and you don't really understand where your beliefs came from, which are good beliefs , but which are not serving you. And basically, you're just gonna get to a place where you are, this is where I am. This is who I am. I've lived my whole life being other referenced, how do I put the spotlight on me? And how do I hold myself in warm regard? Even when I'm sad, even when I don't have the big house anymore? Even when I'm scared, even when I lost the person who I thought would be in my life forever? How do I still hold myself in warm regard? And where do I go from here?

Steve Altishin  25:30  
We're almost done, I hate to be almost done. But that gets us to kind of coming to you. Again, I kind of come back to that, which is that what you, it sounds like, you know, as a life coach in general, just the term Life Coach means it could be an ongoing struggle. But you have, if someone comes to you, and they say, Well, how do I fix it? It's not just well, okay, just think better about yourself here. There are real, actual things and ways to do this.

Nancy Pickard  26:14  
Yeah, the first thing is to get out of the victim mode. You know, women get divorced and 15 years later, they're not dating anybody. They're still mad at their husband, they're still blaming their husband. And honestly, at that point, there's nobody for them to blame but themselves. Because as long as you stay in the victim mode, you are disempowered. And you're not going to move forward in your life, you're not going to recreate a new life. And so I hope anybody who feels that they're the victim in their story comes and gets help. Because that's the first step is how do you help somebody stop looking on that side of the street, because here's the other thing, I want to tell you that there's like, there's your side, and then there's God's side, or the universe's side, and then your ex's side. And as long as you're over there, you're going to be in pain. You have to stay on your side and only on your side. Leave the universe to take care of everything else and get out of your ex's business, stop looking over there. You have to stay on your side, you need blinders. So you stay on your side, you get out of victim mode, you recognize that you are worthy. And that also you are capable. 

Steve Altishin  26:41  
So don't go to my ex's Facebook Live every morning?

Nancy Pickard  27:42  
No, no. Is that happening to you?

Steve Altishin  27:47  
No, you just see that. It's like the first thing, my ex did this. And I'm always going well, how do you know that?

Nancy Pickard  27:57  
You know, I tell my clients, and I had to learn this for myself that any news you get about your ex is painful. So if you want to set a healthy boundary, you actually say to your friends, I know you're going to see him, we live in the same community, blah, blah, blah. I don't want to know anything. Like as much as I want to know, I don't want to know, it's too painful right now. This is not the right time. So unless I asked you a direct question, please don't give me any information. 

Steve Altishin  28:32  
Yeah, I get that. I like that. Wow, we've run out of time. I hate that. Wow. We really want to thank you, first of all, for sitting down and talking to us today about this, because this is a subject that is, I think, sort of in a vague way, out there. People sort of understand, but really don't. And it's a lot more complex than people realize. And I really liked the way you just sort of are able to make that understandable, even to someone like me. And before we go though, I really do want you to let people know how they can get a hold of you if they would like to talk to you.

Nancy Pickard  29:19  
Well, my website is And on there, there will be a link, you know, my email will be there, there'll be a link for a free discovery call. Because working with a coach has got to work both ways. I have to think that I will be a good fit for you and that you will be a good fit for me and so do you. So I always do a free call just to get to lay that out. This is how I work. This is the kind of thing I work on. You know, you tell me what's going on with you and then we decide togethe, whether that's a good thing. So there's also a free chapter to my book. There's all kinds of things and it's on my website and so, and I welcome anybody to send me an email or set up, there'll be a calendar link to set up a free call. 

Steve Altishin  30:10  
Yep. Oh my gosh. Well, thank you. Thank you so much again, and thanks for being here today.

Nancy Pickard  30:17  
Thanks for having me. 

Steve Altishin  30:20  
I loved it. Everyone else, until next time, thank you for coming, obviously. And if you do have questions after this, and maybe have forgotten how to get ahold of her, you can anytime post here, and we can get you connected with Nancy. So with saying that, until next time. Stay safe, stay happy and be well.

This has been Modern Family Matters, a legal podcast focusing on providing real answers and direction for individuals and families. Our podcast is sponsored by Landerholm Family Law and Pacific Cascade Family Law, serving families in Oregon and Washington. If you are in need of legal counsel or have additional questions about a family law matter important to you, please visit our websites at or You can also call our headquarters at (503) 227-0200 to schedule a case evaluation with one of our seasoned attorneys. Modern Family Matters, advocating for your better tomorrow and offering legal solutions important to the modern family.