Our thoughts control our reality.
If we want to change our financial behavior, we have to start by changing the way we think. Our thoughts impact the way feel about money, which impacts the way we spend, save and invest money.
This is why it’s important to become aware of the limiting beliefs that hold us back financially:
1. Money is the root of all evil
This seems to be the most common belief that we have about money. It’s so common; most of us don’t even question it.
We look at the world and see all the terrible things people do for money and how money seems to buy justice and we feel justified for holding this belief.
Money is a medium of exchange, it’s neither good nor bad, the only has the value we give it. If we think money is good, it’s good, if we think it’s bad, it’s bad.
To change this belief: Make a list of all the good things money is being used for in the world. For example: Bill Gates starting the Gates Foundation, Muhammad Yunus starting the Grameen Bank to help women get out of poverty.
2. Spiritual people don’t care about money
This was a very difficult belief for me to ditch.
I spent the first 9 years of my life at a Catholic boarding school and I clearly remember being taught about the vices of material wealth.
or years I lived in fear of having my soul corrupted by money so I refused to deal with it - I never budgeted, saved or invested.
It took me years to understand that my financial issues weren't helping anyone. In fact, my issues were impacting my friends and family because I was relying on them to support me, which was holding them back from achieving their financial goals.
When I got this, I started actively chanting, praying, meditating for financial stability.
To change this belief: Question the thought: Spiritual people don’t care about money.
Is this true? Can you know that this is true? How do you react when you think this thought? Who would you be without this thought? (Byron Katie Technique)
3. I don’t deserve to have a lot of money
This belief is very closely linked to number 2.
The belief that we don’t deserve to have money brings a lot of guilt and shame with it. We feel guilty and ashamed if we have money and will tend to give away money we don’t have so we can feel better about ourselves and keep the belief alive.
To change this belief: Who are you not to deserve anything?
Question the thought: I don’t deserve to have a lot of money. Use the Byron Katie Technique.
4. Focusing on money is shallow
I’ll be honest, when I started writing about money, I thought it was shallow, but I've come to understand that money impacts every part of our lives.
If you want to eat healthy – you need money, even if you grow your own vegs you still need to buy seeds, a plot of land, which you may rent or pay for in other ways.
If you want to go to gym – you need money.
My best advice - risk being seen as shallow and start taking an interest in your finances.
To change this belief: Create a list of awesome not-shallow people who actually use money to change the world.
5. I’m not good with money
I had a lot of evidence to prove that this belief was true.
I had way too much debt, barely paid my rent, was constantly underpaid for my services and my bank account was always in overdraft.
You get the picture. I was bad with money.
The great news is, financial management isn't a skill we’re born with. It’s something we learn along the way.
Unfortunately most of us come from backgrounds where money was never discussed or understood (in my mom’s family money was seen as something mystic) so we have to spend time educating ourselves.
To change this belief: Educate yourself. Spend at least 15 minutes a day reading personal finance blogs or the Financial Times.
6. Money can’t buy happiness
We tend to see money and happiness as mutually exclusive.
Money can’t buy you happiness but neither does poverty.
A study by Economists has found that people in rich countries tend to be happier than people in poor countries. Personally I have my doubts about this study but I do believe not worrying about money frees our minds to wonder about other things such as: how can I live my life’s purpose?
To change this belief: Get happy and change your financial behavior. Create a fun account and spend 10% of your income on activities and things that you enjoy.
What limiting beliefs about money do you have?
How have you overcome them?
I would love to hear what other money beliefs hold you back in the comments section below