Our beliefs about money change everything about the way we handle it.
Most of us have deeply ingrained beliefs about money whether we are consciously aware of it or not. We may have inherited these ideas from our family, the media, our religion or our culture. Because many people around us may share similar beliefs it may be extremely difficult to pull our beliefs about money apart from our societal conditioning about who we are in totality.
What are you even talking about, Amanda?
Depending on your background, you may identify with one of the following blockages. These examples are either from my own former beliefs about money, or from my friends’.
- Money is bad. Wealth will make me a bad person. “Rich” people are bad. If I earn, save, invest and spend money I will become bad. (We even have an idiom for this: “Money is the root of all evil.” This is actually a misquoted and misunderstood verse of the bible.)
- Money is the ultimate goal in life. I can’t be happy unless I earn $X. My life is difficult because I haven’t earned enough money yet.
- I can only make money through struggle and difficulty. It is impossible to enjoy a high paying job. I have to choose between my own happiness and earning money. Rich or happy, choose one.
- When I have money saved, something bad will happen and I will need to pay for it. Therefore, it’s better to spend my money and enjoy it right away before I lose it.
- I am simply not good with money. It is too difficult to understand most financial concepts so I stay away from learning about finance altogether.
These might sound a little silly when you read them, but these sorts of ideas hidden inside of us can seriously impact our ability to handle paying off our debt and saving for travel or for the future.
SO…I have messed up ingrained beliefs about money. What can I do about it if I can’t even figure out what my beliefs are?
You NEED to identify these beliefs. I know, that’s easier said than done. There are a number of ways to uncover what we really think about money, but honestly, it might not be pretty. Chances are, it is going to take a lot of hard work and often times we need to be guided through the process by someone who has been through it or even by a professional. Some of our beliefs about money are tied to painful times in our lives and when we uncover them, we often are digging up shallow graves we’ve long tried to forget about.
A great first step is just getting into some quiet time for yourself. Get out a pen and paper and fill in the blanks. Write whatever comes to mind without holding yourself back.
- When I think about earning money, I feel ________________________.
- When I think about the way my parents handled money, what comes to mind?
- Money is ______________________________.
These three questions can serve as a great starting point, but if you want to really delve into this, I suggest reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, checking out this workshop by To Be Magnetic if you want to get spiritual, or talking with a licensed therapist online or locally. Even writing about how you feel when you watch this video can be helpful.
Identifying blockages when it comes to your finances can set you free to pay off your debts, save money for emergencies and for the future, and travel the world more freely.
This blog post only contains a sliver of a glimpse inside the complexities of our beliefs about money. I’m not going to play psychologist here, but I am certain of one thing: when we identify our harmful beliefs about money and begin to work through them, we can find ourselves propelled into debt freedom so much sooner. Please don’t judge yourself during this process. You are not alone! Trust me. I could write a book on this subject.
Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful. If you feel comfortable, go ahead and share some of the yucky beliefs about money you found within yourself. You are totally welcome to use the comments section on my blog as the landfill for the beliefs about money you need to trash.
Sending love. May we all be FREE!