How to Shift Your Beliefs About Money
“With an estimated 67 percent of Americans at least a little anxious about paying the bills, and 58 percent worried they won't have enough money for retirement, it's becoming increasingly clear that being financially well is an integral part of overall wellness,” warns MindBodyGreen.
And Shauna Harrison, who holds a PhD in public health, agrees. In an interview with MBG, she says that even though she's very successful, she still catches herself with frightful thoughts about finances. "Honestly, money still scares the crap out of me sometimes! Having it scares me; not having it scares me. I’m working on disentangling my emotion from it. I think a lot of people can relate. It’s such a taboo topic, but it’s something that we all struggle with.”
Harrison is touching on a fascinating point. Our beliefs about money often play a role in how we handle our money, and impact our ability to manifest wealth or get stuck in debt. For example, take someone who is fearful of finances. Out of fear, they may shirk their budget or avoid opening the rising pile of bills on their kitchen counter. And so the debt and interest keeps getting racked up, “fulfilling” their fear and perpetuating the cycle.
In contrast, imagine someone who believes in abundance and that there’s no limit to their financial stability. While they may not have a lot of money right now, they don’t fear it. In fact, they use it wisely to achieve their goals, whether it’s saving for more career training or investing a little bit here or there. Their belief system liberates them to use their money to make more money, and their abundance mindset is manifested in real life.
Now, this isn’t some wishy-washy, “magic” approach to finances. Your belief system about money, and how these beliefs limit you or free you, have a measurable influence on your finances. If you catch yourself with limiting beliefs about money, try some simple strategies.
Step 1: Notice It
Really ask yourself, “What limiting beliefs about money do I have?”
Often, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t the “truth.” Perhaps you might think you have a limiting belief about money because your parents struggled with debt, leaving you to view money as a rarity or scarcity.
But why is that? Why did you adopt your parents’ mindset? Perhaps you saw how fraught your parents’ relationship to money was, and how it made them fight often. Are you scared of relationship problems? Perhaps money stresses you out because for you it’s linked to what you think is relationship security.
Step 2: Challenge the Belief
You've likely lived with this limiting belief for much of your life, and this might be the first time you've noticed it. Changing your beliefs can be difficult, but not impossible.
Try writing phrases that dispute the validity of the limiting belief. For example, in the parents-and-money example we gave earlier, you might write:
“Our love is stronger than money.”
“Money doesn’t guarantee peace and comfort.”
“We fell in love not because of money, but because of ________.”
Whenever you feel the limiting belief creeping into your thought patterns, challenge it and you’ll begin to shift how you habitually think about your bank account.
Step 3: Watch for the Gradual Results
Your current financial state and present lifestyle are reflections of months or years or even decades of holding onto this limiting belief. You will likely see constant reminders, or be placed in constant situations, where the physical reality around you tries to pull you back towards the old limiting belief. After all, you’re surrounded by evidence that this limiting belief is “true.”
Besides constantly challenging the limiting belief with the truth, look for shifts and gradual changes in the world around you. Perhaps you pay off your credit card balance for the first time. Or maybe you finally manage to bring the grocery bill under $50 this week after weeks of gathering coupons and watching the grocery sales flyers.
Look for proof that your new truth is changing your money habits, and you’ll strengthen your resolve and continue to diminish the power of the limiting belief so that you can let it slip away once and for all.
If you've found this topic helpful, but still need direction to apply it into your life; then click here to get a FREE 45-Minute Call with a coaching consultant at Achieve Today. They'll walk you through your goals, help you understand why you might be stuck, and give you some solid solutions to your problems.