YOUR BELIEFS AFFECT YOUR MONEY
How does your belief system block you from achieving your financial goals?
In this section we’re going to look at what beliefs are, where they come from, why and how they stop us achieving our goals and what we can do to overcome their limiting nature.
What is a belief?
Various definitions include the following:
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.
Belief is an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction
So we might believe that the world is round, or flat. We might believe that our genes make us fat, that giving to and helping others is a good thing to do, that keeping our minds agile keeps us young and in good mental health. These are all types of beliefs.
On the other hand a LIMITING BELIEF is defined as:
Limiting Beliefs are held either consciously or subconsciously and they serve as obstacles to manifesting and attracting what you want.
For instance you’ve always wanted to get a degree but a voice inside you says that you’re not capable of doing that and so you don’t pursue it.
A limiting belief is a belief that no longer serves you. For instance you may have believed you had to be “good” to earn the love of your parents and this now restricts you as an adult. In a specific money sense being good may have been saving all your pocket money for something special to the point that as an adult you have difficulty spending your money instead of saving it or spending it on something that you think is frivolous. A limiting belief is a belief or decision we make about ourselves and/or our model of the world that limits the way we live our life. For instance we may believe that we should work hard and diligently with the effect that we make ourselves ill through overwork and don’t have a balance of fun and pleasure in our lives. Limiting beliefs are simply assumptions about reality that are not true. Limiting beliefs are those things you believe about yourself that place limitations on your abilities
HOW ARE OUR BELIEFS FORMED?
Beliefs are formed in a variety of ways:
1. Perhaps the most common is that when we are born we have no beliefs (unless you believe in past lives but that’s another story!) and so we develop our beliefs based on the beliefs of the people around us during our childhood.
How many times have you heard a parent or authority figure saying to a child any of the following:
If you don’t eat your dinner you can’t have dessert
If you don’t wrap up warmly you’ll catch a cold
If you don’t clean your room you’re not watching TV tonight
If you don’t do so and so you won’t have any friends
I can’t afford to but you that
If you eat your crusts then you’ll have strong teeth
If you don’t eat your greens you won’t have nice shiny hair
Money doesn’t grow on trees
And so on....I’m sure you all have plenty that you remember!!!
I particularly like Albert Einstein’s quote on this subject
He said "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." !!!
I would just like to make a point here around what we learn from our parents or as parents what we pass on to our children. Limiting beliefs that we pick up in childhood should not be BLAMED on the people who offered them to us!. Our parents and teachers didn’t know that their beliefs were limiting and affected our life experience. They were beliefs that they held at the time and perhaps still do. Parents do what they think is best for their children and we shouldn’t hold them responsible for who we are today.
Yes we are dependent on our parents as children but once we are adults we become responsible for ourselves and we are able to choose the way we want to live. This includes choosing our own beliefs and behaviours.
Sometimes it’s tempting and convenient to hold others responsible for the adult we are today! It’s easier to blame somebody else for the bits of ourselves that we don’t like so much. However, if we choose to give this responsibility to others, we lose the power to change our own life and to live the life that we dream of. That’s not something to be recommended !
2. Another way that our beliefs are formed is through the influence of a charismatic leader. We may be so in awe of them that we adopt their beliefs. This may include a school teacher, a childhood hero or heroine or somebody who influences us as an adult.
3. We typically form our political beliefs based on those that are most common in the community where we live
4. Similarly our Religious beliefs are formed as children because most children are taught some form of religion at home or school and research shows that we tend to believe the religion taught to us in childhood.
Our beliefs run through every cell of our body and even though we may have some awareness of them and how they influence our behaviours, and therefore our lives, the amazing thing is that we continue to act on them even against our own self-interest. This can be both limiting and at times self-sabotaging.
You would think that as we gain new experiences that our beliefs change and shift, and indeed they do but the human propensity to hold on to our beliefs, no matter how damaging they are for us, is much greater than our propensity to be open to new experiences and to everything that the people and world around us can teach us. Indeed most of the time we are totally unaware of our beliefs that our limiting us and holding us back in certain areas of our lives.
Our mind and psyche is very clever and very powerful but can often work against us.....
What happens when limiting beliefs are formed is that typically there is an event that happens that is an unpleasant or even a traumatic experience for you (usually in childhood).
An example..... As an adult you may be terrified of public speaking and have the limiting belief “I can’t stand up in front of anybody and speak.”
It could be something as simple as being asked to read out loud in your class at school and being teased or humiliated for your reading. Your mind then tries to protect you from this pain happening again and so it draws a general conclusion from that single incident that says “don’t ever stand up and speak in public.”
Usually we are unaware of the next bit but if you are prepared to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself WHY you’ll probably hear a voice that says,
“because if I do I’ll be laughed at, I’ll be humiliated.”
So here the mind is remembering the one incident in the past and is generalising that the same thing will happen again – it will be embedded like a code in every cell of your body even though it may not be immediately obvious and you may not understand why you feel the way you do and why you believe this will happen.
Most of us don’t know this second piece we just stop at the point that says
“no I can’t do it or no I’m not doing that.”
And when we do go to this step and find the answer we often don’t know where it comes from. If we stay with an inquiring mind we may often get to a point of remembering the incident that caused this pain and we can then start to look at it with a rational adult mind rather than a wounded child’s mind. We can thus begin to see where the belief comes from and make a decision about whether this belief is really true.
You could ask yourself
“what if I did stand up and make a speech at my best friend’s birthday party? What if I did it and nobody laughed at me but applauded my heartfelt message to my friend? How would that feel?”
This is how we identify limiting beliefs,how we start to become aware of them and where they come from and are able to question whether the circumstances that made us have that limiting belief in the first place still hold true?
Is there any evidence that the same thing would happen? What could you do to influence it not happening in the same way again?
What’s fascinating is that when we have a belief our mind seeks out the evidence to support it and ignores the evidence that disproves it !!
Just stop and think about that for a moment because it’s a very powerful thing
Our mind literally filters the evidence around us in order for us to be able to continue to support the belief that we’ve formed. So subconsciously we are always looking for the evidence to support our beliefs. We create our own reality !!
The great news is that the same is true once you choose to challenge a belief.
So once you make the decision to change a limiting belief you will begin to notice that there is evidence to support your new belief . it was always there but your mind wasn’t open to it before because it only tuned into information and evidence to support your belief system.
Our minds are very powerful tools but once we start to understand how they work we can use the tools offered to change them to serve us better and to empower us to lead more fulfilling lives.
Various pieces of research have been done around limiting beliefs and the following are cited as the most common:
We fear that we could be GREAT
We fear that we may FAIL
We fear we are NOT (good) ENOUGH to achieve what we want
We fear NOT being LOVED
We fear other will REJECT us
We have negative attributes assigned to rich people – Rich people are…
We fear being SUCCESSFUL
We believe we don’t DESERVE and are not WORTHY of SUCCESS
We believe we have to work very hard, long hours for our money
Isn’t it amazing to see that the number one limiting belief is our fear of being GREAT?
How many of you remember the speech made by Nelson Mandela when he was released from Robbin Island in 1990? Part of his speech quoted the following:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This inspirational quote was written by Marianne Williamson and is called Our Deepest Fear
In our aim to empower women in finance we hope to inspire all women who come to our site to be as GREAT as they were born to be
Remember that as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. What a gift we can all give each other and our world. It’s contagious !
It doesn’t matter where you start to let your light shine because once you begin it will affect every area of your life. We’ve chosen to focus on the area of money because it is such a big stumbling block for so many women and an area of disempowerment. It’s also one that is relatively easy to change and one where you can see tangible results and in true holistic style if you start being great in this area of your life then it will spread and expand into other areas of your life too. All that’s needed is that one small step to start you on a new path
HOW DO WE CHANGE OUR LIMITING BELIEFS?
As we’ve seen above, the first step is to try and identify what your limiting beliefs are.
To do this just begin to notice your own language and your thoughts. Notice how often you say things like
“I can’t do so and so, I’m no good at that, I couldn’t possible do that."
All of these are very disempowering views of ourselves.
Equally notice your limiting beliefs towards others or other things. For instance what words would you use to complete the following sentences?
The world is a blank place
If I was great then blank
Money is blank
Women who have alot of money are blank
Men who are wealthy are blank
If I was to let my light shine others would think blank
Life is blank
You may be surprised at some of your answers. Some may make you smile others may make you feel embarrassed or ashamed. Just notice how you feel about them. There’s nothing to do with them at this stage- just notice them and be curious why you feel the way you do.
For any that feel really positive then hold on to them because they’ll be serving you well. So, for instance if you feel that life is a ball, great! If you feel that life is a drag you may want to explore that further.
One of the ways we work around limiting beliefs is to first identify them and it’s a good idea to write them down. See how it feels when you read out the sentence over and over. Each time you feel this thought or think it and carry it in your body it creates a deeper and deeper pattern within your brain and body. Our minds become “programmed“ by and with these beliefs. The good news is that we are able to re-programme the mind and body with something else if we choose to.
So as we’ve seen most of these beliefs are taken on by us in childhood but the good news is you’re now an adult and so you have free will to create the life you want. You can choose to keep the negative and limiting beliefs you’ve identified or you can eliminate them. The choice is entirely yours
If you choose to make a change in your life then just declare to yourself that you no longer choose to believe in this. Instead you are now looking for the evidence that the opposite to your belief is true. How easily you can re-programme your brain and change the limiting belief will depend on how deeply ingrained it is and how ready you are to truly give it up !!
Additionally you can start using positive affirmations to help programme your brain into the new belief model that you have chosen. If you are able to do this your affirmations will change your life experience into a much richer and more empowering way of life.
Positive affirmations are so very powerful and are so easy to do that we have dedicated a full section to them ( top tips for using affirmations and the pitfalls to avoid).
There’s no right or wrong with an affirmation as long as you stick to the guidelines given. What’s important is to find or create one that resonates for you.
Other methods for identifying and changing our limiting beliefs include Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), The Coaching Academy’s GROW method. All are based on the same principle however and that is that you identify your beliefs that limit your view of the world and/or your view of yourself and then try to let go of it. If you’re able to let it go then new options and solutions and possibilities are given space to develop. This is often referred to as “Reframing” whereby you look at a certain situation in the way that you normally would and then you try to look at it in another way –or another frame.
Remember the purpose of doing this is to empower ourselves to be the magnificent women we were born to be.
Some of your beliefs will be uncovered very quickly and others may take some time to uncover, but it will be time well spent. The quality of your life will alter dramatically when you become aware of them and choose to change them.
LIMITING BELIEFS ABOUT MONEY...
I have read several times from several different sources the following observation.... that there is enough money in the world that if it were shared evenly we could all be millionaires. However, the hypothesis is that if this happened then within 6 or 12 months we would be back to a position where some people had a lot more and many had a lot less.
Why should this be the case?
How often do we hear women say “if only I had a bit more money I wouldn’t be in this problem.”
I often wonder if that's true or whether our belief system and limiting beliefs take us right back to where we started?
It’s an experiment that’s not yet been put to the test (!) so any views are hypothetical and yet my personal opinion is that the general principle is probably true and that’s because I believe that our belief systems are so powerful that they can lead us to behave in ways that are the opposite to what our conscious minds would expect us to do.
We’ve covered at length the principles of limiting beliefs above and all that you’ve learned there applies to money.
We’ve also seen that beliefs come from early experiences where we have a “bad” experience and generalise that all similar experiences will be bad so we protect ourselves by ensuring we don’t repeat any of those experiences. The problem is that they may have kept us safe at the time but they keep us limited now and keep us away from growing into the magnificent beings we are destined to be.
Take a look at the list below and see how many of them resonate for you and how many of them therefore stop you from becoming the magnificent financially empowered woman that you are meant to be
A full list of limiting beliefs about money and financial success
WHAT RE YOUR FEARS ABOUT?
Are your fears around not having enough, or having too much, or what others might think of you, or your attitude to those who have wealth?
One of my own recent pieces of learning and experiences was exactly in this area. Having had a very good corporate job and been well-rewarded for it I had quit. I knew there was something else I wanted to do with my life but didn’t know what it was. I started following a spiritual path and a path of healing and recently a spiritual teacher challenged me on my relationship with money.
She offered to do an exercise with me that was about intending a greater abundance of money to flow towards me. I was reluctant to take part. When asked why, I had to stop and really inquire what was going on and what I was feeling. With patience and curiosity I realised that I associated having more money with having to work in the same way as I had in the corporate world. That to achieve it I would have to forsake my personal life and wouldn’t have the time or energy to do the things I loved or to be with the people I loved. The revelation was startling for me.
What happened next was even more startling though. She asked me what if I could attract more money to myself without having to forsake all those things.
I considered it and said that I felt I had enough. She smiled and challenged me on that too and asked but what if I had more? What if I attracted more without forsaking any of the things that are precious to me and what if by me having more it didn’t result in anyone having less.
I considered this for a while and found a large smile slowly coming to my lips and replied “then I would have tremendous joy and pleasure giving it to people and organisations who I think would really use it wisely and benefit from it." I then went ahead and undertook the exercise
The point of sharing this personal story is that we all have issues with money and beliefs that limit us and our relationship with it. For me since uncovering this I have changed my view towards money and wish to attract as much to myself as possible because the more I am able to do that the more I will have available to make a difference in the world and support those who need a helping hand and those who are trying to make our world a more heart-centred place.
The same is true for Pink Investments. We wish to generate a strong flow of income via our sponsors because in so doing we can continue with helping women empower themselves for free and we can grow our Philanthropic work day by day
As you have probably often read, the Universe is an abundant place, there is plenty to go round. So as we focus on drawing towards us what we seek it is not at the expense of someone else. On the contrary the more we are able to attract abundance to ourselves the more we inspire others to do the same – whether that abundance is in health, energy, joy, money, love, luck, well-being, pleasure etc.