Ok. I’m gonna geek out on you for a minute, and share a little story of how I overcame my own limiting beliefs about money, but don’t worry…
It’s all in your best interest.
Will you geek out with me?
I assume your answer is yes if you’re still reading 🙂
So… we’ve been talking a lot about the psychology of money lately.
- We’ve talked about the psychology of saving
- We’ve talked about the psychology of spending
- We’ve talked about the psychology of debt
- And we’ve talked about the psychology of investing
But something we haven’t talked about much yet are your beliefs about money. Or more specifically, your limiting beliefs about money.
Napolean Hill, the famous author of Think and Grow Rich, once said:
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”
This basically means if you believe in something strong enough for yourself, and you can see yourself doing it in your mind, then you can achieve that goal, no matter what it is.
Well the exact opposite is true for a limiting belief.
If you can’t see yourself doing something, or you put a limit on what you can do, whether you’re actively aware of it or not, then there is a 0 percent chance you’re going to accomplish it until you change that belief.
The belief systems you hold drive your habits and behavior every single minute of your life. They can hold you back, or they can help you thrive. And contrary to what a lot of people think, research supports that they can be changed.
Tackling My Own Limiting Beliefs
I didn’t know it at the time, but I used to put a lot of limits on myself when it came to money.
In my late teens, I suppose as a lot of college punks do, I thought anything in the five figure range ($10,000 or above) was a lot of money. I was a freshman in college just hoping to get through school to earn like $25 a year.
I figured that would be good enough. I didn’t need a lot, after all. I was a bright kid. I got good grades, but wasn’t really all that motivated.
I even rocked a really curly fro at one point because I refused to cut my hair. All photographic evidence of that has hopefully been destroyed 🙂
But what I didn’t really understand at the time was the psychological effect that kind of belief system of low motivation and low aspirations for money had on me.
It wasn’t until I started working with my brother in my first business that I began to break through those limiting beliefs about money and understand the potential of what is possible in the world.
My brother is a smart dude. He is one of those “drop out of high school at 16 and never work for anyone else in his life” kind of stories.
He and I would go out to lunch every Friday and talk business and life.
One of our conversations, as I was enjoying a juicy cheeseburger (one of my guilty pleasures), came back to how much money we wanted to make in X number of years.
I spouted off something like $50k, thinking even that was a lot. And then plain as day, he says to me, “I was thinking in the millions.”
He was as serious as could be.
At the time all I could do was laugh, because I hadn’t ever even thought of making that much money. It honestly hadn’t even occurred to me that was possible for me.
Up until then, I just thought of myself as some kid from a small town in the Midwest.
But the funny thing was, as I began get away from that limiting mindset, and I began understand how money works, as well as get more exposure to additional money generating opportunities for myself, I could actually start to see the world differently.
I didn’t know how I was going to make millions yet, and I’m still figuring that out today, but all I needed was that outside perspective of what was actually possible to make it a reality in my mind.
From In the Red to Six Figures
Past that point, I began to think on a higher level about money, and I began executing small actions in order to make the potential of becoming a millionaire a reality.
- I attended graduate school to get my MBA
- I began to hone my skills in business, marketing, writing, and investing
- I moved into a higher paying position and worked on increasing my marketability
- I started doing freelance work on the side and learning how to market myself
- I began investing in an IRA and 401k and learning how to make money grow over time
It all started to come together. Once I was exposed to that idea of becoming a millionaire, all it took was me digging a little bit and understanding how money worked to make it an absolute reality in my mind.
(BTW, shout out to J. Money’s Millionaire Club. I’m working on my pledge now. Will you be in that with me one day?)
Now to Crush Your Own Limiting Beliefs About Money
So you’ve heard my story. Now it’s your turn.
I don’t tell you all of this to boast by the way. I tell you because it’s a perfect example of the process you can go through to tackle your own limiting beliefs about money.
Your first step is to figure out what is holding you back. What are you telling yourself that is keeping you from getting to that next level of personal finance?
Typically, you might have limiting beliefs such as these. Quite often, you don’t even realize you’re telling yourself these things.
- “I could never be rich”
- “I’ll just always be in debt”
- “The government will pay my debt”
- “My parents will take care of me”
- “It’s just not the right time to invest”
- “I’m just not good with money”
- “I can’t ask for a raise. I’m not worth it”
First, understand that every time you’re telling yourself things like this, you’re reinforcing those ideas in your mind, and you will behave in accordance with them.
If you want to change your behavior, you need to identify, and begin conquering these beliefs in yourself.
One of the things they talk about in the video is first recognizing what beliefs you may be telling yourself, then taking baby steps to get over them.
Let’s take that second to last bullet for example – “I’m just not good with money”
In her interview with Marie, Kate talks about a small step she took on her journey to financial literacy. She would just check her bank account balance every morning as a reminder of her goal to earn more and spend less.
Once she started doing this, she began taking action to make those goals a reality.
That’s a great example of one small type of trigger you can do in order to get over your own limiting beliefs. Kate may have had poor financial habits at the time, but she always had it in her to be “good with money.”
All she needed to do was behave successfully.
Identify Your Limiting Beliefs and Actions
What I want you to do now is look within yourself and figure out the limiting beliefs about money you currently have.
Ask yourself what areas of money and personal finance you would like to be better and more independent with. Then explore why you’re being held back from your potential.
- Are you holding back your earning potential because you think you’re not good enough for a better job? What actions can you take to make yourself more marketable?
- Are you not investing in your IRA or 401k because you’re scared of the risks of the stock market? What actions can you take to better understand retirement investing? (PS: As I write this the 401k Millionaire scholarship contest is still going.)
- Are you putting off getting out of debt because you think someone else will take care of it for you? What actions can you take to take control of your spending and debt payoff (PS: There’s a checklist here that can help you).
- Are you holding back from asking for a raise because you don’t think your boss will say yes? What action can you take to make sure he/she notices your hard work and dedication?
- Are you putting off doing freelance work because you don’t know how to get business? What action can you take to figure out how to market yourself?
Every single limiting belief you have about money can be conquered. You just have to identify what they are and take small actions to smash through them (like when I figured out I needed to think bigger).
Commit to conquering just one of your limiting beliefs today, and you’ll be on your way to significantly improved financial habits.
If you need help identifying your limiting beliefs about money, feel free to contact me for help, or leave comment with where you’re struggling.