Are you a victim of your limiting beliefs about money?
You're not alone. According to a new report, 50% of Americans say they feel at least somewhat trapped in their financial situation. Seventeen percent feel very or extremely trapped.
When you feel stuck in your financial situation, it can be hard to learn how to make a change and move forward—and it's depressing and disheartening.
Usually, these feelings of entrapment are founded on your limiting beliefs about money.
But you can change your beliefs—and you can change your life. In this article, you'll learn just how to do that!
What are limiting beliefs about money?
Firstly, you need to understand what limiting beliefs about money are. These are ideas you maintain about money, your relationship with money, and your ability and worthiness to get money.
Above all, these limiting beliefs about money are opinion-based, not fact-based. This actually helps them get stronger over time because they are reinforced by our emotions—not rational thinking.
We all have limiting beliefs about money, so there's nothing to be ashamed of here! Often, these beliefs are so ingrained in us that we don't even realize we have them.
Where do these beliefs come from?
There isn't just one source to blame for limiting beliefs about money.
Throughout your life, there are many different contributing factors that shape your beliefs about money, such as:
- Social norms
- Personal experiences
- Exposure to the internet, social media, etc.
How do limiting beliefs about money impact people?
While limiting beliefs about money are subconscious, they have powerful effects on your reality. And if you don't keep them in check, these limiting beliefs can prove to be detrimental to your financial wellness and your life.
One of the most common examples of limiting beliefs about money is that you can't make good money unless you have a desk job. If you have this belief, then you may be holding yourself back from going after your dreams of starting a business.
Whether they're subconscious or not, limiting beliefs about money can keep you stuck.
How to overcome limiting beliefs about money
Your money mindset plays a large role in determining your financial success. This is why it's so important to develop a positive money mindset or a mindset of financial abundance. Doing so will open up new ways to think about money and wealth and help set you on the correct track for financial wellness.
How can you start changing your money mindset?
The beginning step to overcoming your limiting beliefs about money is to become aware of them. Once you acknowledge that your limiting beliefs about money exist and you realize what they are, you can find ways to counter them.
Examples of limiting beliefs about money
There are many different limiting beliefs about money, and we've all found ourselves trapped in a few.
Here are several common examples of limiting beliefs about money.
Do you see yourself in any? It's okay. Now you can learn ways to counter these limiting beliefs about money so you can work towards financial wellness.
1. I can either do what I love or make money
Growing up, you may have heard some version of this story from parents, career advisors, or even Hollywood films. Does the trope of the starving artist/writer/actor ring any bells?
Maybe without even thinking about it, you've accepted that you can't make a living doing something you love. Here's a new mantra:
"I can make money doing what I love"
Actually, doing what you love can be a huge advantage in trying to turn a profit. The more you love what you're doing, the more creative, focused, and passionate you'll be about your job—diligent qualities that can help you perform better and bring home a bigger paycheck.
2. Money doesn't buy happiness
Unfortunately, stereotypes in Hollywood films, books, and art reinforce the idea that wealthy people are miserable. (Do Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol or Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life sound familiar?)
Moreover, there are also many spiritual ideas that affirm you can't tie happiness to money in any way. But there's another way you can think of it:
"Money can buy the things I want for a good life"
Money is a tangible object; it can't buy something intangible, like feelings.
What it can do, however, is act as a resource to buy things you do love. For example, you can use the money to take art classes, buy a musical instrument, or travel.
3. You need money to make money
Maybe you have big dreams about starting your own business or setting up an investment account—but you're stuck by the idea that it takes money to make money.
Unfortunately, this limiting belief about money can stop people from ever getting started pursuing their dreams. It's time to flip the script:
"I can start from where I am"
Believe it or not, you can start from nothing.
- If you've never invested before, you can get started investing with little money.
- If you want to grow your income, you can start a side hustle to make more money.
- If you want to save more cash, you can learn how to create a budget that works for you.
4. I can never save
Sometimes, it can feel like everyone is succeeding except you. If you're watching your friends save up for weddings, houses, or big vacations, it can be disheartening if you feel like you can never get your savings up.
Even though it can feel overwhelming to get started, you can do it! It starts with changing your mindset:
"I am learning more about money and saving every day"
No one is born with knowledge about money or how to save it wisely. It's just another skill to learn—like sewing or playing the piano.
If you study money and good saving habits, you'll see that improvements will shortly follow.
Get started today reading about personal finance and investing—and then keep at it!
5. My family isn't rich
In some families, there is generational wealth, and people have the opportunity and the privilege to get financial help and education from their families.
Certainly, if you feel like you're climbing the uphill financial battle, then this feels really unfair. But you have to remind yourself:
"I am not my family"
No matter what kind of financial choices your family made, you have the opportunity to build your own financial wellness and achieve financial independence.
It starts with creating a financial roadmap that will take you through budgeting, debt prioritization, investing, and more.
6. I am always broke
If you feel like you're always broke, you're not the only one.
An American Psychological Association (APA) study found that 72% of Americans "feel stressed about money at least some of the time."
While it's typical to feel a little stressed every now and then, you don't have to keep feeling broke forever.
"My current financial situation is not my permanent financial situation"
Maybe you have debt. Maybe you feel like you never save enough at the end of the month. Nevertheless, just because you feel broke today doesn't mean you have to feel that way forever.
Start small. Step by step, you can change your financial situation.
7. Money is the root of all evil
Again, this is another one of those limiting beliefs about money that you may have absorbed from pop culture.
There's an enduring notion that money is dirty and that people with money are mean, greedy, and selfish. But you could think of it this way:
"Money is a resource that can be used for good"
Money is only an inanimate object; it is not inherently good, and it is not inherently bad.
Whether or not money is "dirty" is all about the person. You can decide to use money as a resource for good.
For example, you can leverage your financial wellness to help support your family, donate to charities, create a scholarship fund, etc.
8. I don't deserve wealth
Maybe you think you are simply not good enough to make money. This is an enormous roadblock to your financial wellness.
Often, people can develop this limiting belief about money if they had a previous bad financial experience, and they blame themselves for making the mistake. But we all make mistakes every now and then. Instead, say to yourself:
"I am worthy of wealth"
Everyone—no matter who you are—is worthy of wealth.
You are worthy of happiness. You are worthy of a good life. And though money may not be everything, it can certainly help lead you to the life you deserve.
9. I will never pay off my debt
Staring at what feels like a mountain of debt can be a terrifying feeling. It's particularly disheartening if you only make the minimum payment each month and watch interest cripple your bank account.
But there is another way:
"I can come up with strategies to pay off my debt"
Remember that debt is not a lifetime sentence. In some cases, yes, it can take years to pay off debt. But if you approach your debt strategically, you can come up with a debt repayment plan that works for you.
With time, you'll see that small steps can lead to big changes in your financial situation.
10. It's too late to change my financial future
This is one of the most stifling beliefs you can have about money. Basically, it's all about feeling stuck. For example, do you catch yourself saying:
- "It's too late to begin investing now"
- "I missed my chance"
- "My job doesn't pay enough"
"It is never too late for me to make a change"
Above all, the most important thing to remember is that no matter where you are on your financial journey, today can always be Day 1 of a new life. And no matter what obstacles you're facing, you can take control of your financial future and your life.
It's never too late. All it takes is the first step:
- Learn how investing works.
- Find ways to increase your income streams.
- Discover how to build your business.
- Figure out how to find a higher-paying job.
Overcome your limiting beliefs about money and find freedom!
It could be way too easy to fall victim to your limiting beliefs about money. Surprisingly, it can also be easy to overcome these limiting beliefs and find financial freedom.
Of course, it won't happen overnight. In order to overcome your limiting beliefs about money, you need to change your mindset about money.