Limiting beliefs are nasty little gremlins. I imagine their bodies to be brownish green, squatty with warts all over. Their pointed yellow teeth gnaw away at confidence and seek to constrain happiness and limit our future by believing wrong ideas. You may think giving these things shape and form is a ridiculous notion, but I hope to open your eyes to them by the end of this article.
Imagine you’ve paddled for weeks on the ocean toward a beautiful island. Finally you can see it; you’re in the shallows and can literally get out of your paddleboat and walk toward it. Just then a giant wave overtakes you and in moments, you and your little boat are back at the same exact spot where you began and you have to start all over again. This is what a financial limiting belief does to us. The best advice from top experts will not work if we don’t rid ourselves of toxic thoughts about money. Let’s consider some money personality types and how they process limiting beliefs.
These folks often hesitate because they’re conflicted and it’s just easier to avoid making a decision. They may have been taught that money is evil but they know that money is necessary to improve their quality of life. A very nice woman that I met explained that she was raised in extreme poverty. The explicit lesson from her family was that wealthy people were stuck up, uncaring about the poor and just loved to show off their things. Over the years she saved twice as much as she needed for a down payment on a lovely home she had wanted buy but didn’t. None of her relatives knew how much she saved because she lived quite frugally in order to “stay part of the family”. She masqueraded as poor because no relative had ever owned a home. Her limiting belief was that homeownership would cause her family to reject her; she was cheating herself out of a goal she had always wanted because her beliefs limited her success.
We all know that money solves money problems. That’s not a secret but, what happens when a good work ethic morphs into a slavish devotion to the pursuit of money? This limiting belief is that money solves every problem. The loop in this person’s head is stuck on “Life will be better if I work a little harder, just a little bit longer and just a little bit later to get a bit more money.” Then that person lies to him/herself. “My kid will have more birthdays. It’s only fourteen and that’s not an important anniversary. We have to leave vacay early…I got called to work.”
It is noble to want to provide for your family, but a healthy work/life balance is important and so is a joy/life balance. To exchange healthy relationships for an unhealthy one with cash will leave you disappointed. Have you ever heard of someone on their death bed wishing they had worked harder or earned more? Neither have I.
We should have a bit of compassion for this personality type because we’re all been tempted in one way or another. It’s common to have the thought that we’re not good enough and have to spruce up the façade. We stack our fingers with gold and hang diamonds from our ears and necks…even when we can’t afford it. We have a luxury car note bigger than our rent or mortgage. The message screaming from magazine ads, TV commercials, and reality shows is that self-worth is equal to net worth. This limiting belief leads to Pretender Syndrome where one pretends to have more wealth than they actually have (not to be confused with Imposter Syndrome. The damage from the compulsion to have the newest, greatest, best, most sought after “whatever” to make people think better of us can wreck any budget or savings plan.
No coupon, no discount, no special or sale will escape the notice of the Lookout. Above all else they pay attention to their financial well-being, which is awesome! When vigilance turns into hyper-vigilance is when there might be a concern. When your bills are covered and you have a nest egg and a solid plan for your future, it’s okay to enjoy your money. We’ve all heard stories of the person who wore the same shirt or dress and shoes for 20 years, bought the McDonald’s 29 cent coffee, never traveled, and left millions of dollars in their bank account when they died. Money should be used in healthy and appropriate ways to bring yourself and loved one’s joy and delight. Don’t buy into the limiting belief that you’re not worthy to spend your own money on you.
I know that when this blog is published many of us may still be sheltering at home as a result of COVID-19. Some of us are taking a real hit financially and I don’t want anyone to think that we are out of touch or unsympathetic to the plight of our neighbors. While we are in a quieter place, this is the perfect time to reassess thoughts, make plans for the future, and perhaps reorient our thoughts about money. Take steps so that when you emerge from this global crisis you have a plan. Even if we all have to start over again, we will have weathered the storm and come out on the other side.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. -- Joseph Campbell
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