7 Money Beliefs that Keep You Broke (and How to Let Them Go)
Do you ever feel like you self-sabotage around money?
Ever wonder if you have some limiting beliefs from childhood that are holding you back?
Whether you have mountains of debt or you want to take your finances to the next level, today I want to discuss the 7 money beliefs that could be holding you back.
In case you are new to my work, I see money as a tool to make positive changes in our lives and in the world. I explore how to do this in my book, The Mindful Millionaire (you can get a copy here.)
When someone is worried about paying rent, putting food on the table, having a reliable car, or making sure COVID doesn’t destroy your finances, it becomes really tough to focus on anything else.
Having money allows you to become more engaged, more empowered and makes life more enjoyable. This is why I’m so focused on helping people bust out of their limiting money beliefs.
When someone reaches money mastery, put simply, everything improves. Not just one thing, E>V>E>R>Y>T>H>I>N>G. That’s because only when you change the beliefs that are limiting you and turn them into supportive beliefs, do you become truly empowered to create what you most want.
Take a moment to ask yourself the following three questions:
- Money for me means…
- Money makes me feel…
- Money makes me want to do ….
Think about your answers while you review some common limiting beliefs. See if you find yourself in any of them. The examples below provide the belief, the story behind it, some ideas to shift your bias and what you can put in its place.
1. “I don’t make enough money to become wealthy.”
This is a root chakra scarcity belief that tells you no matter what you do, you aren’t going to get rich or become a millionaire because of how little you make.
When a person thinks this way, just like all the limiting beliefs listed below, you’re subconscious is going to do whatever it can to prove this is true. In this case, you believe it is impossible and therefore you don’t even try to achieve it. It remains outside of possibility, end of story.
Another way to think about wealth building:
There are countless stories of situations where people who didn’t earn extraordinary amounts of money have been able to amass great fortunes. How much you make, surprisingly to most, isn’t as important as what you keep and what you invest it in.
We can look at stories about people like Theodore Johnson who was reared in a middle-class home, worked his way up to a VP at U.P.S. and retired in 1952. At the time he had not earned more than $14,000 a year. Theodore saved as much as he could and invested it in U.P.S. stock which was worth about $700,000 upon retirement. Making the choice to invest in his companies stock led him to amass a net worth of $70 million by the time a NYT article was written about him in 1991. Although $14,000 would have been equivalent to over $100,000 today, he was able to save diligently and eventually become extremely wealthy through saving much of what he earned. Of course there was risk in his approach of putting all his savings in one company but that isn’t really the main point. This example is just one of many that can be used to gain strength and hope beyond what you may have thought possible.
Root Chakra Belief Mantra
Instead of believing that you don’t make enough to become wealthy, a new root chakra belief mantra could be, “I maximize my resources to the fullest extent possible making wealth completely within my reach.”
2. “Eat a dollar, poop a penny”, otherwise known as “I’m not good with money.”
This is a sacral chakra scarcity belief that tells you no matter how much money you earn, you are terrible at taking care of money. In this case, why bother even trying to save money because even if you do, you’re either going to blow it or an emergency is going to come up that causes you to spend it all.
When you think you’re not able to maximize the money that flows into your life, it becomes difficult to save and accumulate lots of it. Further, the more you try to avoid thinking about it the less you try to find a solution to your challenges including being able to pay off debt. Part of the reason you might try to avoid focusing on money is that it brings up feelings of guilt and possibly even shame.
Another way to think about money management:
There are many reasons why people might feel like they aren’t good with money, but in reality managing money is quite simple and straightforward. The most common challenge is that we have all been taught how to be very good consumers who spend without fully understanding the trade offs involved in our spending behavior. We’re constantly shown all the things our money can buy through advertisements and sales pitches without being taught how to become an investor. As long as you’re more of a consumer than investor, you will likely feel like you are not all that great with money.
Becoming an investor is a huge step in a person’s life because now you pay attention to where your money goes and whether or not you are getting a sufficient return on your investments. From then on you realize how much power you have to grow your money rather than spend it.
Now, instead of worrying about your money spending problems, you get to focus your attention on paying off debt, saving and investing which evidences areas of your life that you have considerably more control over.
Sacral Chakra Belief Mantra
“Having more money means I have more choices and more freedom to create.”
3. “Rich people are greedy”
This is a solar plexus chakra scarcity belief that tells you that rich people are bad and they must have done horrible things to acquire their wealth. When we feel this way about money and those who make a lot of it, we’re assuming things we have no idea about and then demonizing those who have it which means we must work hard to avoid becoming rich ourselves or else, God forbid, we might become just like them.
When you think rich people are bad, there is a good chance that this belief system is actually preventing you from acquiring wealth out of fear of not ever wanting to be like those “greedy rich people.”
Another way to think about greed and generosity:
According to the 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy, the overwhelming majority of American high net worth households make charitable donations. In 2017, 90% of this group gave to charity, compared to 56% of the general U.S. population. On average, high net worth donors gave $29,269 to charity in 2017, up by 15% from $25,509 in 2015.4 By comparison, households in the general population gave an average of $2,514, comparable to the $2,520 reported in 2016. In the High Net Worth Study, charitable giving was practiced somewhat more frequently by women, at 93%, and in African-American households, at 92%.
While there are many examples of the generosity of wealthy households, what is harder to track and think about is how hard many people have worked to acquire their wealth and the risks that they are taking on a regular basis to start and maintain businesses that employ people. When we have a belief about a certain population behaving in a negative way and hold it tightly to our chest, we leave out all the positivity and only focus on the negative. I think Thomas Edison says it best, “Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application.” Honoring that process is what helps us to not only create it but also hold onto it for ourselves and our families.
Solar Plexus Belief Mantra
“The more I stay in my own lane and focus on earning and becoming a good steward of my money, the more money flows into my life.”
4. “Someone else should do this for me”, or “My husband, parents, grandparents, employer, prince charming (or whomever) should swoop in and save me financially.”
This is a heart chakra scarcity belief that tells you that since you don’t feel like you are able to achieve wealth on your own, you’re going to wait for someone else to save you and fix all of your financial problems.
When you feel this way, there is an underlying belief that you are not able to take care of yourself and so you have to wait for someone else to help you do it.
Another way to think about giving and receiving:
When you make money, it is as a result of the value you are creating for your employer and/or customers. If you want to earn a million dollars then you have to create value of at least a million dollars. When we wait for a windfall or for someone else to take care of us, we are putting our reliance on other people rather than ourselves.
Money is an exchange of value for value which is how the natural order is maintained throughout the universe. The value of things are always present and money was created by human beings to easily engage in exchange. Most people create wealth as a result of value creation while some, of course, may inherit it. Yet there is great empowerment that comes as a result of creating value in the world way beyond any money you are given by others.
There is a good chance that when we take our final breath, we will measure the meaning and success of our life according to the value we created for the people we love the most. Money won’t matter as much as the value that we created during our lifetime. Learning how to create value is a wonderful skill and talent that we negate when we rely on others to take care of our money problems and challenges.
Heart Chakra Belief Mantra
“The more value I create, the more money I will earn, save and invest.”
5. “Everyone’s got their hands in my pocket”
This is a throat chakra scarcity belief that tells you that everyone is trying to take advantage of you. The underlying belief has to do with not trusting others and likely not trusting yourself when it comes to money. The dominant thought is that others are always taking advantage of you in various situations and therefore you cannot trust them to have your best interests at heart.
Another way to think about being authentic and assertive:
Many of us have been conditioned and programmed to behave in a compliant and people-pleasing way. These patterns can be difficult to un-learn because we are used to receiving approval and when we decide to speak out about what we want we fear losing others’ approval. Family can be some of the hardest people to speak out towards because they prefer you to be the peace-keeper and not the one who sets strong boundaries around your needs and wants.
I recently went through a situation where I had to relive this lesson (yet again). As a recovering people-pleaser, I found myself trying to help someone who was dealing with this belief too. When two people are both exploring a similar underlying belief, it typically doesn’t work out so well in the end. I knew it was not in my best interest to appease requests that were coming through and yet I found myself doing it anyways. In the end, the relationship suffered because when I realized what was happening and took a step back to set better boundaries for myself, it was upsetting to the other person. That said, there will be times when our own degrees of fairness aren’t in alignment with another person’s and when that difference comes to the surface, there is nothing wrong with parting ways. In reality, this can become a beautiful lesson for all parties involved.
When we hold onto a belief about people taking advantage of us, we continue to be the martyr which is a form of scarcity that keeps us stuck inside of the pattern of seeking approval at all costs. We are the only ones who can break this cycle for ourselves but when we do, our life will never look the same again.
Throat Chakra Belief Mantra
“When I set boundaries for myself and how I want others to treat me, I create wealth and prosperity in limitless ways.”
6. “I’m not smart/talented/intuitive/lucky enough to build wealth for myself”
This is a third eye/brow chakra scarcity belief that tells you that you aren’t good enough (in one way or another) to create wealth for yourself.
Another way to think about being enough:
When we live our lives feeling like we are not measuring up to others, we live in a fog of scarcity that consumes our attention. Instead of trying to measure up to others, you will want to focus on being and doing you. Comparison to anyone other than yourself is dangerous because we all have different talents and strengths and it is impossible to keep score. Realizing your own enoughness starts and ends with you, you have to make that choice and no one can do it for you.
I wrote The Mindful Millionaire to help people dive into all the ways we’re short changing ourselves so that it becomes impossible to think about anything other than your own perfection, beauty and wonderfulness. You are the only person alive who has primary custody of your enoughness. This can be a big leap but I know you can do it.
Third Eye Chakra Belief Mantra
“I am enough and money is a wonderful resource that allows me to reveal enoughness in all that I am and do.”
7. “If I am a good person, the Universe/God/my guides will take care of everything.”
This is a crown chakra scarcity belief that tells you that everything is energy and therefore your financial success is going to magically happen on its own time.
Heck, I love all things woo but I just gotta get real here and explain how this belief can have damaging effects that cause spiritual people to not only be broke but stay broke.
There are so many beautiful aspects to spiritual awakening and self-realization but one thing that can happen to spiritual people is that somewhere along the way they give up the responsibility of taking care of themselves financially. I’ve seen far too many spiritual people living in severe financial distress who have to create go-fund me accounts just to pay their most basic expenses. While this could happen to anyone in severe cases, it will not feel good to have to beg for money on a regular basis.
Another way to think about your own self-governance:
Taking a stance for sovereignty means having the full right and power to govern yourself without any interference from outside sources. How we go about integrating our connection to divinity as part of the human experience and self-governance requires that we take full advantage of all that we have to work with.
If we were to keep things very simple, we can think about the importance of ensuring we have food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over our head and that this is part of what our human body is here to help us with. When we act as if we don’t have these faculties, it is like we are ignoring parts of ourselves that can be considered God-given. When we contemplate this deeply, it becomes clear how wealth comes from utilizing all aspects of our body, mind, and spirit.
Crown Chakra Belief Mantra
“I follow my heart and solve problems for others and create great wealth in the world.”
In conclusion, when you change a belief, you change everything.
You change your biochemistry, your strategies, your thoughts, your feelings and your stories. You restore your energy and regain confidence in your own readiness to face all that life brings. This is what allows you to build wealth for yourself.
And Mark Twain said it best, “The secret to getting ahead, is getting started.”
The concepts explored in this article are featured in The Mindful Millionaire and if you were inspired by reading this, that would be a great next step. Here’s the link to get you copy right away.