Episode 43: Changing Beliefs About Money

Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to earn more? Or do you ever wish you could find a way to earn enough money, some day, somehow?

Our society places a strong focus on money and the perceived benefits it gives us. We’ve been socialised to adopt certain beliefs and judgements about money and how much people have.

Today, I want to invite you to blow all that BS out of your paradigm so you can get on with creating the money you want.

And when I say that, I mean that how much you want and what you earn is totally, 100% up to you. Maybe you WANT to create $25K per year and that’s enough. Maybe you WANT to create $200K per year and that’s enough. Whatever your situation, the most important thing is that you feel confident and capable of creating exactly what you need, and you enjoy the experience of money regardless of how much you make.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

I want to explore with you how to start changing your beliefs about money so you can develop a healthier relationship with money and start giving and receiving it in a balanced and healthy way.

First let’s consider what defines your experience with money, then your values around money, some examples of beliefs that might prevent you from earning more, and finally, a simple method to shift your beliefs.

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What Defines Your Experience With Money?

Have you ever wondered how some people can be thoroughly content and happy, even when they have little money? Or why others, who have all the money in the world, are stressed and miserable?

The idea that money can’t buy happiness is certainly true. But that doesn’t stop us from having a fixation about money, whether it’s how to get it, having enough, or wanting more.

I think it’s so interesting that money itself is a benign object. It’s just paper and metal, and in the examples I’ve just given you, it’s pretty clear that it’s our beliefs about money that affect the value we place on it and therefore, our experience of money and how much we create for ourselves. 

Remember that a belief is a sentence that you tell yourself repeatedly until you are convinced. So when you have a certain belief about money – and a mantra that you repeat regularly – it will shape the actions you take and the results you get.

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. And the beliefs you have right now are often shaped by your long-standing beliefs which are also known as values.

Values Around Spending Money

Think about that for a moment in the context of spending money – and what something is worth to you.  

Let’s say that you are in a shop and you see a shirt that you like the look of. You check the price tag and then make an instant value judgement on whether that thing is ‘worth it’ or not. If you say to yourself – “That’s too expensive” – then your feeling will be disinterested and you will walk away. The result is that you won’t buy the shirt.

What about a different belief?

What if you felt that looking good and dressing smartly could make or break your business because it affected people’s perception of you? That $100 shirt would be a no-brainer for you in that case.

And so what we are looking at here is not the cost of the item, but the perceived value attached to it.

I believe that our personal values have a strong influence on our relationship with money. For example, if community and fairness were strong values for you, you might have no hesitation in sponsoring a child in a third world country. To you, this is an important contribution that you want to make.

Or, if health and wellbeing were strong values for you, you might want to have the best dentist, the best specialist and the best doctor working with you and spend money on regular checkups with these professionals.

If wealth and security are strong values for you, you might live very frugally and work hard to earn more income.

As you can see, what we value and believe has a massive influence on how we spend money, but also, how we make it.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Values Around Receiving Money 

What happens when you put yourself on the receiving end?

If someone gave you a pile of money – say a prize winning or an inheritance – how would you feel about receiving that?

What if you were given money as a salary in exchange for work that you did for an employer? How do you feel about that?

What if the money came as a result of a service you personally delivered to someone in your own business?

What if the money came from something you created, like an artwork?

As I go through this list, notice that the method of earning becomes more and more personal. Some of you might notice that you started feeling more and more squeamish as I progressed. To me, that simply illustrates that, just like spending money, receiving money has it’s own set of values and emotions.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Whether or not you are aware of your thoughts and beliefs around money, you can look to your body for clues about what’s going on in your brain.

When I work with coaches around price-setting, I ask them to start with their physical reactions to money to get their pricing right.

  • If your pricing is too high, you will feel squeamish and uncomfortable; it will be VERY difficult to ask your potential customers for money and it will impact your sales process.
  • If your pricing is too low, you may feel resentful and frustrated; your attention to detail and ability to deliver value to your clients will be low and it will impact your customer experience and therefore, your sales process.

This is a really simple way to work out how you feel about giving or receiving money. The values or long-held beliefs you have strongly influence what you believe right now about money. Your values form your ‘starting position’, if you like, and then you tend to build beliefs around those values that are aligned with them. 

You may like to complete the VIA character strengths test to work out your top 5 signature strengths and reflect on how they influence your spending and earning beliefs. 

Money beliefs

A belief is simply a sentence that we have said to ourselves repeatedly. It’s something we are convinced is true.

And what you believe about money and your relationship with it is the key to unlocking wealth.

My first real experience with money beliefs was in the 90’s and naughties when I was the GM and director of an environmental consulting company. Our company paid staff slightly above market rates with plenty of time and flexibility benefits, shareholding opportunities, extra earning opportunities and a bonus system. And we had 40 staff and we completed performance reviews every six months, where staff self-rated performance and growth, and we talked about progression and salary. Out of those reviews came some very interesting conversations about money based on totally different values and belief systems. Some staff member would walk into the review every six months with a well-prepared case as to why they should be given a pay rise and they pursued that assertively. 

Some staff members flustered and anxious about their pay rises because they felt they weren’t worth that much money, and they made it mean that they would have to work harder and stay back on weekends to be good enough to earn that much money. One of them came and said they’d prefer a pay cut!

Since consulting is a leverage model, we were rewarding their ability to build teams and deliver exceptional service to clients which bought integrity, reputation and greater earning capacity to the business as a whole.

They saw it as something else.

What does that tell you about money beliefs?

Limiting Beliefs about Money

The common beliefs that hold people back from earning what they’re worth, in a job or a business include things like:

  • I’m not good enough or I’m not worth that much
  • I don’t deserve it
  • I have to work hard to earn that much money
  • I’ll have to give up my personal life for that
  • People won’t pay that
  • People will think I’m greedy
  • People will compare me with X, and they’re better than me.
  • I can’t afford it.
  • I can’t earn any more, I’m at capacity.
  • I need someone to support me financially – I can’t do it on my own.
  • It’ll raise the bar and then I’ll have to maintain that.

What results do you think those sorts of thoughts create? They keep you stuck in a lack mentality, and what I call a pattern of pursuit. You keep doing the same thing over and over again, afraid of taking a risk or challenging your beliefs. So it’s pretty hard to reach the outcome you want.

One of my favourites that I’ve heard time and again from small business owners – “Oh, I’m not doing this to make money!”

What?

I have to call that out as total BS. The reason you run a business is to earn money. Sure you want to help people but you are also aiming to earn an income, right?

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. 

Affirming Beliefs about Money

So what WOULD you need to believe in order to create more money?

More affirming beliefs are things like:

  • I love money
  • There are lots of ways I can make money
  • I am learning to manage money
  • Money is paid where value is offered
  • I am worth it
  • I can learn skills that will add value to what I offer
  • I am good enough
  • What I do truly helps people
  • Money is just a numbers game
  • Money makes it possible to help more people.
  • Money is not about me.

Someone I know has gone from broke to millionaire about three times in her life already.

I find it very interesting to hear her beliefs around money. I have heard her say with confidence, ‘making money is EASY.’ I have also heard her say, ‘I’m not good with managing money.’

Can you see how those two beliefs link to her results?

She is always on the move, meeting people working out how to bring her products into the world, doing research and investing in her ideas. She believes that what she is doing will help people, and that it will be easy to sell.

And so far, she has proven herself right.

Then fears set in, things go wrong and the business folds; nothing do to with what is being sold, but always about how the money is managed.

Changing Beliefs About Money

If you want to create more money, you will need to start changing your beliefs about money.

You can also look at the four levels of money and from a logical perspective, get a handle on how to tweak your personal financial situation.

Then you need to look at ALL the things you are saying to yourself and rewire those mantras.

The easiest way to do this is a three step process.

First, you can journal an experience you have around money each day.

Second, you can write down the limiting beliefs that come up around the experience.

Third, you can challenge and question those beliefs, and re-write them in a more factual way.

Writing them down by hand makes it quicker and easier for your brain to ‘see’ what you want and to plug that into the reticular activating system – your brain’s GPS.

It’s essential that you truly believe your re-written statements. Otherwise you won’t adopt them.

Doing this as a daily process will subtly shift your perspective over time and open up new opportunities to create wealth.

Just like brushing your teeth, the rewards are not immediate and obvious, but over time, they will have a massive impact on what you think, feel, act and achieve.

 

Ready to change your beliefs about money?

You too could earn as much as you want! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

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