One of the things that gets us all into trouble is Fixed Beliefs. Those things we say, or think, with assurance as if they are the absolute truth. We have these beliefs about all sorts of things, including money.
A few the money beliefs I hear most often are:
Asking for money is wrong
There’s never enough
Rich people are bad, mean, greedy
You can’t make money doing art
Couples fight about money
I can’t do numbers, so I can’t do money
The list goes on.
These beliefs aren’t helping us on two fronts. First and foremost, they aren’t actually the whole truth. And second, each time we say them we are reinforcing and strengthening their presence in our brains. As we keep reinforcing our beliefs, other possibilities become harder and harder to embrace. Eventually, we just drift towards stopping seeing or trying them at all.
Let’s make a distinction here between ‘Belief’ and ‘Truth’. ‘Truth’ is something that is the same 100% of the time. A matches reality. It’s never not, it always is. There is less and less in life that is the truth. Rocks aren’t hard anymore…turns out there’s a bunch of space between atoms…geez! And more importantly our ‘Beliefs’ are not the ‘Truth’. Our beliefs are ‘feelings’. They are assumptions, often based on evidence. The problem is that there are times when they just aren’t the only option.
Look at the money belief list above. Are those always true? Is there sometimes enough? What about Oprah or Paul Newman? How’s Yoyo Ma doing? Know some couples that don’t fight about money? And what does numbers really have to do with money these days?
Hmmm. What to do?
It’s really pretty simple. We need to broaden our perspectives just a bit, so the trick is that whenever you make one of those ‘belief’ statements, you follow it immediately with an appropriate version of one of these options:
Unless of course it’s not
Except when it isn’t
Rich people aren’t as nice as poor people, except when they are.
I just can’t save money, except when I do.
All used car salespeople are rats, unless of course they aren’t.
My family never pays me back when I lend them money, except when they do
Get the idea? It actually is kinda fun, and it both softens your view, and changes your brain, unless of course it doesn’t. (snicker)