We’ve all heard that one, haven’t we? It’s an example of a money belief—an idea that we have about money. We all have beliefs around money, yet somehow we don’t actually try to untangle them. We shy away from looking at the beliefs.
Instead we tend to try some method of crunching numbers or budgeting. We put money in envelopes, we watch our spending on our cell phones. Some even play with my handy dandy “GOSH” model. (Which by the way is very cool and useful!)
And here’s the truth: None of that really works until you figure out what your money beliefs are, and if you want to keep them! Your money behavior is driven by your money beliefs.
You will create and perpetuate your beliefs around money. You just will! Frankly we do that with all our beliefs. We find the information that supports them, and we ignore the information that refutes them. It’s part of all that lovely pattern making that goes on in our heads.
Of course, with money it’s more complex than with other things because of that whole money being a taboo topic thing! Since we don’t talk with others or even ourselves about our money beliefs that just keep influencing our choices over and over.
Which of these have you ever heard, thought or found yourself believing?
- Money doesn’t grow on trees.
- You’ll have to work really hard and you’ll still never make any money.
- There is never enough!
- Rich people aren’t as nice as poor people.
- Money is the root of all evil.
- I am not good with money.
- I can’t do math, so I can’t do money.
- I feel like I must have been out sick the day they actually explained money.
- Having debt means I’m a bad person.
Those are just some of the most common ones. There are no doubt thousands of possible money beliefs that will hinder or hold back your effectiveness with the stuff.
And just to be clear, I’m not talking about how much of it you have, I’m talking about what is your relationship with money? Do you see it as a tool and ally, or as an enemy?
What do you make up about money? Really, what do you make up about money? Make a list! Now look at each one of those beliefs and ask yourself a couple of questions, like:
- Is this really true? Like 100% of the time TRUE?
- Is this my belief? Or is it my family’s belief? Or even, is it my cultures belief?
- What might be different if I changed this belief?
That’s one of the cool things about beliefs: we can change them. It takes noticing that you want to change the belief. Then it takes both patience and maybe even humor to work on changing it.
One of my favorite ways to accomplish the change in beliefs is to throw in another option every time I hear myself either thinking or saying the belief. It works like this: You follow the belief statement with something like, “…except when it’s not!” (Examples: Money’s hard to come by… except when it’s not. Rich people aren’t as nice as poor people… except when they are!)
So ‘Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees‘ — except it can grow. It can be different. And you can do better with it. It all starts with choosing how you want to think about it. As humans we are really committed to proving our beliefs. We see it all the time. So figure out what your beliefs are, and, if continuing to prove your current beliefs to be true actually makes your life worse, try understanding and re-framing the belief.
Just imagine how much easier all this money stuff would be if you had some positive thoughts about it!
Shell Tain, The Untangler
If you’d like to play with this belief changing idea more, just give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com.