Monday, August 15, 2011

10 Poor Money Beliefs You Have Conquer - Part 1

Welcome back to this discussion on the psychology of money.  This forms part of a series looking at financial wholeness.  Getting the money issue under control is an important part of the journey to wholeness and a balanced life. 

From childhood onward we all develop ideas and beliefs about money.  Like any idea or belief, money beliefs may bring you closer to your goals, or take you further away from them. Consider the right perspective on money, as part of the tools needed to prosper and accumulate wealth.

Correct beliefs underlie correct behaviors;  erroneous beliefs underlie wrong behaviors (logical I  know). Erroneous beliefs may, and often do, cause us pain.  Just ask the kid with the Superman outfit standing on the roof of the family home, really believing he is able to fly like Superman. Ouch! 

In life, we often have to change wrong beliefs in order to grow.  This applies to beliefs about money too.  The authors Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz did much work in this area.  They identified 10 wrong money beliefs they claim can lead to financial mIsfortune.  Lets consider the first five: 


1. Having more money will make everything better

While it is true that 'enough' money makes a huge difference to people in poverty, research seems to show that, above a certain threshold, changes to income levels make little difference to our life satisfaction. This is the classic case of more stuff not necessarily making you happier. 

My responsibility: There are things money can buy, and things it can't. It is my responsibility to determine  what money can and cannot do for me.   

2. Money is evil or bad

This belief often emerges from religious views about money or wealth.  It may flow from an idea that rich people are greedy or that wealth is gained only through exploitation.  

My responsibility: I have to realize that money in itself is neutral, but it often acts as a magnifying glass exposing the wishes, desires, and beliefs of my heart. If you are a greedy person, money will magnify your greed. What is money teaching me about myself? What is it exposing? Do I have the courage to change that?     

3. I am not worthy to have money

Klontz and Klontz tell us that this belief is often found among people who received unexpected windfalls of money, and often among those in the helping professions. They also identify this belief as dangerous, one that keeps us poor financially and emotionally.  

My responsibility: again the issue is not really money, but self-esteem and beliefs about personal worth. I have to determine why I am expecting such little reward from life and I have to change the beliefs that underlie that. 

4. I deserve to reward myself by spending money   

This belief often leads us to overspend on credit cards, to save little money for future needs, and to spend over our budgets. The issue is not the spending of money, but the reckless overspending of it.  

My responsibility: while I firmly believe that we may enjoy our money, we have to guard against attempts to validate our self-worth through spending and buying stuff.  Money cannot validate us, validation is an issue pertaining to our spirit and the latest gadget cannot reach that side of us. We need a higher transcendent reality for that. 

Also keep in mind that the pleasure you gain from a big ticket item, may only be marginally more than the pleasure gained from a smaller purchase.     

5. I will never have enough money

This belief is played out by those who hoard money in fear that they will never have enough of it. They may overwork and sacrifice health and relationships for more money.  While they may have much money, such individuals are often living as if they are in poverty.

My responsibility:  I am responsible to rid myself of the fear of poverty, and to focus on the cultivation of a healthy wealth mentality.

Fear nullifies faith, and it is impossible to attain our goals without faith. Napoleon Hill tells us that the fear of poverty programs the unconscious to produce poverty (see Pink Elephants, Garbage and the Unconscious Mind for on this).

We have to replace a poverty mentality with a wealth mentality.

That's it for today, we'll delve into the next five wrong money beliefs in the next post. Please feel free to tell us about your own experiences in the comment field below.

Some further reading on this topic:

Mind over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health by Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz

The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge: 5 Principles to Transform Your Relationship with Money by Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz

Think And Grow Rich: The Secret To Wealth Updated For The 21St Century by Napoleon Hill


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