Symptoms Of Limiting Beliefs Around Money
KAIZEN Lifestyle Management was founded in 2007 in Toronto by Julia von Flotow to help individuals who feel stuck, trapped or overwhelmed see new possibilities and take action to build an inspired life.
Julia says that whenever we are thinking about money in an obsessive way, or worrying about it, we are stuck in a trap caused by the limiting and conflicting beliefs we hold about money. These limiting beliefs always compromise our success and happiness. The problem, of course, is that these limiting beliefs are often held in shadow. this means we may not be able to identify them easily. (Read about shadow here.)
On Kaizen’s website, Julia lists several symptoms of limiting beliefs around money. Among them are some you may recognize:
- Any kind of financial problem.
- Cash flow issues.
- Low sales.
- Attracting demanding and difficult clients.
- Client payment issues.
- Debt-management issues.
- Hoarding, scrimping when there’s no need to do so.
- Self-denying habits expressed through workaholic behaviour.
- Feeling stuck, trapped – unable to get into action.
- Frustration due to lack of progress / success.
- Devaluing your time, products and services – under-charging, under-earning, over-delivering or over-spending money.
- Self-sabotaging behaviour – lack of self-accountability – not honouring commitments you made to yourself; transgressing boundaries, lack of self-care.
- Feelings of self-contempt, lack of self-trust and feelings of unworthiness.
She also explains how a lot of people who focus on caring for others want to make a difference in the world, perhaps at the expense of their own need for money. People with this motivation may find themselves shunning money or feeling it’s somehow toxic and can contaminate their best intentions.
The reality is that without access to money, you won’t get very far in life. Many people seem to think they have to choose between making a positive difference in the world and feeling financially secure. In truth, living this dilemma clearly proves you have deep-seated limiting beliefs around the ethics and values of money.
Equally, people who mistake financial security and success for happiness may invest all their time and energy into becoming rich at the expense of their own values.
The real issue here, says Julia, is balancing “need and greed” within the framework of your values. This is what leads to acceptance of money as merely a commodity, a form of energy, and allows you to develop integrity in dealing with it. Julia adds that balancing need and greed is at the heart of healing your relationship with money and becoming more effective in the world. Sometimes such resolution can only come with coaching by a professional who can take a more objective look at your situation.
Video – shadow coaching – how to drop the inner critic
Only when you resolve any inner conflict you have about money can you move into the world with purposeful action to create the change you want to bring about.
Exploring Your Beliefs Around Money
You can start to explore your beliefs around money by thinking about your family culture as you were growing up.
Was money treated as a scarce commodity, or as something that everyone was entitled to enjoy? Did money have a certain status in your family, and what was that status? What did you conclude about money from your parents’ attitude towards it?
Do you now believe money is in short supply, or do you think there’s an abundance of wealth circulating around the economy which is available to everyone? How did you get to believe these things, which may be directly opposite to what others believe? Where does your truth lie? Where does the real truth lie?
Perhaps you see money as an energy that will flow wherever it’s welcomed. Or maybe you see money as something physical, something hard to get hold of, difficult to keep, and impossible to accumulate?
Even if your parents didn’t inject you with a load of limiting beliefs about money and how scarce it is, our culture is always ready to step in and help out.
You’ve heard the story, no doubt, of how Jesus overthrew the moneylenders’ table and drove them out of the temple. And the parable of camels, rich men and the eye of a needle is instructive here too. Apparently it means something very different to what we mostly believe (that money is bad). Check out the real meaning here.
And you’ve probably got an opinion – most likely not a particularly flattering one – about the investment bankers who brought the world’s financial system to its knees in 2008. And what do you think of how some of the so-called “rich and famous” behave?
There are many such forces shaping your attitude to money, and how you feel about it. The bottom line, though, is this: if you believe in any part of your mind that money is in short supply for any reason, or tainted, corrupt, negative or harmful in any way, it’s going to be hard for you to accumulate it. As an adult, the inward beliefs you hold around money directly control your outward level of income and financial wealth.
Now, as we have seen, these beliefs are mostly in shadow, that is to say, below the level of consciousness. To dig them out you may need to engage the assistance of someone experienced in shadow work, a shadow coach for example. You can find such a coach on the internet if you search for shadow work coach [in your area].
You’re fortunate indeed if you were raised in a household where money was regarded as a valuable commodity or as a way to enjoy a relaxed and enjoyable life.
Even better if you picked up the message that creating wealth is both a great way to get what you want and a means to do good in the world. Here’s Brian Tracy on how to develop a positive money mindset.
Video – positivity around money
And best of all if you were raised in a family who believed – and showed you – that money is abundant and easily obtainable.
Limiting Beliefs Have A Purpose
Your limiting beliefs are there for a reason: as a child, they kept you safe, they kept you out of trouble.
If you were never loved by your parents, how much better not to feel the pain of that loss. How much better to conclude you were not lovable, that there was something wrong with you. How much better never to trust anyone enough to open your heart. That way you’d never suffer the pain of betrayal again.
If you were shamed or humiliated for being clever, intelligent or proud of your achievements, how much better to play small, suppress your power, and “not know”. That way you’d avoid the pain of being derided and mocked when you expressed your true talents and abilities, when you showed the world who you truly were.
If you were punished for being angry and asserting your wishes, how much better to become passive and unassertive. That way you’d avoid the danger of verbal, emotional or physical punishment.
And so it goes. Your Inner Child learned these lessons the hard way, and came up with rules about how to behave which would keep you safe. Even now, when you’re an Adult, she or he will rigidly stick to those rules until you, as a mature Adult, intervene to update the job description and replace those limiting beliefs with something more useful.
How To Identify Your Own Limiting Beliefs
You can find your limiting beliefs by watching how you’re behaving in the world. (A better, or at least more efficient, alternative might be to hire the services of a shadow work coach. But if you can’t afford that approach, read on.)
Here are some common behaviours and the limiting beliefs linked to them. You may recognise some of these coming up in your negative self-talk.
- You make excuses, or you justify and rationalise what is happening. You are afraid of being fully present and powerful in the world. Limiting beliefs: I am not responsible. I cannot change things. I am powerless.
- You complain and blame others. You do not see that you have created everything around you. Limiting beliefs: I am powerless to change things. I am a victim.
- You find yourself indulging in negative thinking. Limiting beliefs: There is no point in this. I am unlovable. I cannot love others.
- You indulge in unhelpful habits or addictions. Limiting beliefs: I am weak. I am powerless. No one loves me / like me / respects me. I am basically alone in the world.
- You engage in negative self talk. Limiting beliefs: No-one respects me. I am weak. I am a failure. I have no power.
- You jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Limiting beliefs: I am not good enough. Others are better than me.
- You are indecisive or held back by fear. You ruminate or worry endlessly. Limiting beliefs: I don’t know what to do. I cannot work it out. I don’t know the answers.
- You procrastinate. Limiting beliefs: I am not good enough. I am not as good as you.
- You engage in perfectionism. Limiting beliefs: I am not good enough.
- You run yourself down or find it difficult to accept thanks, praise or compliments. Limiting beliefs: I am bad. I am not good enough.
- You compare yourself unfavourably with other people, and generally play small in a very obvious way. Limiting beliefs: I count for nothing. I am worthless.