Beliefs about Money – How to Manage Money, Attract it and Save!
There are few subjects as emotive as money. It is a hugely important part of life and without enough money things can become very difficult and you can’t access the resources you need to thrive. But not everyone has the same amount of money and there are many reasons for this. One of the reasons which is not discussed much is their beliefs about money and we’re going to look at these beliefs and the importance of them in our lives in this article.
What are money beliefs and why do we hold them?
We form beliefs about ourselves, others and the world around us based on our experiences and what others tell us. Some of our beliefs we may have held our entire lives, taught by our parents, whilst others are learned all the time through new experiences or meeting new people. The key to understanding why we form beliefs is to understand the benefits they provide to the brain.
The brain is responsible for scanning and filtering literally millions of items of sensory information every second. Some of the information is crucially important to us, and some of it is utterly irrelevant. In order to avoid being swamped by all of this incoming information the brain takes cognitive shortcuts, it filters the information through a set of beliefs, psychologists call these schema. A schema is basically a framework for understanding the world. Everyone uses schema and everyone’s schema are unique to them. This schema tells you what the sensory information your brain is receiving means and is developed by your experiences and what you have learned or been told. It enables you to automatically respond to situations or threats without needing to carefully evaluate every tiny piece of evidence and make a rational decision.
For example, you may have a schema that tigers are dangerous and want to eat you. If you met a tiger you’d want to get out of the way rather than wondering if this really was a tiger, whether it looked hungry, whether it looked dangerous etc. Your schema would enable you to take the important information from a situation and respond quickly and appropriately.
Beliefs are much the same, they are built around our interpretation of events and patterns we believe we have seen. They enable us to make sense of the world and identify what is important and what isn’t without having to critically evaluate all of the information available in every situation. This is great when your beliefs serve our needs but not so helpful when they are leading to undesirable behaviours.
Where do our beliefs about money come from?
Your beliefs about money have been built up over a life time. Your brain has fitted together all of the information you have acquired about money and built a schema or belief which now enables you to understand money in a particular way. You may not even be consciously aware of what these beliefs are but they may be shaping your behaviours. Let’s look at some examples:
- You often saw your parents arguing about money and you now believe that money will destroy your relationships.
- The rich kid at school made fun of your cheap shoes and you now believe that all rich people are mean.
- You went shopping with your mother and you wanted a particular coat but your mother said you had to have a cheaper one and you now believe that you don’t deserve the expensive things in life.
- You got mugged and now you believe that having money is dangerous.
Beliefs can arise from seemingly small or trivial incidents and can be very deeply subconsciously held. What is more, once we hold a belief we are very reluctant, on a psychological level, to let go of it. We look for information which supports our view of the world and tend to ignore contrary information. This makes beliefs persistent.
What impact do our beliefs about money have on our lives?
Our beliefs, whether we are aware of them or not, are a very strong driver of how we live our lives. Our interpretations of events and our decisions are both strongly influenced by our beliefs. Let’s take a look at how some beliefs about money may manifest in our lives:
|I don’t deserve any more money.||Not asking for pay rises, not looking for better options on financial arrangements, not trying to get more money.|
|I’m useless with money.||Not trying to manage your money. Not putting in place budgets and carefully planning and managing your finances. Going on spending sprees.|
|There’s no guarantee that I’ll ever have this much money again.||Spend it all now, particularly on large and expensive items which are usually out of reach.|
|Other people want to take my money from me.||Hoard your money. Lie about how much money you have. Avoid having too much money around.|
|Rich people are snobby and unpleasant.||Not wanting to get rich. Avoiding rich people (and never finding out how they got their money).|
|People like me never have any money.||Not trying to change your situation or get more money.|
|All financial institutions are liars and are trying to manipulate me and rip me off.||Procrastination over any financial transactions. Not engaging in dialogue with banks or financial advisors on ways of growing your money.|
What can we do to Change Beliefs?
If your beliefs about money are preventing you from living the life you want to then you need to change them. This can be tricky since beliefs are often subconscious and tenaciously held. The key to changing beliefs is in identifying the belief and then critically and rationally evaluating the evidence available to see if they are true. It can sometimes be helpful to discuss your beliefs with a trusted friend who may be able to help you see a different perspective or uncover the root cause of your beliefs. To change your belief you need to proactively look for situations or experiences which don’t fit in with your existing belief. When you have found enough information which contradicts your existing world view you will be able to develop a new more positive set of beliefs. However if what you want is to obtain rapid change therapies such as Analytical Hypnotherapy, Regression Hypnotherapy, EMDR, EFT or NLP can help you to find the roots of your belifs and achieve your goals.