Many of our limiting beliefs come from the messaging we heard in our early years when it comes to money. The good news is you can dismantle them and reprogram your mind with preferred beliefs instead.
Oftentimes we have no clue that our core beliefs are running the show, and most people go through life without ever thinking about it, so if you’re reading this, you’re already aware and on your way to letting some of these old beliefs go.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
Did you hear this saying when you were growing up too? Most people have probably heard (or used it) at some point during their lives.
But what impact can this seemingly harmless belief have on your business success if it formed part of your core belief system in childhood? Well, I’ll give you a clue: Money = BAD
You might not be consciously aware of it, but if this saying was bandied about during your early years, particularly between the ages of 0-7, it could well be impacting you in a negative way.
I heard this saying a lot when I was growing up and it was usually said with disdain, defeatism and bitterness. We were a poor family and struggled for money, even having periods where our social housing was threatened. As a young child, I took this belief on, along with my parents feelings about the world being unfair and that all rich people were somehow bad, greedy or privileged. We were poor and we were destined to always be poor. Money wasn’t for people like us.
There were other phrases like ‘they’re made of money’, ‘money is the root of all evil’, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ and ‘they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth’; all giving the message that money was scarce and was only for other people.
Although for a very long time, decades in fact, I wasn’t consciously aware that I had a core belief that money was bad, when I started out in business, I did start to become aware that I had some money blocks. And this leads me to the first step of dismantling limiting beliefs…
Step 1: Catch Your Thoughts
When I began this money exploration journey, one of the first things I did was start catching my negative thoughts about money. Don’t get me wrong, this is really hard to start out with and does take time and practice. According to the latest research, we have around 6,000 thoughts per day, 70-80% of those thoughts are negative AND most of them (90%) are the SAME thoughts we had the day before – mind blown! So you need to get really aware of what’s going through your mind as you go through your day.
In terms of money, what are you thinking when you:
- Read newspaper headlines about the cost of living crisis?
- Watch politicians on the news?
- Listen to a business, money or success podcast?
- See social media posts where people are sharing financial wins?
- Read articles about wealth distribution?
These are the thought gems which you need to start catching, because they’ll lead to your limiting beliefs. Start recording all your negative thoughts about money, success, wealth and abundance either on paper, the notes app on your phone or using a voice app such as OtterAI.
Step 2: Understand the Cycle
Our thoughts affect how we feel, how we feel affects our behaviour, and our behaviour affects the results we get.
THOUGHT – EMOTION/FEELING – ACTION/BEHAVIOUR – RESULT
If 70-80% of your thoughts are negative, how is that making you feel? Negative thought cycles could mean that you’re experiencing emotions such as:
But not only that, what’s happening in your body? Our emotions often cause unpleasant physical sensations too. You might relate to the following:
So what action are you likely to take in this situation? Are you going to start showing up and doing great things outside of your comfort zone in your business, or are you more likely to want to hide under the duvet, suppress your feelings and eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s? (other ice creams are available).
And finally, what results are your getting? Most likely you’re:
- Not moving forward in your business – you’re well and truly stuck
- Unhappy and frustrated with your lack of progress
- Focusing on business activities which keep you ‘safe’ (perfectionism and procrastination)
- Flitting from one thing to the next to avoid taking scary action – lots of unfinished projects
As you can see, this cycle can dramatically affect your mindset and business success and I know this because this was me for literally YEARS. We always need to start with the thoughts* because they are having a direct impact on our results. Notice what’s coming up for you emotionally and physically when you have limiting beliefs or negative thoughts come up.
* It’s important to say that if you’ve experienced money related trauma, you may get a very visceral reaction to money triggers. This kind of immediate physical response doesn’t always begin with a thought. When we have trauma, it’s important to heal somatically in addition to doing mindset work, which may require 1:1 support. I use and recommend Emotional Freedom Technique. Learn more about my bespoke money mindset coaching and healing packages here.
Step 3: Identify the Belief Behind the Thought
If you bring to mind the belief ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’, that might mean you experience thoughts such as:
- The world doesn’t seem fair
- The super-rich are breaking the world
- I’ll never be rich so what’s the point in trying
- There’s not enough money in the world for me
- I’m just where I am and won’t be able to progress
- Showing off wealth seems so vulgar
This limiting belief seems really apt at the moment because it can feel like there is a lot of division and polarising views about wealth and wealth creation. Never before have the richest people in the world been, well richer. And the poor are getting poorer too. A recent Oxfam report says the poorest people in the world are struggling as as result of the coronavirus pandemic and there are news articles aplenty to further evidence the wealth divide.
When we’ve grown up with the belief that the ‘rich get richer and the poor get poorer’, here we have the perfect evidence to cement our belief firmly into place. Our confirmation bias causes us notice and look for things which support our beliefs, even at a subconscious level.
The problem is that holding on to limiting beliefs can really impact our money mindset, our financial results, our levels of success and fundamentally, our reality. Even if you aren’t fully aware of where you’re being impacted (because we often aren’t) we take on those beliefs that were passed down to us in childhood as our own…it becomes our belief.
The truth is, there IS unfairness in the world and that can be hard to acknowledge sometimes. It’s horrible to see an unfair distribution of wealth when people are suffering and it feels wrong to ignore it. No matter what your political persuasion, I think we can all agree that a system which allows some people to accumulate trillions whilst others are suffering is a bit crap, but that’s for another post!
Step 4: Get Curious About Your Beliefs
Next up, you need to get curious about your particular belief and start breaking it down. That core belief you’ve unknowingly put your faith in for so many years might actually be a load of old BS and has most likely been doing you more harm than good.
So let’s explore this further; if you have a core belief ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’, it’s therefore logical that there are a whole host of other beliefs attached to it as well, such as:
- You can only be rich or poor; there’s no middle ground
- If you are not currently rich, then by default you must be poor
- You have to already be rich to get richer
- If you are poor, you’ll only ever get poorer
- If you’re rich, you must be lucky, because you get richer
- If you’re poor, you must be unlucky, because you get poorer
- Whether you’re rich or poor, you don’t have any control or choice over your situation
- The world is unfair
Do you think that all the above statements are true, or is there some merit in looking at other possibilities?
Explore the beliefs further as you consider where they come from. Was it a particular person/people or a life event? How old were you? What were the circumstances? How has your confirmation bias evidenced these beliefs in the past?
Step 5: Look For Counteracting Evidence
OK, let’s try something else – an alternative view where we begin to dismantle the belief that ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ as we explore the truth of the situation. This is where you start to look for evidence which counteracts your original beliefs. You might want to create a basic spreadsheet or word document to store all your research and evidence. Seeing things noted down outside of your brain can really help you to feel physical and emotional distance from your limiting beliefs.
From my own research, the evidence to counteract the belief is as follows:
- Poor people can and have created wealth
- Rich people have lost their wealth and become poor
- Anyone can learn how to create good money habits
- There are free money and finance related educational resources available for anyone to invest time into learning
- There are many different levels of wealth
- Success means different things to different people. Not everyone wants to be a millionaire.
- Lots of people have taken control of their financial situation
- Lots of people have paid off massive debts
- Anyone, rich or poor, can make really crap money decisions
- Anyone can be a fair person and create fairness in their corner of the world
- There are lots of wealthy people doing positive things with their money
- Even people who are wealthy can still have limiting beliefs around money (primarily a fear of losing it)
Do the above statements feel more true to you? Can you see how quickly the original belief ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ no longer makes sense when you see it written down like this…and yet we have had faith in that old belief for so many years.
Another really good reframe is to ask yourself “what would I prefer to believe”? Summarise your new preferred belief and write it down. This can be your affirmation which you repeat whenever those negative thoughts seep in.
Once you feel as though you’ve adequately blasted your old belief out the water, it’s time to start looking at your mindset…
Step 6: Employ a Brain Bouncer! The Monks & The Punks
Bear with me as I explain my weird little concept. This is a little hack which really helps me to keep a clear/positive money mindset.
First of all, imagine that your negative thoughts are represented as punks. They’re a anarchic and loud; ready to pogo around causing mayhem and mischief (no disrespect to punks – used to be one myself!).
Now imagine your positive thoughts as being represented by monks. They’re kind and gentle; ready to spread calmness and peace wherever they tread.
Ideally you want a mind full of monks. Positive thoughts which serve your personal growth, your higher purpose and bring you into peaceful alignment.
You may currently have a mind full of punks. Negative thoughts which knock your confidence, stunt your growth and cause you to shrink.
Next we employ a bouncer – someone who will act as a steward. They stand at the entrance of your mind fully in their power; aware and on guard. They’re cool and they’re calm, but you definitely don’t want to mess with them. They are all seeing and have their eyes on the punks.
Your brain bouncer is the steward of your mind. They serve you and your desire to keep your mind immaculately clear and peaceful, because they know this is one of the keys to overcoming money blocks and mind reprogramming. They calmly and swiftly remove offending punks. They nod and smile at the monks, encouraging them to move around and spread more loving kindness and positivity.
The moment you get a negative thought come up, visualise this event happening. Bring it to life as much as possible. What is your brain bouncer wearing? Who do they look like? How about the monks and the punks? Make it real and see those punks being kicked out!
Remember the thought cycle. If you are consistently cultivating positive thoughts, you’re less likely to feel negative emotions and feelings, and more likely to take action, which leads me nicely onto the final step…
Step 7: Reprogram & Take Positive Action
This is probably one of the hardest steps because it means that you may need to step outside of your comfort zone. I love what author and mentor Dana Wilde says about this
Feel good and then take action.Dana Wilde
If you can really boost yourself up, using tools and techniques which help you to feel good, then you’ll be more inspired and motivated to take action.
The things I recommend to reprogram your mind and feel good are:
- Money mindset management to cultivate more positive thoughts – (the punks and the monks)
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also known as ‘tapping’ – try out my videos on YouTube
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Yoga or Tai Chi
- Self-hypnosis (I listen to Michael Sealey on YouTube)
Just as your current programs have been consistent for years and years, reprogramming your mind will take time, effort and persistence. Your current money mindset is not going to change overnight. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up if old habits and behaviours seem hard to break. Keep your brain bouncer active on those thoughts, because the more positive thoughts you have, the better you’ll feel.
Finally, let’s go back to our original belief ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ because even with a new belief that wealth is possible for all, there’s still the issue of wealth distribution and unfairness which might be playing on your mind.
You might not be able to change the world, but you can change your world.
Here are some tips…
- Make a concerted effort to be more in control when it comes to your own money, both personal and business, so you feel more financially empowered
- Your morals and ethics count for something and you can create a sense of fairness in your own family, friendships and in your business
- Donate to a charity that helps redistribute wealth, such as Buy One Give One or Kiva loans. Even the smallest amount can make a big difference
- Follow or support causes and charities who support the most vulnerable and needy in society
- Find people to follow on social media who have created their own wealth, or who use their wealth for good in some way
- Practice daily gratitude for all the good things in your life, no matter how small
- Stop watching the news – media outlets love negative stories because they get more views, shares and engagement. Follow The Happy Newspaper instead
- Set positive and inspiring goals about how you can create and distribute wealth as your business grows
I hope that’s helped you see just how quickly you can release old, limiting beliefs that no longer serve you, and install new, empowering ones, as well as perhaps making a difference in the world in some way too.
If the belief ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ still feels really true for you, why not try tapping on it? I recorded the tap along video below to help you shift this belief from deep within your subconscious.
Phew, this was a meaty blog, so if you’re here at the end, well done for getting through it! I hope it helps you to start breaking down your own limiting beliefs about money. If you’d like to explore money mindset further, head over to The Abundance Hub for some free downloads and courses.