Beliefs Are Not Truths: Challenging Self-Limiting Beliefs
Do you believe something to be true that holds you back?
In my time in financial planning I’ve come across many examples of self-limiting beliefs. Typical examples might include:
- I’m rubbish with money
- I have to work
- I don’t deserve to be happy
- Property prices will always go up
- The stockmarket is too risky for me
- I can’t earn any more income
- I have a number, an amount of money, that I must get to before I can be happy
One of the five key components of financial wellbeing is having financial options in life. But how can we create more financial options when we can’t have any more money…
… which is another very good example of a self-limiting belief!!
The crucial thing about our beliefs is to realise that they are not truths. Because we believe something to be true does not mean it is true.
We form beliefs from a cycle that is happening all the time. An experience leads to reflection, which results in a conclusion, which leads to us behaving in a certain way. This action creates a new experience, and so round we go forever and ever (a process known as ‘Kolb’s Learning Cycle’).
Someone who invested in the stockmarket for the first time in September 1987, and then sold their investments a month later in a panic after the crash, may well conclude that the stockmarket is too risky a place and therefore not for them (I have come across such people in my time).
Beliefs, then, are a product of experience. They are not truths. Accepting this fact is a major step to creating more options.
This is considered in detail in an excellent book called Sheconomics by Karen Pine and Simonne Gnessen (I like to think that if our books were online, you’d click on the section of The Financial Wellbeing Book about self limiting beliefs and it would whizz you across to Sheconomics for more information).
Their book offers a series of boxes entitled ‘Do Something Different’. The principle is to break out of change, simply try doing something different. For example, do you need more money? Then do something about it. They suggest becoming a mystery shopper; sell future offers to baby sit; sell stuff.
Uncovering our beliefs, then doing something about them, is key to creating more financial options. And, ultimately, to finding acceptance in what we have, and happiness in what we do.