Have you ever done something with your money you knew wasn’t the right thing? Ever wondered why knowing the difference between “right and wrong”
After all, you’re smart. You know better. But those bad spending habits are still so hard to break.
What’s going on here?
Depending on how you internalized your earliest experiences with money and personal finances, it could be that these memories are still influencing your behavior today — even when you know what you should do to reach financial success.
Be Aware of Money Scripts and Stories
Think back to your childhood, as far back as you can remember. These are your imprint years, or when you formed a number of core beliefs, values, and worldviews that you likely still carry with you today.
What is your earliest memory of money? What do you remember about how your parents used money, or what they told you about finances?
Think of what your parents told you. Did you hear “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “what do you think, we’re made of money or something?”
Think back to the TV you watched as a kid and what that told you about money. The stories were usually not nice or positive, right? People with money were greedy and often lonely – think of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons or Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
If you hear certain things about money, or constantly receive the same image and message about what it means to have money, spend money, or use money over and over, you start getting beliefs hardwired into your brain.
How Money Stories Become Hardwired Beliefs
You’ll likely believe these things even today — things like, “money is hard to get.” Or “there’s never enough money.” Or even, “money is bad and evil, and I shouldn’t have too much because that would make me a bad person.”
You may not think these exact same things, but whatever your money stories and scripts are, they’re are deeply rooted thoughts and that feel like facts to you.
Which means these thoughts impact how you see money now.
Your early money memories could be holding you back. But the good news is that you can easily manage this once you:
- Acknowledge that you have memories or stories about money that may influence you today.
- Recognize when those stories come up for you in your day-to-day life now.
- Know the actions to take to manage the emotions — and potential bad decisions — that get triggered by early experiences with money.
Don’t Let False Financial Beliefs Sabotage Your Work Toward Success
Here’s how you can start working to erase false beliefs about money and finances and stop letting your thoughts hold you back.
Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the page. On the left hand side write down what you currently believe about money. On the right hand side, write the opposite.
Here are some examples to get you started:
|Current Negative Money Stories||Positive Money Thoughts That Are Possible|
|I need to work hard for money.||I can make money easily and have fun doing it.|
|There’s never enough money. I’ll never make enough.||There’s an abundance of money in the world and I can earn what I need.|
|Money is evil and people who have lots of it are bad.||Money is a tool I can use to help me build the life I want and having lots of money means I can do good with it.|
You can deliberately make the thoughts in the right-hand column your new money scripts, stories, and beliefs. Transforming negative or limiting money beliefs into positive and powerful ones will have a profound impact on your financial situation.
That’s because positive thoughts lead to positive actions. When you think positively (instead of negatively), you’re more likely to see new possibilities and opportunities that you miss when your head is in a dark, negative, limiting cloud.
Read your new story (the one on the right ) every morning and night for at least 60 days. Proactively embed that thought into your mind, and it becomes your new story.
You will find when that little negative voice crops into your head your new story with come over the top and squash it.
This is a simple but tremendously useful wealth-building tip that you can use right now, no matter what your current financial situation is. This can be your first step to big financial success.