It may seem ridiculous to think that anyone could have any negative thoughts or resistance to having money. But people can regularly tell themselves that there could be a negative consequence from making more money or upgrading their standard of living.
- What are you afraid of?
The first step to finding out what is stopping you from becoming rich is identifying what you’re afraid of. Fear is powerful and can stop us from achieving our goals. Fears could include a fear of success, fear of failure, fear of having the power money gives, or fear centered around past trauma. Whatever it may be, acknowledging the fear is the first step.
Grab a blank sheet of paper or an empty word document and make two lists. On the first, ask yourself, what is the worst thing that could happen if I achieve all my money goals? On the second, ask what is the best thing that could happen ? After looking at your two lists, see if any patterns emerge. If under the first column you write something like, I could actually succeed and then be stuck with so much more responsibility; you likely fear success. If you write, I could overcome my low self-confidence and finally believe in myself in the second column, then a fear of failure might be present.
Continue to look for patterns and do this activity any time you feel fear creep back in.
- What has your environment taught you about money?
Our environment shapes our opinions about money more than anything else. If your parents were hedge-fund managers or investors, it would make sense that basic financial education was a part of your childhood. At the same time, money memories for other families might not be as favorable.
Grab the same piece of paper as before and write out your first memory of money underneath your columns. Think about what happened in the situation and how it made you feel. For example, if you asked for a toy and your parent said no because it was too expensive, how did that make you feel about money? Was money seen as something that limited your ability to have the things you want? Did you become embarrassed about the fact you even asked for the toy? Or did you feel something else entirely?
These experiences become a part of who we are and how we relate to money. Understanding your history with money can help you break your mental block about gaining wealth.
- Take your memories one step further
Whatever your first money memory might be, it impacts how you use money today. And since money is never going away, it is an excellent idea to analyze that relationship and heal it. Your healing journey with money can resemble healing any other relationship. First, you have to acknowledge the issues, learn to respect yourself while also respecting the other person (in this case your finances), and finally begin to heal.
- Respect yourself and your money
So you’ve already determined what your underlying fears with money might be, and you’ve considered how your environment may have built an unhealthy relationship with money. Now what?
The next step is to learn to respect yourself and your money. In short, it is time to learn how to stop sabotaging your success and learn to build a healthy relationship with money.
Here is a list of the 9 most common mental blocks that are stopping you from becoming rich (and how to overcome them)
7 most common money mental blocks
- Believing you don’t deserve success
“Realize one simple thing: And that is that everything around us was made up by people who were no smarter than you.”-Ashton Kutcher. In actuality, that realization is not simple, but the sentiment is absolutely true. Stop waiting until you’re smarter, older, or richer to start reaching your goals. You do not have to be perfect to begin.
On the same piece of paper you used above, write down how your limiting beliefs have affected your relationship with money so far. Then cross out anything you don’t want in your life anymore.
Below that write, “I am worthy of success and financial freedom. Today, I can take steps toward achieving my goals.” Repeat this affirmation for as long as it takes for you to believe it.
- Doing things how they’ve always been done
You might not even realize that you have a mental block around money. Especially if others within your close family and community have the same ones. A lack of knowledge about how wealth is obtained or increased is very common. The only way to move beyond this belief is to seek out knowledge. This could include online courses, books, or coaching!
If you have experienced any kind of trauma surrounding money, including generational trauma or past money mistakes, you may need to seek professional help. For example, if a previous investment led you to lose your home or if you grew up in a home where money was scarce, it might be more challenging to work through those issues on your own.
- Fear Of Success
Look back at your columns to find patterns that explain your fear of success. What does this fear stem from? Then, write down one contradicting statement that explains why success shouldn’t be feared. For example, if you wrote, “If I am successful, I will have so much more responsibility to deal with.” Your contradicting statement could be, “I have the skills and resources to handle that new responsibility. And if I don’t, I can ask for help.”
- Fear of failure, risk, or rejection
Studies have shown that a loss is more painful than the joy of success. So, this fear is potent and stops many of us from reaching our potential.
6/ Our environments don’t help. Our coaches and teachers teach us that mistakes are bad and we should avoid them as we grow up. Then, when we join the workforce, bosses continue to show us that mistakes are bad.
7/ Are mistakes inherently wrong? The short answer is no. Mistakes and failures help us learn and grow. They are also 100% unavoidable. Every single person has failed at something in their lifetime, and there is never a way to live a failure-free life.
To overcome this financial, mental block, start by giving yourself the grace to make small mistakes. Whenever a small failure arises, like being late to a lunch with friends or forgetting to get milk at the store, first give yourself grace. Then, learn from the mistake and use it as a growth opportunity. Once you become comfortable with minor mistakes, the threat of a larger one won’t consume you.