Are your assumptions making you poorer and more stressed out?

Are your assumptions making you poorer and more stressed out?

Money may or may not be the root of all evil (I think that’s more likely to people’s constant desire to have everything their own way), but it’s definitely the basis for a great deal of stress. One idea is that how you think about it—especially your untested assumptions on the topic—often lies at the root of whatever problems it is causing you.

Alvin Soon wrote an article pointing to this, based on Marc Allen’s book The Millionaire Course: A Visionary Plan for Creating the Life of Your Dreams

His own unconscious beliefs were these. My guess is that they may well by shared by many of us, especially the first:

  • The more money I want, the harder I have to work.
  • If I really want to make a lot of money, I must have an immense amount of knowledge and skills.
  • I don’t deserve to make more than I do now.

The “link” between money and hard work is, of course, our old enemy, the Puritan Work Ethic. That outlook assumes that what you must work hard to obtain is somehow “worth” more when you get it—and therefore, reversing the same flawed logic, you can only get valuable things through hard work.

There’s no proof at all that either direction of this belief is true. Some things do indeed require a great deal of hard work, but they aren’t always well rewarded as a result. Ask any teacher, nurse, or social worker—all professions that require hard work to enter and pursue, yet typically prove to be poor routes to significant wealth.

As for the other two beliefs, I’ll let Alvin speak for himself:

“Writing these beliefs down brought home how they were sabotaging my financial success. It even felt ridiculous because I knew people who worked very little and made very much, who didn’t know more than I did and made much more than I do. And I certainly deserve as much as anyone else to make as much money as I wanted!

Dealing with limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs like these are not just a potent source of frustration and failure in life. They are also major causes of stress. That’s why it’s a good idea to slow down and take some time out to challenge them.

Alvin suggests some key questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my limiting beliefs?
  • What’s the worst that could happen to you if each belief were true?
  • Is this belief always true? Is it true for everyone? Has there ever been a time when it wasn’t true?
  • What would be an empowering alternative to this belief?
  • What’s the best that could happen to you if your new empowering belief was true?

Limiting beliefs don’t just affect money. Do this exercise and you may be amazed just how much your own assumptions and untested beliefs are holding you back and making you needlessly miserable.