We, as human beings, have a set system of beliefs embedded in our personalities: political beliefs, religious beliefs, moral and ethical beliefs.
These have been formed within us since childhood by our upbringing, our experiences, and our environments.
It’s tough to change these beliefs, and for that reason, when you decide to strive for a better financial situation, it’s imperative to examine an overlooked facet of your belief system: your financial beliefs.
This consists of your personal ethos when it comes to spending, saving, and utilizing your personal assets.
Assessing Your Current System
At this point, you may be wondering why we need to look at our beliefs to make financial decisions. The reason is simple: Your own belief system directly relates to your current level of success. Without looking at the system of ethics that determine your spending decisions, you’ll quickly find yourself grasping at straws.
To assess your current system, write down the amount of money you make in a 12-month period. This will tell you exactly where you are — regardless of where you think your belief system is.
Let’s say you’re making $50,000 a year. You have a set point in your belief system that will allow you to make $50,000 a year with no changes to your current lifestyle.
Now, let’s say you want to raise it to $100,000 a year. You won’t be able to increase your income just by wishing it. Barring a complete change of profession, your current belief system won’t allow for that change without a few sacrifices.
The next step in the process is to look at the way you earn your money. Is it difficult? Did you struggle to make it? Did it take a long time? In other words, what are the parameters around how you earn money? An unbiased look at this will reveal the personal rules you have in place regarding your finances.
From there, look at the beliefs surrounding your current situation and ask yourself, “What do I need to change to bring my income to the next level?”
It’s important not to hold back at all while doing this; some of the hardest things to let go of may be exactly the things holding you back.
How to Change It
How did we come up with our personal financial rules? The best way to find the answer is to look at your family tree. Belief systems are generational; as we grow from children to adults, they are reflected back as verification of the world we live in. The system is put in place first, and it manifests itself later in our lives.
In order to change these rules, we have to go against what we’ve believed from birth. We are at the center of this universe of laws; though society does set up circumstances that affect these systems, it’s up to us how we interpret them.
If we consciously choose to interpret our personal laws in a different way, we can change the reality we live in.
Self-confidence is a big part of this. It’s easy to tell yourself that the reason you’re settling for less is because it’s “impossible” to move up in the world. If you believe it, it will become the truth.
You create your own environment, so believing something is “impossible” makes it your reality. If you don’t believe you can advance, you probably never will.
On the other hand, a person with a high level of confidence will take challenges and say, “What do I need to do to change my situation, and how can I use my strengths and ethics to do so?” This person is manipulating his or her own reality to improve circumstances.
Once you’ve developed confidence, it’s time to take action. The next step in this part of the process is to set a goal of where you’d like to be. When doing this, the changes you make are key.
A great metaphor is a puzzle
You can’t change the pieces around to get a different picture. If you have a puzzle that contains a picture of an apple and you want a picture of a rose, no matter how many times you rearrange those existing pieces, they will never give you a rose.
It’s time to go out and get a new puzzle that gives you the picture you want. Instead of rearranging the rules and beliefs you currently have, you need to choose a whole new set of rules to create the picture you want.
I’d like to end with an insight into the life of a person who has always been an inspiration to me — Tony Robbins. He overcame an abusive childhood, a lack of a real father figure, and crippling poverty to change his situation.
He could have been content with the beliefs shown to him from birth, which would have led him to repeat his parents’ lives.
Instead, he reassessed his beliefs and found a new work ethic, which resulted in his current success. Like Tony, as long as you’re able to change the way you see the world, you’ll be able to achieve whatever you set out to do financially.
The only thing holding you back is you.