Being wealthy and successful starts with one’s mindset. I’ve observed and talked to different people in the past and realized there are these mentalities people have which stop them from getting where they want to be financially. If you can relate, here are the 9 limiting beliefs/thoughts that might be holding you back from your financial success.
1. “Personal finances is complicated and overwhelming.”
I know, I know. I felt the same way when adulthood crept in and forced me to take the “grown-up” responsibilities to pay my bills, track my expenses, save up and start investing. It can be scary and overwhelming but remember: everyone starts somewhere. You just have to break the large chunk of information into bite-sized pieces and consume one thing at a time. Think about your priority now and start from there. For instance, if earning more money is your top priority, then you may want to do research on how to negotiate a higher salary with your boss or on ways to generate passive income etc. When breaking a complicated subject into something small, it is easier for you to absorb the ideas you have just learned. This might be helpful for you if you have absolutely no idea where to start.
2. “I’m born poor so I will never be wealthy.”
I have an acquaintance who constantly grumbles about her tough family circumstances and makes sarcastic remarks on how lucky the rest of us were born in a better-off family. “I’m already losing at the starting point, it’s harder for me to be rich,” that’s what she always tells us. But when you look at Oprah, Jack Ma or these successful Malaysians who went from rags to riches, there is no excuse to stop you from doing well financially. My tip is to find a successful people you can relate to or identify with–someone who was once poor, study about his/her background and journey to success and learn as much as possible from him/her. Think about this person whenever the thought of “born poor = die poor” crawl out of your mind. Most importantly, you have to take actions. NOW.
3. “Live like today is your last day. Why think so far ahead?”
YOLO. That’s the motto of millennials these days. One of the biggest mistakes that are holding these young people from being financially successful because they ACTUALLY live like there is no tomorrow. In some degree–yes, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, we might suddenly lose our lives, so why don’t we just enjoy this moment and NOT think about the future? We all should just blow our money on the fancy trip to Monte Carlo or overspend them on buying all the branded goods we always dream of owning before the end of the world. But seriously, what are the odds? With the advancement of technology and medicine, it’s no surprise you will get to live your life past 100 in the future. So, brush your YOLO thought aside, get going with your finances and the 100-year-old you will thank you for what you’ve done today.
4. “I will be better when I get older.”
I believe my little sisters and many of my younger friends belong to this category. You might think “I’m still too young to start” or “I don’t know shit about personal finances but I will when I become older and wiser”. You believe that once you start working or start expanding your circle of network in the world full of grown-ups, you will naturally become better or smarter with your finances. I’ll tell you what, your tender age is your greatest advantage! Have you heard of compound interest? The earlier you start saving or investing, the richer you become when you reach retirement. Moreover, if you never try to start learning, you’ll never become financially wiser no matter how old you get. Stop using this excuse to avoid managing your money and start taking baby steps today.
5. “I don’t want to sacrifice…”
My family/time/sleep/fun. You say to yourself: I can’t have it all. It’s an either/or equation and I must make a choice. If I want to be successful or wealthy, I a) have to sacrifice my family; or b) I won’t have any free time left for myself; or c) I have to say goodbye to many of my good night’s sleep; or d) I can’t have fun anymore; or e) all of the above. I hear ya, and yes, it might happen in your early path to financial success. But instead of thinking this way, why don’t you change your perspectives and use these thoughts as your motivation to make it happen? Think about it: if you achieve financial freedom, you will have time for everything–your family, sleep, and fun.
6. “What if I fail? I can’t take the risk.”
It’s very hard to move forward when you hold a belief like this. Sure, when we are talking about growing your money through investment, there might be some risks involved. But all you need to do is do intensive research before you dive in. The truth is: there are many investments that have little to no risk–fixed deposit, bonds, ASB, unit trust. You have plenty of choices with different degree of risks when it comes to investing your money. And, when you’re keeping your money in your piggybank, you’re losing purchasing power in the long run due to inflation. So what if you still fail? You stand up, learn your lesson, and move on. Most successful people failed during their journey to success.
7. “I’m not smart enough to handle my finances.”
First of all, you don’t have to be smart to handle your finances. You don’t have to be like Warren Buffet or some other business tycoons to achieve financial success. You just have to be willing to spend your time on educating yourself about personal finances. That’s the reason why I started this space. It’s for the people who are uncomfortable or uncertain with their money–especially those who have no idea how to handle their own finances. For this reason, you’ll rarely find jargons or difficult terms and concepts in all my articles. I’ve mentioned before, you’ll just have to start small and start with baby steps. There are mountains of free resources for you to learn online.
8. “I don’t have money to start with.”
Not true. I always tell people, you can put away just a little money every month and invest it in something that can give you returns–even with just RM10 per month. Here it comes down to your budget and your daily expenses. Look at your expenses and see where you can cut back on. I’m certain you can always find the extra money you can save if you get serious about it. If you are already living a frugal life and still have difficulty allocating money for your savings or for investment, then you might want to start thinking about adding different streams of income on top of your regular pay.
9. “I’m content with my life now, I don’t need to be anymore richer.”
There are always people who are constantly chasing after money. Then there are the ones who will tell you they are happy with where are they right now financially (though I haven’t heard anyone from my circle who claim they had enough money so they don’t need more). Unless you’re already a millionaire or billionaire, I think there’s no harm for you to dream big. I know this is your choice and it’s certainly none of my business. But think of all the positive impacts having more money can bring to your life–be it donating the money to charities or causes that you really care about, starting a business that can do good for the world, or simply just giving your children a better future.
What about you? Can you relate to any of these thoughts? Are there any other limiting beliefs you think I may have missed out? Share with me in the comment section below. 🙂
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