You, Me, and Limiting Beliefs About Money - Legally Bold

You, Me, and Limiting Beliefs About Money

limiting beliefs about money

(This post is the third installment in the Legally Bold series on limiting beliefs and how they rob us of achieving fulfillment in essential areas of our lives. You can find the first two posts in the series here and here.)

This week in our ongoing series about limiting beliefs, I wanted to talk about money. 

Limiting beliefs around money are a difficult subject for me to discuss as a coach. Because I am an African American woman, there are some realities about our society and money that can’t be ignored.  

I know that a lot of coaches would classify these realities as limiting beliefs as well. But that way of thinking feels dismissive, particularly if you are in an oppressed group that is affected by these realities. So before I get into a discussion on money and limiting beliefs, I have to lay a few facts on the table.  

Money and Inequity

As of 2019, women in the United States still make 0.79 for every dollar a man makes.  

This means that if a man earns $100K/year at his job, a woman in that same position only makes 79K. That’s a lot of money, and it means something in terms of the financial decisions women make.

The disparities only get worse for women like me. 

Black women with advanced degrees (i.e., lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc.) make almost $7 per hour less than white men with a bachelor’s degree. In fact, black women with advanced degrees only make about $11 more per hour than white men with high school diplomas. By comparison, white men with advanced degrees make almost $28 more per hour than white men with high school diplomas.  

When you combine these pay inequities with the astronomical student loan debt most women accrue to get an advanced degree, it’s enough to make anyone want to holler.

If it was up to women and people of color alone, the pay gap would have been closed years ago. But closing the gap isn’t just up to us.

White people, particularly white men, must come to their own understanding about why it’s in their interests to dismantle systems that do not serve ALL of humanity and decide to work toward creating something better. 

Back To Limiting Beliefs 

Against the backdrop of the societal realities around money, let’s talk about 3 harmful limiting beliefs that keep us from feeling money secure and abundant.

Belief #1 Money is a measure of my success and/or worth

Remember that a limiting belief is a misunderstanding about the present that changes our perception of what we can do in the future. So if we are not earning the money that we think we deserve, it can lead to feelings of worthlessness and make us feel like we aren’t good enough to take on certain roles.  

This limiting belief is woefully inaccurate. We know from the data that women make less than men, and black women earn less than that. So using money as a measure of your success or worth is fraught with problems. 

It’s not that you don’t measure up. It’s that pay inequities are dictating your earning potential. 

To combat this belief, you must define success and worth using a more empowering lens. Henry David Thoreau tells us that “wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” If you are experiencing life fully, then you are more wealthy than you know.

Belief #2 That’s a waste of money

One of my biggest money blocks is the fear that I am wasting money. Running a business requires certain monetary investments, and I am always worried that I am making the wrong choice or spending too much. So in the past, I would end up making no decisions at all. 

Today I know that as a discerning adult, spending any amount of money involves some level of risk. So as long as I am behaving responsibly, I’m not wasting money. I’m making a calculated choice based on my needs, resources, and the information available to me at the time. There’s nothing wasteful about that. 

Belief #3 I’m just not good with money

I think people say, “I’m not good with money” as often as they say, “I’m not good with math.” They act like these are permanent conditions. They’re not. Learning about money (just like learning math equations) is possible at any age.

Because we can learn new things, we can all become good with money. The issue here is eliminating the belief that our relationship with money is a permanent, unchanging fact. 

Once we do that, we can transform this limiting belief into something more empowering and certainly more actionable.

These 3 beliefs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful ideas people have about money. There are just way too many beliefs to name here. However, the first step to freeing yourself from any money block is to notice that you have it.  

So in the comments below (or your journal), I encourage you to write down all of the beliefs you have about money and how those beliefs impact your life. Is there a way to replace those thoughts with new ideas? What would that look like? Let me know your thoughts below.