Money: it’s a topic that touches every aspect of our lives. From the bills we pay to the dreams we chase, our relationship with money can be a source of empowerment—but it can also be a source of stress and feelings of scarcity.
What often holds us back from feeling financially secure are the invisible barriers known as limiting beliefs.
What is a Limiting Belief?
A limiting belief is a generalization, stereotype, or idea that you learned and began believing about yourself, other people, or the world that limits you. In some ways, limiting beliefs are like anchors on a ship: keeping us locked into one stagnant way of viewing ourselves and the world, and holding us back from exploring the vast sea of other possibilities and opportunities.
These convictions tend to be deeply embedded in our subconscious, stemming from early experiences, upbringing, and the sway of societal influences. Limiting beliefs help form the lens through which we see the world, and their influence can become particularly hard to ignore when it comes to matters of money.
And yet, by acknowledging this, we create an opportunity to reassess and recalibrate!
Rather than viewing these beliefs as facts, we can choose to interrogate them—which opens up possibilities and paves the way for personal growth. By understanding that our perceptions are malleable, we open ourselves to the possibility of creating a more positive and transformative relationship with money that’s rooted in abundance, resilience, and trust in our ability to shape our financial narrative.
In this blog series, we’ll embark on a journey to identify, challenge, and ultimately transcend these mental roadblocks. Our first stop: the 13 most common money fears and financial barriers you may know all too well.
13 Limiting Beliefs About Money
Before we dive in, it’s important for you to know that feeling any number of these top 13 limiting beliefs around money is completely understandable. You’re not alone in navigating these beliefs, and by recognizing them, you’re taking the first empowering step toward creating a healthier and more abundant mindset around money.
Remember, it’s okay if these beliefs don’t disappear overnight. We’re here to celebrate your commitment to cultivating awareness and offer guidance through exercises to gently interrogate and open up new perspectives, helping you dislodge these limiting beliefs over time. ✨
1. The Scarcity Mindset
“There’s never enough money.”
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
This limiting belief can trap you in a perpetual state of financial lack, convincing you that there will never be enough money to meet your needs. To challenge a scarcity mindset, try shifting your focus from what you lack toward what you have. It can also help to get specific: have you taken the time to define what abundance means to you? Getting curious and clear about what abundance looks like to you in specific terms (and the ‘why’ underneath!) can help it feel less pie-in-the-sky and more within reach.
“I don’t deserve to be wealthy.”
“Rich people are inherently bad or greedy.”
These limiting beliefs undermine your sense of deserving financial success—either by associating wealth with negative qualities or by labeling you as unworthy. To challenge this belief, it’s important to gently explore where those ideas came from. Where did you learn those things? What makes them true for you? This kind of non-judgmental curiosity can help you start to recognize your inherent worthiness and shift your feelings about having money.
3. Fixed Income Views
“I’ll never be able to earn more than I do now.”
“It’s impossible to rise above my current financial situation.”
These limiting beliefs can keep you stuck in your current financial situation, convincing you that earning more is impossible. To stress-test these beliefs, you might try challenging yourself to set and work towards financial goals that stretch you. Reaching new milestones you thought were beyond your reach—even when they’re small—can help prove to yourself that growth is possible. But then, how do you know when you have enough money? You can learn that and more in this article on The Myth of More.
4. Difficulty of Acquisition
“It’s hard to make money.”
“You have to work extremely hard and sacrifice a lot to be rich.”
These limiting beliefs paint obtaining wealth as an arduous and sacrificial journey. Remember, money and wealth (like so many things) aren’t just about the destination—they’re about the experiences, growth, and fulfillment you encounter on the path! With conscious choices, perseverance, and a commitment to openness along the way, you can reshape your financial narrative and transform your journey of financial well-being into a fulfilling and empowering adventure.
5. Knowledge and Capability
“I’m just not good with money.”
“Understanding finances is too complicated for me.”
These limiting beliefs slowly erode your financial confidence by convincing you that you lack the skills and understanding to manage money effectively—and that’s simply not true! Boost confidence in your abilities by taking small (but mighty) steps to improve your financial literacy. Consider signing up for a budgeting app—many iPEC employees swear by YNAB—reading a finance book, or enlisting the support of a financial coach.
6. Luck and Wealth
“People are either born into money or they get lucky.”
“I’m just not lucky when it comes to finances.”
These limiting beliefs attribute financial success to chance or inheritance, making it feel entirely out of your control. What’s important to understand is that while luck is a factor, it’s not the sole determinant of financial success—far from it, in fact. Instead, it’s helpful to focus on what you can control.
Take a moment to reflect on your strengths and skills. How have they served you in the past, when it comes to money? How can you leverage these attributes to support yourself on your path to financial success? Remember, you have more influence over your journey than these beliefs may lead you to believe!
7. Fear of Loss
“If I get money, I’ll probably lose it.”
“It’s safer not to have too much money, so I don’t become a target.”
These limiting beliefs can generate anxiety about losing money the moment it hits your bank account, leading to resistance to obtaining wealth in the first place. Try shifting your perspective by reframing wealth management as a learnable skill—one that can actually be pretty fun! Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful resources to support you in your learning. In what ways do you feel most drawn to boosting your financial skills?
8. Cultural and Societal Beliefs
“In my culture or community, people like me don’t get rich.”
“Money is the root of all evil.”
Cultural and societal norms often shape these deeply rooted limiting beliefs and can restrict your financial aspirations or attach moral judgments to wealth. You might challenge these norms by exploring other people’s stories or seeking inspiration and advice from people in your community who have broken them before you. How did they do it? What beliefs allowed them to pave their path to success?
9. Zero-Sum Game
“For me to gain, someone else has to lose.”
“If others are wealthy, there’s less available for me.”
These limiting beliefs suggest that for you to win, someone else must lose. At iPEC, we refer to this as Level 2 Energy. In today’s world, competitiveness often permeates various aspects of life, influencing industries, workplaces, and even personal relationships. The quest to ‘win at all costs’ contributes to stress, inequitable power structures, and a lack of collaboration.
Consider embracing a collaborative approach and recognizing that in a world of abundance, success for one does not mean failure for another. How would it feel to shift to a Level 5 ‘win-win’ perspective where everyone’s success contributes positively to the collective well-being? A rising tide lifts all boats, and with a win-win mindset, you can create a more supportive and thriving community for everyone.
10. Financial Dependency
“I need someone else (like a partner or family member) to handle my finances.”
“I can’t be financially independent.”
Limiting beliefs like these can wind up making you feel reliant on others—whether that’s a partner, family member, or close friend—for managing your finances. However, the path to financial independence is always open, and it’s never too late to embark on this empowering journey.
Take charge of your financial responsibilities one step at a time and don’t hesitate to seek support where necessary. At iPEC we have a much-loved foundation principle: “Each moment describes who you are and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.” Remember, you always have a choice. You have the power to make financial decisions that align with your true self.
11. Fear of Change
“Having a lot of money will change me or my relationships.”
“People will only like me for my money.”
These limiting beliefs can trigger a fear of the personal transformation that comes with having more money, particularly how money may change both existing and future relationships. To soothe these fears, remind yourself that personal growth in any area doesn’t have to change or contradict your core values. No matter how much you earn, you get to decide how you show up in your relationships—and it’s very possible to maintain a strong sense of self and stay true to your principles.
12. Temporal Views
“I can’t think about saving or investing; I need to spend what I have now.”
“Future financial security isn’t as important as enjoying the present.”
These limiting beliefs can lead you to prioritize immediate gratification over long-term financial security and planning. If planning for the future is important to you, you might avoid this pitfall by cultivating the habit of intentional everyday saving.
Do I need this $5 cup of coffee when a brew at home will do? Or . . . if the $5 coffee brings me joy, can I hold off on another just-for-fun purchase that’s less important to me? By doing so, you’ll be investing in your future, balancing your financial present with your financial security.
13. Money and Morality
“It’s more noble or moral to live with less.”
“Rich people must have compromised their values to get wealthy.”
These limiting beliefs conflate wealth with moral compromise, potentially causing you to resist any attempts at financial success. While there are cases where the two have gone hand in hand, it’s important to challenge the assumption that financial success is inherently evil. How might more money help you invest in people, causes, or visions for a future world that means something to you? With that reframe, you can focus on using your wealth for positive change and maintaining your moral compass.
How Coaching Can Help Challenge Financial Limiting Beliefs
Our beliefs shape our reality, especially when it comes to our finances. But the good news is that these limiting beliefs about money can be transformed. By identifying and working to overcome them, you can un-limit your potential and open the doors to financial abundance.
Coaching is the key to unlocking the potential hidden behind these money misconceptions. By partnering with a certified coach, individuals can address these subconscious barriers, challenge their validity, and replace them with more empowering beliefs.
Coaches provide a safe space for self-reflection, guidance in setting financial goals, and strategies to overcome personal money fears. Through coaching, you can shift your perspective from scarcity to abundance, fostering a healthier, more positive relationship with money.
How Becoming a Coach Can Shift Your Financial Mindset
Aspiring to become a coach doesn’t just help others overcome their limiting beliefs about money—it can be a transformative journey for you as well. Here’s how:
- Self-Reflection: The process of becoming a coach often involves deep self-reflection. Through your training, you’ll confront and work on your own limiting beliefs. This personal growth can significantly impact your relationship with money.
- Empathy and Understanding: Coaching equips you with the skills to empathize with others and truly understand their perspectives. This newfound empathy can extend to your own money beliefs, allowing you to approach them with compassion and a willingness to change.
- Tools and Techniques: Coaches learn various tools and techniques to help clients overcome their money blocks. These tools are not only beneficial for coaching but can also be applied to your own financial journey.
- Support Network: As part of your coaching journey, you’ll connect with a supportive community of coaches. This network can provide invaluable guidance and encouragement as you address your own limiting money beliefs—including starting your own coaching business (if that’s something you’re striving for).
- Confidence and Abundance Mindset: Coaching can boost your self-confidence and shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. As you guide others to overcome their money blocks, you’ll witness the transformative power of changing beliefs, which can inspire similar changes in your own life.
Take the First Step Toward an Abundance Mindset with iPEC
Remember—your relationship with money is a journey, and each step you take towards an abundance mindset is a step towards unlocking the life you desire. So, let’s un-limit those beliefs and welcome the world of financial opportunities with open arms.
If you’re feeling inspired to explore the transformative power of coaching for yourself, we encourage you to enroll in our ICF-accredited coach training program. This research-backed and top-rated learning path can equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to guide individuals—and yourself—in overcoming limiting money beliefs and achieving financial empowerment.
Don’t let limiting beliefs hold you back any longer. Talk to our admissions team today and discover how you can unlock your potential as a coach.