5 Money Beliefs that Are Holding You Back

a woman holding a stack of money next to a notebook

We’ve all heard the saying, “Money makes the world go round.”

Water, food, clothing, and shelter — we need money for even our most basic needs. And more so for other important needs like sanitation, education, and healthcare.

So it’s no surprise that people have different mindsets around money. While it’s undeniable that we need it to survive, people of similar backgrounds and social classes growing up don’t necessarily share the same views on it.

There are those who look at the wealthy with disdain, thinking that money is the root of evil and that those who hold so much of it only use their wealth to promote their own causes and businesses.

This perspective is certainly not baseless — money is connected to power, and we’ve all seen how power has corrupted leaders, public and otherwise, time and time again.

Hence, the revival of the expression “eat the rich”, often said by millennials and ‘zoomers’ as a protest to greedy, stingy, and inhumane people in power. It is an abbreviation of the saying attributed to European Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they’ll eat the rich.”

World hunger is nowhere near its end, and there are those who sit atop such a dog-eat-dog world who couldn’t care less about the poor.

But while there are rich people who do use their money solely for selfish reasons, it’s not true to all of them. I have met wealthy people who turned out to be some of the most genuine and generous people I’ve been lucky enough to get to know.

Like I said: different people; different mindsets. Money becomes good or evil depending on the person who holds it.

But because of the negative views around money, there are people who hold themselves back from achieving success for the fear that they turn into the kind of people that they don’t support.

That shouldn’t be the case.

Having a positive and good-natured mindset around money will impact your life and determine your success. Those who achieve greatness don’t allow limiting beliefs and negative thoughts to set in and eat them up.

To help you understand this better, I’ve put together five limiting beliefs that hold people back from chasing after wealth and success:

#1: Money is evil.

We hear it everywhere: “Money is evil.”

We see it in real life almost as much as we see it in villains who seek world domination in the popular media we consume.

But I think that the saying should be conditional: “Money is evil, only if it’s in the wrong hands.

Selfish people exist whether they have money or not. I’d like to think that nothing is inherently evil, and that all this greed that we see in people we deem corrupt and cruel is a product of a world that fosters the mindset that wealth defines a person’s self-worth.

It’s through this condescending view that excessive pride, greed, and envy arise. Understanding that all humans are equal no matter what their socioeconomic status is, is important in keeping yourself grounded as a humble and compassionate business person.

With that mindset, it will naturally follow that you’d develop a will to use your money for good.

Here are some ways that you can help others with the money you gain:

  • You can use your money for charitable causes. Help Not For Profits. Donate to human needs, or to other advocacies you support. If you have enough, you could even consider starting your own foundation.
  • You can pay for someone’s schooling. Be a benefactor to a student in need. The youth have so much potential, and funding the right ones for them to receive the best education can do wonders for humanity.
  • You can provide a business loan. Provide a loan, be it big or small, if you see an emerging business that you want to support. You’ll get your money back and help other entrepreneurs make a better living for themselves and for others while doing so.

#2: The pursuit of money is bad.

Nobody in business should ever feel guilty for trying to make money. The truth is, people start businesses with making money one of the biggest goals.

In this world where technology keeps advancing and innovations are becoming more complex, useful, and brilliant, it’s not wrong to have a personal goal that allows you to afford all these things for yourself and your loved ones.

Don’t feel bad for wanting a comfortable living space or eating expensive food every now and then.

Treating yourself and aiming for a high standard of living isn’t wrong. It’s being greedy for it that is.

Like all things, too much of everything is bad. Caring too much about money to the point that you step on other people just to get what you want — that is greed, and you don’t need to be a genius to see that letting this greed be your driving force is harmful to you and to everyone around you.

It is because of greed that those who have more than enough remain stingy and selfish. They keep finding ways to have more, and they end up unhappy and never content.

That’s not an appealing way to live, is it?

Instead, imagine one day finding out that the research institute you donated to had finally discovered the cure for cancer that could save millions of lives. Or picture receiving a call from a hospital you donated equipment to, that it helped save hundreds of patients. Doesn’t that sound more fulfilling?

If you keep yourself in check and balance what you want for yourself as opposed to how you want to use your money to help others, then the pursuit of money can be good.

#3: Money doesn’t buy happiness.

To be honest, when I hear millionaires and even billionaires tell the masses, “Money can’t buy you happiness,” I fight the urge to shake my head in disappointment.

For some who can barely make ends meet despite working two jobs a day, getting that paycheck after all their hard work and restless days will make them happy. So you can’t really tell those who rarely get the chance to buy themselves something nice even once in a while that money can’t do much for their happiness.

But then why do we all know some greedy, wealthy people who still find themselves unhappy with all their riches?

It’s a different case when a person is driven by greed. No amount of money will ever be enough for them, unfortunately. In truth, material wealth can only do so much in keeping a person satisfied.

Ultimately, your sense of fulfilment will come from something internal, rather than external. Peace of mind, love, kindness — these are things that money can’t buy for you, but they are things that wealth creation can definitely help you find and provide more easily, for yourself and for others.

It’s why at some point, I decided that I wanted to become a business coach: to impart these learnings to rising entrepreneurs after going through this phase of not understanding fulfilment myself.

Having money for what you need (and not just want) creates more opportunities to give back to others. Finance fitness also gives you more free time. And with less time spent grinding through the day at work, you’ll have more time to spend with your family, friends, and other hobbies and passions.

#4: People will hate you if you’re rich.

Sometimes, people hate the rich because of their first-hand experience with mega corporations that exploit them, or maybe so-called leaders who’ve mistreated them or shown them cruelty.

Other times, they’re envious that they never achieved what successful people have.

The divide between the poor and wealthy is getting bigger, and so is the hate that comes with it. But that should never stop you from trying.

If you’re not one of those power-hungry people who step on others to get their way, then you shouldn’t worry about people hating you. If they still do, then you should know that their envy is their problem, not yours, and that they’re not people you should be associating with.

There will be those who will be proud of you, your success, and your achievements. Surround yourself with those people.

#5: More money means more problems.

If you don’t know how to manage your finances, and you end up putting your money in the wrong investments or buying the most luxurious consumeristic goods that will leave you with little savings— then yes, money will cause you more harm than good.

Remember that buying expensive property comes with monumental costs for repair, maintenance, and etc. Despite your wealth, you might end up having to borrow a lot of money, if you’re not careful.

Keeping up with the Joneses is a never ending battle. That’s why you shouldn’t let envy be your motivation. You won’t be better than other people just because you have the biggest mansion or the most expensive car.

If you focus on using money for what you need more than what you want, then it will solve more problems than it will create.

While there is some truth to the aforementioned beliefs about money, this truth isn’t universal.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting cash flow. It’s only when you let greed and envy take over that you’ll end up unhappy with the riches you make.

If you keep a positive, healthy, and well-intentioned mindset around creating wealth, you will be more confident and motivated to build your wealth and become a happy, successful entrepreneur whom others will admire and look up to.