Your success with money is directly tied to your mindset! Learn about these common money blocks and how you can overcome them.
What is a money block?
A money block is a mental block like a negative thought or feeling that keeps you from achieving your financial goals. These may come up due to your upbringing, past mistakes, or just your personal views on money.
Money blocks can come from preconceived notions about ourselves like thinking that you could never earn a six-figure salary or that you can’t possibly pay off $80,000 of student loan debt.
Most of the time, we’re not even aware when a money block stands in our way! The first step to achieving financial freedom is identifying what your money blocks are, and strategies to overcome them.
How money blocks can prevent you from building wealth
Money blocks can literally block you from building wealth by creating mental barriers and making it impossible for you to find solutions. Instead of being able to think positively or optimistically about your finances, money blocks will create a focus on the things that could go wrong. This could lead to inaction, feeling stuck, and in the end, missing out on opportunities to build wealth.
The way that you think about money is directly related to the actions that you will take. Simply put, if you can’t even imagine it, you cannot achieve it. So that means we need to recognize our money blocks so that we can learn how to move past them.
Imagine not being weighed down by anxiety, fear, and regret. That’s how you can operate moving forward, but first, we need to self-assess and call those money blocks out.
Most common money blocks and how to fix them
These are the most common money blocks and how to fix them:
Money block #1 – Dwelling on the past (regret)
Some of examples of money regrets that you might have are: buying a $45,000 car when you first graduated college or not saving for retirement at a younger age.
So you made a mistake and it cost you a lot of money? Yes, that sucks! Did you learn from it? Well good, let’s focus on that.
While it’s definitely valuable to reflect on mistakes and learn from them, spending too much time thinking about it is not helpful. The important thing is to take action to correct the mistake and go from there. This could mean aggressively saving in a Roth IRA or selling your luxury car for something more economical.
Money block #2 – Avoidance
Do you know how much debt you’re in? Do you have any idea how much you’re spending on monthly subscriptions?
If you answered no, then you might be avoiding your finances. I’ve been there, looking at my credit card statement and thinking how will I ever pay this off? This is a situation that you want to face head on, get all of your expenses out on paper or an excel sheet and see where your money is going.
You could be paying for things you don’t use or need or come to the realization that you can’t afford to go on that Vegas trip this summer.
The problem with avoidance is it helps you avoid pain in the short-term, but the long-term effects can be catastrophic. Having all of that information front and center might not feel good, but years from now, you’ll thank yourself for having the courage to do so.
Money block #3 – Fear
Some money-related fears are: fear of applying for a new job or fear of a stock market crash.
Money fears will almost certainly keep you from both financial success and freedom.
We all experience fear, but when it comes to money it can seem all the more daunting.
If you are feeling fear related to money, I suggest taking small calculated risks to get started. For example, you can choose to diversify your investments into bonds, IRA’s and stocks. As you take on some risk and start seeing your money grow, you will gain confidence and likely be willing to take on greater risks.
Money block #4 – Gender-specific beliefs
Did you grow up in a household where your dad was the breadwinner? Do you worry that your boyfriend or husband will be threatened by your higher income?
Historically, men have been the financial providers for their families and women have taken care of the house and children. In our modern world, it’s not uncommon for households to have two parents who worked, but there are still a good chunk of women performing unpaid domestic labor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 29% of mothers were stay-at-home moms in 2012. Were you shocked by that number? I was!
As adults, we tend to mirror a lot of the behaviors we witnessed in childhood. So if you grew up watching your dad handle the bills and negotiate with insurance or cable providers – you might be uncomfortable taking charge of those things in your own life.
The same thoughts might come up when it comes to comparing your income to your partner’s. For example, you might worry that your boyfriend will feel emasculated if you become the higher earner or that it will create an imbalance in the relationship.
Gender-specific beliefs are deeply ingrained in us and the best way to overcome them is to look at them, with a critical eye. If you find yourself avoiding certain financial conversations or tasks, try to take an active role in confronting those difficult feelings or thoughts. Give yourself permission to be successful!
Money block #5 – Confidence or self-worth issues
Some confidence or self-worth issues related to money could be: not believing that you deserve a higher-paying job or negative self-talk.
We’ve all been there–comparing ourselves to our friends or relatives and wondering why you can’t be a high earner and afford that fancy trip to Bali. The truth is, there will always be someone smarter, or richer, but that doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of great things.
You start by questioning your thoughts about yourself:
“What proof do I have that I can’t make more money?”
“Why don’t I deserve a promotion?”
“Just because I am not good with money now, doesn’t mean I can’t be in the future, right?”
You’ll likely learn that you don’t have anything to back up those self-limiting beliefs. So, then you have to start thinking – “why not me?” Once you can at least be open to the possibility of good outcomes, you will see how that snowballs into you wanting and craving change.
(pssst…want to get a head start on thinking positively about money? Here are 9 Money Journal Prompts to get you started)
Now that you know what money blocks are and how damaging they can be, you are on your way to clearing the path to your financial future. You can venture out on a new career opportunity, confidently invest in your future, and let go of the past mistakes that were weighing you down.
Most importantly, you can take the steps to becoming financially free and living the life you’ve always wanted.