Why is it that people (especially in our culture) are uncomfortable with the idea of making money? Why does this arouse a feeling of guilt among us to want to enjoy the fruits of life? According to high performance psychologist, Anthony Robbins, this is mainly because of the associations with "Money", we developed in our childhood. The source of most of these associations were generally our parents and other people in our immediate environment. These associations, mainly negative, sadly live on for long beyond those early formative years.
It’s hard for us to believe that we can have negative associations for money. On a superficial level, everyone knows that money can give us more freedom, allow us to be a better parent, a better son or daughter, or a better spouse. It can provide us with the opportunity for travel, for recreation, or for study. But, on a deeper subconscious level, a lot among us have very negative associations for attaining and maintaining wealth. These associations hamper our progress towards financial freedom and independence. Even if we manage to somehow attain a degree of wealth, these subconscious beliefs sabotage our success.
So, to begin with, make a list of thoughts that come to your mind when you think of money. This may include things your parents (or other authority figures) said in regard to money, or some ideas of money you developed due to certain experiences in connection with it. For example, "Money does not grow on trees," or "I should be satisfied with what I have," or "To make money I have to take advantage of other people," or " There is no point in making too much money because I won’t have any time to enjoy it," or "I won’t have any time for my family," or "If I become rich, people will start judging me," or "With money, I won’t be spiritual."
A devoutly religious man once said to me that the Bible says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to reach heaven. Such classic misinterpretations, also, often cause us to live in circumstances of lack and poverty, although no faith teaches Lack. The very purpose of religion is to make us feel happy, purposeful and abundant. Consider this: Does lack bring out the best in Human Spirits? I feel that the answer is an emphatic "NO". Because, wherever we see lack, we see despair. Wherever we see lack, we see crime. Wherever we see lack, we see addiction to drugs and alcohol. On the contrary, abundance brings out the better side in us. If we have enough, we stop focussing on our struggle to survive, and begin to look at the bigger picture - at who we are, and what our purpose in life is.
So, it is important to get over this feeling of guilt that we sometimes associate with money, because if we don’t have the amount of money we want, it is because we associate more pain to having it than not having it.
Now, use the following space or use your journal to make a list of associations you may have for money.
OK. Now, you have a list of your associations for money. This will go a long way to clarify things in your mind, as to why you may not be attracting the amount of wealth you may have wanted to. I met this person recently, who was a classic case of failure in wealth creation because of negative associations and faulty programming. He was evidently very intelligent, capable, and skillful, and I could easily tell that he was also very hard-working. But then, why was he still not able to manifest any degree of wealth in his life ? Talking to him, I realised that he had one major hang up: He believed that it would be unholy for him to make more money than his father. Obviously, in our culture, this could be a major obstacle in somebody’s path to financial success. So, what does one do about this? I believe the answer is to restate these beliefs so that they are compatible with one’s moral values. How would one do this in the above example? Try this: Ask the question: - "How can I help my parents if I had more money?", and the answers begin to come in. You can provide them a better house, you can provide them with a holiday, you can provide them all the comfort they sacrificed to bring you up. The point is to associate more pleasure to having money than not having money.
So, the next step is to change the above beliefs in such a way so that they assist you in attaining wealth rather than being an obstruction in your path to financial freedom. For example, the belief "Money does not grow on trees", may be changed into "Money grows out of my immense ability and the unlimited power of my mind." "I won’t have enough time to spend with my family," may be changed to "With the freedom I get out of having abundant money, I can set my work timings in such a way, as to provide some time for my family, each and every day."
So, go ahead and do this exercise. For each of the negative beliefs you wrote above, write down a positive belief below. Try to keep your statements as brief and to-the-point as possible.