5 Harmful Money Beliefs That Leave You Struggling With Money

Tiana Clewis: Girl, get out of your head!

Has anyone ever told you this?

Whether it was working to build my business, mapping out a new sermon like I am right now, or just finding the right strategy to get my husband on board with this whole budgeting thing - I've heard this like a thousand times.

There's just these moments when you're doing all the things, and frankly, it's everything that people have been telling you to do. But for some reason it feels like this hopeless, endless struggle and your mind keeps spinning telling you that all of this really it should be working.

But why isn't it? Like, what the heck is going on?

Then when you look back at it minutes, days, even months later, you realize that the problem the entire time is that you were stuck in your head.

Well, it happens with your money too. And when it does you find yourself busting your butt to change your life, yet always continuing to struggle.

I've been there and if you think you might be there too, stay tuned, because today I'm going to break down five harmful money beliefs that are keeping you broke - and what you can and should do about it.

Hey, Dreamers and welcome back to my channel where we break down all things money so it can stop being an obstacle and start acting like what it is: a tool to help you create a life that you truly find worth living.

Before we start walking through these five money beliefs, let me introduce myself to the new folks in the crowd. I'm Tiana B. Clewis, an author, speaker, and coach who's dedicated her life to helping women entrepreneurs transform their relationship with money so they can finally grow their income, dump their debt and start building a lifestyle they've been dreaming about all while still having a little fun along the way.

Believe me, when I say that you can get rid of those student loans and redecorate the house at the same time. I've done it and so have many of my clients.

If you want to join me on this journey, like this video and follow my channel by clicking the big red button below. Then hit the bell so that you get notified every time I drop new money, tips and strategies that will help you hit your financial goals while still enjoying that good old life.

Okay. I need you to bear with me for a few more minutes before we dive into this list, because I have to clarify some things before we can really get started.

First, I need to make it very clear why this matters so much.

The truth is that everything we do as humans is ruled by our thoughts. Whether those thoughts are conscious and clear for everyone, including you, to see or they're subconscious, hidden even from you until someone points it out, those things have power over everything that we do. Thoughts, beliefs, they function as these self fulfilling prophecies because our actions always manage to align with our thoughts.

Even if we say that we believe one thing, our actions and the results of our actions are typically great ways to identify what we really deep down believe. So as long as we believe that we cannot ,should not, will not accomplish something like building wealth, we're never going to actually be able to achieve it, even if we tell others that it's what we really want.

This is why we have to tackle this particular subject, even though it seems like it's going into that woo woo, spiritual, metaphysical realm that so many people like to avoid.

The second thing I have to clarify is that this list is comprised of the most common beliefs that I've seen as a coach, but this definitely is not an exhaustive list. So unless you have hours upon hours to explore every conceivable scenario, cut me some slack if I miss one that you've heard of or have overcoming yourself.

In fact, if you do have one that I missed, let me know by dropping it in the comments below.

Finally, I want to be honest with you. Absolutely everyone has money beliefs, whether they know it or not. I don't care if we're talking about someone living under the poverty line or someone like Jeff Bexos, who many expect to become the world's first trillionaire. Each and every one of us believes something about money.

The question is whether that belief is helpful or harmful, in that it blocks your potential to make more money and grow your wealth. That's why you hear people use the phrase of "money blocks" or "money mindset blocks" because your money related potential is being totally blocked by the beliefs in your head.

So again, this may sound like some woo woo, mumbo mumbo talk, but it's vital to your success at using money as a tool to build the life that you want for you, your children and generations to come.

Alright, if all hearts and minds are clear - and I know mine is - let's dive into these harmful money beliefs.

The first money belief that I want to tackle is super obvious, but it still holds a lot of people back: the belief that because you failed before, you're always going to fail.

You know, you have this particular belief if you find yourself saying things like, "but I've already tried that," "I've done that before", when someone's giving you advice about, well, anything.

This insidious belief actually permeates not just your money, but literally every aspect of your life. It will impact your business, relationships, health, spiritual growth. I mean, literally everything.

Have you ever tried to tell your mother that you dislike when she interferes in your relationships, only to have her get mad at you? Well, your failure to establish that boundary that time can cause you to give up on establishing healthy boundaries with her or anyone else in the future.

Have you ever tried to fast only to find yourself eating a bag of chips six hours in? Your failure to complete that fast can cause you to never try it again.

Same thing with your money. If you've budgeted in the past only to have it go terribly wrong, it's easy to decide that you're just bad at budgeting and shouldn't even try it again.

Or maybe you've tried to save money only to get emotional one day and blow it all on a trip or a shopping spree. It's really easy to convince yourself that you'll never be able to save money for a down payment on a house, much less a luxurious retirement.

But the truth is that we all mess all of this stuff up. I'm a financial expert and I still mess up my budget at times.

The key to overcoming this money belief is to give yourself the grace to be human. Maybe the last time you tried, you just didn't have the right strategy that fit for you and your family. Or your mindset was messed up. Maybe you misunderstood part of the strategy. Or it could be that you just did it wrong and you just need to try it again the right way.

Either way, you can't tell you that you failed and will fail again, just because you messed something up like a normal human.

This makes me think of a quote by Thomas Edison, a man hailed as one of the most famous inventors of all time. Apparently he once said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

You can't expect yourself to get it right the first time or every time after that. Something's going to be wrong. Something won't work. The key is to forgive yourself, give yourself the grace to mess it up again because humans do that sometimes, and just keep moving forward anyway until you get it right.

So hey, if you got to wait til the time 10,001 - Sis, do it.

The next money belief is really a fear: the fear that because your parents, family, or people around you have always been broke, that you are destined to always be broke.

This one's really common because it can be implanted and nurtured in our minds a number of different ways.

Some people hold this belief because being broke is all they've ever seen in their personal life. Yeah you got rich folks on TV and the internet, but not in the people you see in real life around you every day.

All you see in your universe is that paycheck to paycheck struggle, that endless cycle where you work, pay bills, work, pay bills, work some more, pay some more bills. And then if you're lucky, you retire very modestly, depending on your family to help you make ends meet.

This belief can be reinforced even further if you see your parents as good hardworking people. We begin to think that if they, being as awesome as they are, could only get so far, who are we to think that we can get any further?

Then it gets reinforced even more by the media, especially if you're a minority. It's not often that you see a black or brown family with wealth portrayed in movies and TV shows, or even in the news. Naw, typically you see these broke minorities that are struggling day in and day out. So of course, that's all that's available to you, right?

And don't let someone actually speak brokenness into your life. Having someone outright tell you that you'll never be successful, will never have wealth, will always be poor, it can be soul crushing. My husband told me a story about someone who he cared for very deeply that once told him he was a broke n-word and would always be a broke n-word.

It's so sad to think that people say things like this, but they do. And while my husband took it as a challenge to prove them wrong, many take these words to heart and it shapes their entire future. And every time they try to step out of that mode, those words echo in their mind, holding them back.

But we don't have to believe that lie.

The truth is that you have the power, the right, and maybe even the calling to break the generational curse of poverty in your family.

To overcome this fear, you have to make the decision that you're going to take a stand against that part of your family's legacy. You have to decide that you're going to be the one to break the curse. You have to decide that you're going to be the person who changes the trajectory of your family tree.

Then you can step into the realm of affirmations:

  • I will break the cycle of poverty in my family.

  • My destiny is not defined by my family's past.

  • I am destined for wealth.

  • I am creating a new legacy of wealth for my family.

So if you want to break this particular mindset block, you have to make the decision to be that change, take steps towards doing it and affirm your decision and your future over and over again.

Another harmful money belief, also rooted in similar issues as the one we just discussed, is the fear that your relationships will change for the worst when you have money.

I have fought through this one myself and sometimes I still actually do battle with it.

This is a fear that usually takes hold either once you've experienced some success on your own, or you have other family members or friends who have experienced some financial success, but they still have people around them that are still struggling.

Sadly, many of us have family and friends that simply aren't comfortable seeing others be more successful than them. They may not say it explicitly, but ultimately their words and their actions communicate it. And how they communicate their feelings about your success, or their lack thereof, causes you to mentally slam the brakes on your own.

Maybe they begin to act entitled, like your success means you're obligated to help them, that you're selfish if you don't. They hold their hand out demanding that you give, give, give, give, give more, only to lay on the guilt when you decide to set boundaries around the financial aspects of your relationship. So either you cave to the pressure or you lose them in your life which, if you're going to be real about it, it hurts.

Or perhaps you hear little comments like "that must be nice" or comments that implied you somehow lucked into the success. So you begin to question whether you deserve it. You begin to doubt whether you're worthy or feel guilty and shame, because you somehow ended up with money when they didn't.

Whether these things have happened to you or you've seen it happen to a family member or friend, or like in my case, both, it can be tough to push towards a life of wealth and comfort. Your mind begins to associate wealth with negativity from the people you love. So you subconsciously lose your desire to have it and grow it.

Like I said, I've battled this one in the past and if I'm not careful, it can really start to creep its way back into my subconscious. I have battled the shame and the guilt. I've lost relationships. I've struggled at times to remember that this wasn't pure luck, to remember that my life turned out this way, mostly because of actions that I took.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I specifically deserve for my life to look the way that it does, because there are people who work just as hard, if not harder than myself and my husband.

But what I did decide is, I refuse to be ashamed of the fact that God has seen fit to bless us the way that He has.

Just as you shouldn't be ashamed of your past missteps, you also should not be ashamed of the good things that come into your life. Even if you do believe that it's all luck, that you're unworthy, I encourage you to tell God "Thank you" anyway, and use your financial success as a testimony of how good God is.

That's what we do.

Our financial success is a Testament to the goodness of God and that is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with believing that you're worthy of financial success.

Why do I say that?

Because we're all worthy of financial success. The mere fact that we're here as human beings means we're worthy of it. Our job is just to do the work and to claim it.

So I want you to tell yourself:

  • I am worthy of wealth.

  • I am worthy of financial success.

  • I am worthy to receive the financial fruits of my hard work.

  • I will not be sshamed of the financial fruits of my hard work.

  • And, I will not be ashamed of the wealth that God is blessing me with.

Our fourth money belief is that money is the root of all evil.

This particular belief comes from a couple of places: the media and the Bible.

Okay well... technically not the Bible because this statement is actually a misquote of scripture. When folks say the Bible says that money is the root of all evil, they're misquoting 1 Timothy 6:10, but I'll break that down, like what it means, in a moment.

The thing is, when you combine this frequently spoken misquote with the way the rich and wealthy are portrayed in the movies, TV shows, and even the news, it's no wonder folks see money as evil. After all, when money gets involved, it seems that people start to plot, scheme, abused, and even murder others.

So subconsciously you're not doing the steps that will make you wealthy because you actually believe deep down inside that you're pursuing something evil.

Well, I'm here to tell you that you've got it out wrong. Wrong!

First and foremost, money is amoral. It's not a good thing. It's not an evil thing. It's just a thing and you use it to buy stuff, protect yourself and have some fun. Money is no different from a dag-gone hammer.

In fact, if money was so evil, why does God constantly bless people with it in the Bible?

Isaac, Abraham, Jacob? All wealthy. David, a wealthy King. His son Solomon, the wealthiest King to ever live.

And even when you go to the new Testament, you see Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. If you pay attention, you realize they were so rich that Mary was able to pour hundreds, even thousands of dollars worth of perfume on the feet of Jesus Christ.

So clearly the Bible shows that God doesn't have a problem with people being wealthy.

But there is something evil in relation to money that we have to be careful about. When you read 1 Timothy 6:10, it really says:

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Now that was the King James Version of the Bible, by the way. But if you don't like that, that version, the KJV, how about the New International Version, which reads:

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Now I could give you a complete breakdown of what the scripture really means... and the minister in me is actually chomping at the bit to do it. In fact, I recorded a video a few years ago breaking it down, but the video and the audio are terrible, so I'll just have to give you a quickie synopsis for the sake of time.

When you put this verse back in context, it's really talking about how people will do evil things in the pursuit of money, because they love it so much that they've abandoned their walk with God, and therefore their ethics and morals, to have it. In fact, this scripture is proceeded by statements about false teachers of the gospel who believed that godliness is a way to enrich themselves.

So their godliness is not about God. It's actually about getting rich.

So when you put that particular scripture back into the context, it even maybe makes those movies, TV shows and news articles make sense. People are so in love with money, that they will do evil things to have it.

What you have to realize is that this doesn't have to be your story.

You can become very rich without backstabbing, abusing, ruining, or killing other people. You can also stay rich without doing those things. Think about it: the U S has over 18.6 million millionaires. Do you really think they're all engaged in this kind of foolishness?

As a matter of fact, many millionaires and billionaires are trying to help improve the world that we live in. Whether they're building schools in underprivileged nations, donate to cancer research, paying off student loans for Morehouse graduates - you lucky suckers -or building new no-kill shelters, there's a lot of people with massive fortunes who are trying to use them to help.

That frankly is one of my and my husband's drivers and it's what we really believe that God expects you to do with wealth.

So instead of allowing this belief to fester, I want you to study 1 Timothy 6:10 in its proper context. And consider how you can make a positive impact on the world if you had millions of dollars to donate to causes that you care about. You can even make a list of those things and post them somewhere to serve as an extra bit of motivation to hit your financial goals.

The last money block that we want to tackle here is what many call "scarcity mindset."

Scarcity mindset has a number of definitions that range from the belief that resources are limited to the belief that there's not enough and will never be enough resources. As you can imagine, these variations can make scarcity mindset good or bad.

For example, when you consider the definition around resources being limited, scarcity mindset can be a good thing. It causes us to conserve fresh water. It can cause us to, um, not pollute the air because the air has limited capacity to handle pollutants. And it causes us to budget our money based on what's important because the money in our bank accounts is limited.

When you can keep your scarcity mindset on the limited side of the spectrum, it leads to wise decisions on how to better manage that resource - money included.

However, when your scarcity mindset goes so far as to say there's not enough and there will never be enough, then we have a problem, because being on this side of the spectrum leads to some pretty crazy behaviors.

You may hoard or hold on too tight to your money, even when amazing investment opportunities come along, because you don't want to lose what little you already have.

You may give lackluster effort to your business because you think there's no room left for you in the market to make any real money.

You may not take the steps that will lead to promotions, bonuses, or raises because you don't think there's enough money available for them to promote or reward you too.

You may stay stuck in a job with a safe, steady paycheck, but no growth potential, because you think there are too many other candidates out there for you to step into that more lucrative career path that you really, really want.

You may even find yourself thinking that there won't be enough money in your life to allow you to buy the house or build the lifestyle you want, so you give up on those goals and blow the money on just a bunch of stupid little things.

As you can see, the problem with this end of the scarcity mindset spectrum is you find yourself missing out on income growth and jeopardizing your financial goals, because you've convinced yourself that there just isn't enough money for you too.

But let me tell you that is a big fat lie.

Okay time for an economics lesson. If you... have you ever heard of the term economic growth?

So economic growth is the process that leads to the wealth of a society growing over time and it happens when our capacity you to produce goods and services increases.

So let's say that we have the ability to produce $2 trillion worth of stuff in one year, but the next year there were some technology changes, some innovative techniques that came out and now our society can produce $4 trillion worth of stuff. Well, in that case, our society is experiencing economic growth.

So with that understanding in mind, I now want you to kind of imagine that the economy is a big pie. As the economy is growing from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, the pie itself is getting bigger, which means there's more wealth available for everyone. So instead of needing to grab a wealth from someone else's piece of the pie, your job is to claim your pieces out of the new growth by pushing forward any innovations that can help increase our capacity for new products or new services.

Makes sense?

With that in mind, here's one more thing you have to understand: not all pieces of the current economic pie have even been claimed.

How do I know?

Because the goods and the services produced are all designed to solve problems and somehow our society still has problems. Which means there's space for you to help solve those problems through your business, through a new job role, or even through investing money so others can build a business to solve it.

As you do these things, you're not only claiming previously unclaimed pieces of the current economic wealth pie, you're also helping push innovations that will grow the pie in its entirety.

So in reality, wealth and money is abundant. Your job is to figure out how you're going to claim your pieces of it.

So if you're an affirmations person, what you need to do is tell yourself that money is abundant and that you will lay claim to your piece of that abundance. Then go out there, start the business, get the new job, or invest your money to make that a reality because we're no longer functioning in that "there's not enough" scarcity foolishness.

We're now walking with an abundance mindset.

All right, we've covered some pretty major money beliefs in this video, but like I said before, it's not an exhaustive list by any means .That's why I've decided to continue the conversation in the Dreamers Financial Sanctuary, a Facebook community of fellow women using their hard earned cash to dump debt, save money, and create the life of their dreams.

We're sharing stories and triumphs in the group around money mindset and so many more things. So I want you to join in with your own triumphs by going to tianabclewis.com/sanctuary, clicking that "Request to Join" button and answering the questions.

As a free gift, you'll be able to download a guide that will quickly help you pinpoint exactly where to focus your limited resources in this season to bring you closer to your financial goals.

Sound good? Awesome!

Before you head over to the group, let me know that you found this video useful by hitting that thumbs up below and subscribing to my channel. Don't forget to hit the bell so that you're notified when I dropped money tips and strategies every single Wednesday.

Finally, if you're looking for more information that will help you pursue your financial goals, even if you've made some mistakes along the way, these two videos are exactly what you need.

With that, you get to watching these videos and I'll see you next week. Bye bye.


Struggling with money but following all of the financial advice on how to make money or how to be rich? Maybe you have limiting beliefs about money that keep you struggling financially! When chasing financial freedom, your money mindset has to be on abundance, prosperity and wealth. Money beliefs can explain the difference in why people succeed and why people are broke, so let’s see if you have harmful beliefs about money that are keeping you broke (and what to do about them)!

Continue the money mindset conversation by joining Tiana in the Dreamers Financial Sanctuary, , a Facebook community of fellow women using their hard-earned cash to dump debt, save money and create the life of their dreams.


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COMMUNITY: Looking for a safe place to have real conversations about money so you can dump debt, save money and build the life you really want? Dreamers’ Financial Sanctuary is that safe haven you’ve been looking for: where you can talk money and finance in an encouraging and inspiring space that is designed to help you reach the next level. JOIN US AT https://www.tianabclewis.com/sanctuary

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