In my third instalment of the “unlearn” series – on the key issues that are holding people back around creating the financial outcomes they dream of – I explore the key issue of belief.

To be honest, this is one of my favourites. Why? Because from a very young age, this came naturally to me.
What you believe about money and your ability to attract it is usually what happens. Never think there is enough? That it is hard to get? That other people have more? That it is a struggle? Then you’re likely to experience it that way.

Try to trace back where these thoughts first started. Usually we find our core beliefs are intrinsic to our very nature and started when we were very small children.

I also believe it’s not just our environment that shapes this belief. Many times personality also plays a role. A natural optimism usually goes hand-in-hand with a belief in the ability to make money. If you are someone who usually sees the glass half empty, it’s pretty hard to believe that you are going to attract all the wealth you need.

Growing up in Gunnedah, I always had a fascination with what I would describe as beautiful things. Sure, these may have included knee high white marching boots at aged seven (okay, it was the ABBA era!), but as I grew, the things I admired did not make me feel they were out of reach. Rather, I believed that I could get them all, and more, one day – I just had to figure out how.

As a teenager, my parents would give me a budget of $100 to buy all my winter clothes, and I would come home with one pair of jeans. From a young age they really began to wonder where I came from!

However, I displayed what I now know to be an innate belief to attract the things I wanted in life. I then backed it up by working (from age 13 in a chemist, which I actually loved!) to get it.

Going to university and studying journalism became the second input for me understanding that self-belief and an optimistic attitude were big attractors of money. Our class was full of bright, ambitious students, but it was those who were full of self-belief who were able to turn that into career (and financial) gold. My flat mate, Wil Anderson, the comedian, was at the time, the top student in our class. Sure, he was bright, but Wil had something else going for him that was a huge competitive advantage. He believed, without wavering, that he was going to make it to the top. And he did.

Not without hard work and sacrifice, but his belief was one of the biggest factors in driving him forward, and ensuring his financial success in what is one of the toughest gigs out there.

To really understand if belief is one of the pillars you need to unlearn, I suggest asking yourself these three questions. The answers will tell you what you need to know.

  1. Would you consider yourself an optimistic person? Do you think you may have been, but the world has knocked it out of you? An optimistic attitude is the first weapon to attracting what you want.
  2. Do you believe you have put in place all the ideas/actions you have thought about in relation to making money? If not why? Is avoiding risk eroding your belief that you can achieve your financial goals?
  3. What are your family and friends like? Are they financially successful? Do they have a strong belief system around money? Usually our belief sets tend to match those around us.

Once you start to really self-assess the answers to the above questions, you can start your journey to either repair your belief, or build it. Luckily, this is an area where there is a wealth of information and inspiration. People like Tony Robbins have spent a lifetime changing people’s core beliefs and mindsets so they can get what they want.

If that seems a little too out there for you, try books grounded in experiences from those who have done it themselves. Everything you read and watch has an impact, whether you feel it at the time or not.

I read at the end of most days – usually something to inspire me that I know will be ticking over in my mind while I am asleep. This is a great way to activate your subconscious to stimulate new ideas that can drive you forward.

For some inspiration, here are a few things I am reading, watching or listening to at the moment, or have read and loved. My backlit Kindle is one of my favourite tools for browsing the book store every day.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I read this years ago and it is the ultimate in belief and the journey to your dreams. It’s also spent 405 weeks on the New York Times best seller list.
  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – this was written in the 1950s and has some hilarious comments on the traditions of the time. However, its tips on outlook and attitude are timeless, and it has inspired me.
  • Tony Robbins – I love his seven simple steps to financial freedom.
  • Mr. Money Mustache vs. Tim Ferris” podcast – this guy’s attitude to money and what it takes to have enough really changed my thinking.

Which pillar you need to unlearn?