Recognising our limiting beliefs

This weekend I played my first game of Monopoly. I realise this may be met with the same incredulity as when I admitted I only recently learnt how to ride a bike!

I did not have a deprived childhood, just poor co-ordination. My aversion to Monopoly, however …

I remember it vividly, although I could only have been about five. My sister and her friends, all ten-year-olds, were playing the board game on the living room floor. I wanted in.

I’m not sure if they tried explaining the rules or just said it was too complicated for me, that I wouldn’t understand: it was about money, wealth and mortgages. Grown-up stuff and I was too little.

My mature response to this was to stomp all over the board, sending the little red and green buildings and silver trinkets flying. And, I haven’t played since, firmly believing the game boring and beyond me.

Until now.

My nine-year old asked me to play. My response: “No way, that’s a really hard game! I don’t even know how.”

I got an odd look. “I’ve played it before, mom. It’s really fun … I can teach you.”

Not wanting to be outdone by a fourth-grader, we set it up; apportioned the cash. I was the Top Hat. I poured over the directions trying to figure it all out: buying lots, charging rent, mortgaging.

Just reading the game rules I noticed the same anxiety building as when my bank statements arrive, which often remain unopened. The truth is, I find dealing with money matters a little bit scary. There’s a nagging sense that I do not understand money, it’s too complex, so I’d just rather not engage.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind author, T. Harv Eker, suggests there are four different Money Personalities: The Hoarder, The Spender, The Avoider, The Money Monk, and that we are all either one or a mixture of these. ( Guess which one I am?

His book theorises that we each have an inner financial blueprint, a “preset programme or way of being in relation to money”. Our blueprint is based on the messages we received as a child, from parents, teachers, media, siblings: the verbal messages, by modelling what we saw, and from experiencing specific incidents.

Children are impressionable little sponges soaking up all the information around them. How they process it and the meanings they make from it, however, can often be other than intended. Skewed meanings can become fixed and form the belief system by which that person continues to view themselves and the world around them, for life.

Could it be I created my relationship with money based on a board game and a tantrum? I laughed to see so many of my real-life “patterns” at play in the game: fear of not having enough, using “hope” as a strategy, “getting by” rather than proactively wealth-building, looking forward to Passing Go and Payday.

Consciously, I know managing finances is not that hard. Plenty of people do it. Self-sabotage, however, comes when deeply rooted feelings rear up and we act on them: especially fear. Fear that I am not grown up enough to handle money and I will not understand it.

Recognising our limiting beliefs is like a “get out of jail free” card. It’s the first step in addressing them and creating new and empowering beliefs that are truer and more useful for us now. What do you believe about yourself that might be holding you back? Why not get some coaching to better set yourself up for success.

o Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441)705-7488,;;/igt;