How Belief Systems Shape You Personally and Financially
Your belief systems shape who you are and how you perceive your finances. Don’t allow your beliefs to limit your potential.
Each of us sees and perceives the world in a different way from everyone else. The picture we hold in our minds of ourselves and the world around us creates the behavior we express in life. These views are most often a combination of both positive and self-limiting thoughts linked to our needs (basic necessities) and wants (desires). Our mental picture is deeply affected by our personal experience with both scarcity and affluence.
Three Parts of Our Belief Systems
Our belief systems, very broadly described, can be seen as having three parts: 1) personal history, 2) the development of behavioral norms, and 3) the value we place on those norms in terms of our own changing needs and wants. Behavioral norms are informal guidelines about what is considered acceptable in a culture, i.e., what is and is not correct social behavior in a particular group.
Personal history begins in our early years. Our attitudes, views, and opinions are influenced during this time by our friends, family, neighborhood, geographical region, gender roles, exposure to education, social class, race, religion, and generation (I probably don’t need to tell you that Baby Boomers think quite differently than Millennials!).
Added to our personal history is the enormous impact of the internet. When the World Wide Web was invented in the early 90s, we gained access to digital media and an infinite number of internet subcultures, each containing varying expressions of our own history and behavioral norms. The development of the internet accelerated at light speed and gave us the availability of massive quantities of information on almost anything to anyone. These types of influences began with the first GSM (global system for mobile communications) call and have increased at an exponential rate ever since. The effect of all of this is that it is no longer just the influence of our immediate friends and family guiding the development of our concepts of fairness, truth, friendship, loyalty, responsibility, diligence, leadership, motivation, reward, feedback, authority, timeliness, gender roles, etc. Now we are influenced by a vast and often confusing global network of voices and attitudes, each more compelling and adamant than the last.
The Challenge We Face Today
The challenge we face now is threefold: First, we must work to achieve a clearer understanding of our own personal history and belief systems. Then, we should honestly and consciously evaluate which parts of these belief systems serve us and which limit our opportunities and inhibit our growth. Finally, we can use our new knowledge to modify our belief systems to ones that help us positively transform our lives. Our belief systems are intertwined with limiting beliefs. Read my article “Beliefs Create Your Reality” for more.