6 Limiting Beliefs That Will Make You a FAILURE

Dear Reader,

Before you change your life, you need to change your mind. Your thoughts and beliefs are deeply ingrained, so deeply ingrained that you may not even be aware of how much they’ve shaped your financial woes. These are called “limiting beliefs.”

When you look in a mirror, what do you whisper?

Do you berate yourself with comments like “I’m overweight” and “I’m getting old”?

Or do you stand tall and say “I look great!” A mirror reflects much more than what your eyes see. A mirror reflects your inner thoughts and your beliefs—your soul.

Listen to the thoughts that come from your soul. Are they negative? You’ll never embark on the road to riches if you let such thoughts constrain you.

William Safire, the former Nixon speechwriter turned New York Times op-ed columnist, coined the phrase “nattering nabobs of negativism” to refer to habitual naysayers. People will conjure up any number of excuses not to choose wealth, excuses that say more about their inner thoughts than about the difficulty of achieving wealth. Are you a nattering nabob of negativism?

Take a look at these excuses, and see if any sound familiar:

“I can’t give up a regular paycheck.”

“Invest? You want me to lose all my money, don’t you?”

“I don’t have any money to invest.”

“I tried that before. It’ll never work.”

“I don’t need to know how to read financial statements. I can get by.” “I’m not smart enough.”

“My husband would never go for it.”

“My wife would never understand.”

“What would my friends say?”

“I’m young. I’ve still got time.”

“It’s too late for me.

“You can’t do that.”

If you’re harboring negative thoughts, you need to understand what they really mean. For example, if you tell yourself, “I can’t stop working and start my own business. I have a mortgage and a family to think about,” you might really be saying, “I don’t have time, and I’m too tired to learn anything new.”

Overcome the Obstacles

Limiting beliefs like the ones above are commonly a result of one of the following six personal obstacles:

  1. Fear

Fear of losing money is the main reason 90 percent of the American public struggles financially. But fear isn’t the real problem. It’s how people handle the fear that matters. Rich dad used to tell me that the primary difference between rich people and poor people is how they handle the fear of losing money. Some people, when hit with a financial loss, give up. Others transform the loss into a win. As John D. Rockefeller said, “I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” Losers are defeated by failure. Winners are inspired by it.

  1. Cynicism

All of us have some Chicken Little in us. You remember Chicken Little—the character in the children’s fable who ran around the barnyard warning other animals that the sky was falling. Chicken Little had a doom-and-gloom attitude toward life. He was a classic cynic.

Why should we ignore the cynics? Because cynics never win. They are do-nothing alarmists who spend all their time spreading fear. It’s the people who read a situation correctly who end up winning—the analysts. Cynicism blinds you to opportunities, while analysis opens your eyes to possibilities. One leads to paralysis, the other to action. Peter Lynch of Fidelity Magellan recalls the time during the 1950s when the threat of nuclear war was so prevalent that people began building expensive fallout shelters and storing food and water. Had they used their hard-earned dollars to make some wise investments instead, those Chicken Littles would probably be financially independent today.

  1. Laziness

Busy people are often the laziest. Busyness is a form of avoidance. If you stay busy, you can avoid some of the things you don’t want to face—like exercising or taking care of your wealth. What’s the cure for laziness? A little greed. “Wait a minute,” you say. “Isn’t greed bad?” Too much of it, yes. An excess of anything is bad.

The fact is, however, that all of us secretly harbor a desire to have new or exciting things. We’ve been told by our parents and others to suppress that desire. We’ve been made to feel guilty about it. How many children have asked a parent for something and gotten the response, “Do you think I’m made of money?” In truth, guilt is worse than greed. Guilt stifles dreams.

When we stop saying, “Life is too hectic to change it,” and say instead, “It’s time to exit this rat race and find new ways to earn wealth,” we begin to cure ourselves of our busy laziness.

  1. Bad Habits

When you pay your bills at the first of the month, do you have anything left over? Probably not. That may be the main reason you’re struggling financially—you have bad habits. The worst financial habit is paying your creditors before you pay yourself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay your bills on time. What it does mean is that you should pay yourself first, even if you’re short of money.

When rich dad told me to do this, I was perplexed. “How can you pay yourself first?” I asked him.

“It’s all a matter of motivation,” he replied. “Who will scream louder if they aren’t paid—you or your creditors?” The answer was obvious: the creditors. “Precisely,” he went on. “Creditors are bullies. And because they’re bullies, the pressure to pay them will be so great that it will force you to seek sources of income other than what you’re making working for someone else.”

Rich dad was right. What laziness won’t get you to do, the pressure will. By paying yourself first, you’ll become mentally and financially stronger, and better equipped to vanquish the bullies.

  1. Arrogance

Arrogance is ego plus ignorance. The ignorance is hidden behind the ego. Many people try to bluster their way through financial discussions when they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re not lying, but they’re not telling the truth either. The world of finance is full of people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

In financial matters, it’s easy to stumble over your own ignorance and fail. When you’re arrogant, you believe that what you don’t know is unimportant. In truth, what you don’t know is as important as what you do know. Instead of arrogantly hiding your ignorance and bluffing your way to failure, start educating yourself for success.

  1. Disappointment

Do you react with disappointment when things don’t go as you’d hoped? When I left the Marine Corps, rich dad recommended that I get a job that taught me to sell. He knew I was shy and that learning to sell would help me succeed.

For two years, I was the worst salesman in the company. My tendency was to blame my failure on the economy, the product I was selling, or even the customers. Rich dad would say, “When people are lame, they love to blame.” To learn to sell, I had to face the pain of disappointment. Eventually, I did learn how, and along with the skills of salesmanship came a priceless lesson—how to turn disappointment into an asset rather than a liability.

Many people turn disappointment into a long-term liability. “I should have known I would fail.” These are the words of people who have let disappointment stop them from learning. As you get ready to embark on your journey to financial freedom, I offer you the same advice rich dad offered me: “Prepare yourself for disappointment.” Why? Because if you’re prepared for disappointment, you have a chance of turning disappointment into an asset.

Preparing yourself for disappointment doesn’t mean you won’t still be upset and concerned. But if you’re prepared, you won’t beat up on yourself too hard. This is important since being too hard on yourself will make you overly cautious about taking risks or trying new ideas. If you can face your failures, control your emotions, and use disappointment to learn new financial skills, you’ll flourish.

Sometimes we let negative statements play over and over in our minds like endless mantras. Once you know the truth beneath your negative statements, talk back to them. Start an argument with yourself! Think of ways to counter each one.

Once you’ve removed the mines blocking your path, consider the positive traits that will propel you forward on your quest for financial freedom.

It’s Not Too Late

It would be great if everyone had a rich dad and grew up learning financial literacy. Most of you didn’t have such an advantage. Don’t let that discourage you. Regardless of what did or didn’t happen in the past, when you’re ready to make big changes, amazing things can happen in a short time. Many great fortunes have been built by determined people who started out later in life, even people who were in considerable debt. Look at Colonel Sanders. He was 66 and broke when he started KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

I’ve had the good fortune to meet and hear from tens of thousands of wonderful students who have taken rich dad’s advice and turned their lives around. No matter what stage of life a person is in if they desire to change is there, change is possible.


Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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