Sep 302008
 

As I’ve said before, the process of changing beliefs involves finding your current beliefs, figuring out target beliefs and figuring our resistance and issues between the two to resolve them and transition to the target belief.

A reason to stick to the old belief may be the emotional energy attached to a memory, an event that happened in your past, negative consequences or self-image if you don’t hold that belief, etc. On the other hand, your perception of the new belief might be causing you to resist it. For example, someone who you had a negative experience with may have seemed to hold that belief, or you feel that people who hold that sort of belief have negative qualities.

Self-knowledge is an important solution, and journalling helps create it. A useful question to ask when trying to figure out why you might have resistance to a new belief/habit/idea is to figure out what it looks like to you. That is, if you, or someone else, were to hold that belief, how would it look like? If you are less visually inclinced, you might ask how it might sound or feel like. The following is an example of a major issue I’ve gained clarity on: value creation and making money. Below I have listed some of the important ephiphanies I had in the process of moving over a value creation model of making money, rather than my previous unconscious one. The most important one took me months to understand: Don’t focus solely on making money, focus on giving value. Focusing on getting and making money (at least without focusing on what I wanted it for) caused me to simply feel greedy and hollow, and probably lowered my consciousness.

How can I make money?

I spent a long time wrestling with my feelings about money and what is acceptable ways for me to get it. This is an important process for me because a lot of the ways I can use my skills to make more money than I do now felt like I was faking it, or made me feel like I shouldn’t be asking for money for various reasons. So, I’ve been rooting out a lot of beliefs. I’m not done but it’s an interesting journey.

The goal that is motivating this self-examination is creating multiple streams of income. Right now, that is this blog (I’ve made ~$16 so far, yay!) and another project or two that I’m trying to start once I work through these issues. There’s a number of issues that come up, and I’m going to talk about two today, value creation itself and “expertness”.

Value Creation

The target model is to believe that most times people get money by creating value for others. I discovered the real issue I was having in accepting this belief was what created value looks like. For example, when I used to think of creating value, I would think something unique or completely original (IE never before done), being at the top of the field (usually as a total expert) and something that only I could do (it would not value if someone else could do it). Pretty stringent conditions, no? So stringent that not only did they not account for how everyone made money, but also didn’t allow me to feel good about the money I could make from anything that wasn’t a traditional job.

I eventually realized that this was a broken model of monetary exchange and that a model would have to explain traditional jobs as well. I eventually realized the value is anything anyone wants, whether it’s unique or not, whether it’s the very best possible or not, you don’t have to be the only one, and you don’t have to know everything about a subject, that being an expert does not necessarily mean that you know everything.

Here’s something you might want to keep in mind: I believe I was committing the moralistic fallacy (what should be is what is). That is, because the way to create the most income is to be unique and original, to be the only one or very few (both reduce competition and if there’s demand then there’s a smaller supply and can charge more) and being the best (again, small supply of the people at top). However, those things are not necessary for making less than the most money. For some reason I had it in my head that either you were the best and made all the money, or you weren’t the best and you can’t make a lot of money. Some fields are built like that (the top 5% of movie stars get most of the money, everyone else is mostly getting by, if I’m not incorrect) while others are not (IT fields tend to have a more equal distribution of incomes). So, to create the greatest value and make the most money, you want to be unique, original, the best and be at the top, but you don’t have to be in all cases.

So, when you’re thinking about changing your target beliefs, you might want to ask yourself, what does not having my current belief mean to me? What does the target belief look like to me? For example, I had a misunderstanding of what “value creation” means so even though I felt that the new model was more accurate and potentially more empowering, I could not move to it. Now I like to think I have.

Expertness

The bulk of my income potential rests on my knowledge and my ability to learn. So, when I think of creating value using my above stringent criteria, I would imagine that I just don’t have enough knowledge to ask for money for it, because, for some reason, I believed that you must know everything before you can ask money for it. I also felt that experts can’t make mistakes and are always or mostly right. Again, learning and having a ton of knowledge is a great way to you get you into a great competitive position, but it’s not necessary for making at least some money, and I don’t know why I felt that I did.

Essentially, there was a limiting belief somewhere which says that to ask for money, you have to be an expert and a professional. Then I tried to get a better idea of what an “expert” means to me and it usually means someone with a degree of professional training, usually some sort of certification and the knowledge to back it up.

One target belief I’ve found is an expert is just someone who knows more than a small part of a target audience, such as the person described here. I still feel that’s too broad a definition of the term expert and I feel incongruent for using it. If the situation comes up, I won’t say that I’m an expert, just a practitioner who wants to share his knowledge.

So, my target belief for having to be an expert is that I don’t have to be an expert to make money, and I don’t have to and shouldn’t present myself as an expert when I’m not. While being an expert helps in terms of income generation (and the more you can sell/give, the greater value you create), I don’t believe I’ll have trouble as long as I’m upfront about my status (studies show that actually improves your credibility).

What does this all mean? My limiting belief prevented me from marketing and feeling good about my work, especially on this site (ie it’s not good enough) even though there’s no one I’m asking money from or have to justify myself to. So, I’m feeling a lot better about doing more things to advertise this site and my services. Other than the normal sort of eustress and excitement one feels, I’m feeling pretty good about this site and other ventures. We’ll see where this leads to.

So, there you have it: two more examples. The way I think through things may not be the best or most effective but I wanted to share it with you anyway. Hope it helps. 🙂

  One Response to “Another Example of Changing Beliefs – Money”

  1. […] I failed to deliver what I promised, or portrayed myself as an expert when I did not know it all (I’ve written about this before). I realized that I was really interpreting the imagined threat to mean that I had lied, been […]

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