Income - Heart Matters

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2. Examine Irrational Beliefs

Eleven core irrational beliefs
These 11 core irrational beliefs were published by Dr. Albert Ellis. He’s also contrasted the irrational belief with its logical rational belief – called the “disputing statement.” Following each irrational core belief is one possible irrational financial belief that relates to it that might jeopardize your financial health.

Study these common core beliefs and see if you can determine how they might be linked to your personal finances.

1.

Irrational Belief
I must be loved by everyone who I believe is important to me or I’m a failure.

VS.

Rational Belief
I can’t be loved by everyone important to me, and I’m better off when I concentrate on liking myself and liking others – things I can control.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
If I earn enough money and own enough of the right stuff, I will gain the love and attention of others.

2.

Irrational Belief
It’s horrible when things don’t go the way I want them to. Life should be fair and it should be easy.

VS.

Rational Belief
It’s too bad when things don’t go the way I planned them, or think they should go, but I can’t control everything in life. Better for me to try to control only that over which I have control and let the rest go. Plus, I’ve got no evidence that life is fair or easy for most of us.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
When I was young, I planned to be wealthy and I’m still not earning enough to ever be wealthy, and that’s just not fair!

3.

Irrational Belief
I must be thoroughly competent, intelligent and achieving in all possible respects.

VS.

Rational Belief
I’ll be happier when I understand and accept the idea that no one can always do well; and when I accept myself as an imperfect creature with general human limitations, just like everyone else.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I can’t seem to save, invest or bring home enough money to make my financial dreams come true; I must not be very competent or intelligent and that’s devastating to me.

4.

Irrational Belief
I must condemn and curse people who commit certain acts that I judge awful or wicked, like not approving of me.

VS.

Rational Belief
There are certain acts that are self-defeating. And I know that people who perform such acts are behaving stupidly, ignorantly or irrationally, and I have very limited control over other people’s poor behavior.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I believe people with money are somehow corrupt or evil.

5.

Irrational Belief
My feelings must be caused by people and events outside of myself.

VS.

Rational Belief
I will be happier when I acknowledge that my feelings are caused by my views of the world and of myself.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I feel pretty embarrassed about my income and about carrying such a heavy credit card debt, but that’s because I can’t resist buying what I need that I see on T.V. and in magazines. I can’t ever change these feelings, so just forget it.

6.

Irrational Belief
I must worry about threatening, dangerous and fearsome things and think about them endlessly.

VS.

Rational Belief
It would be better to frankly face these things and focus on what is real fear and what is imagined fear. Then focus on those fears which are real and I can confront.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I’m very worried about my financial future, especially about keeping my job and never earning enough money. In fact, I’m so worried about this financial stuff, I can’t seem to find a new career or go back to school. My fear about not being in control of my financial future is real even though I have no proof of it being so.

7.

Irrational Belief
I should avoid facing my difficulties and responsibilities to maintain my happiness.

VS.

Rational Belief
What I call “easy” means only that I’m happier in the short run. However, in the long run it will be harder on me if I keep avoiding my responsibilities.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I can’t seem to organize my bills and my financial affairs. I don’t even balance my checkbook each month. I just go by whatever the bank says it is. I guess if I don’t deal with them – those pesky bills or student loans – they’ll just go away.

8.

Irrational Belief
I am controlled by my past and I always will be. I’m a victim of my past.

VS.

Rational Belief
I can certainly learn from my past but I will be happier when I don’t dwell on it and recognize that what’s done is done. Then move forward, believing my past doesn’t control my future…I do.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I’ve never been good with numbers and math. I’ve never been good with money. I just can’t get this financial health stuff, and I never will.

9.

Irrational Belief
I must have certain and perfect control over things.

VS.

Rational Belief
Life is filled with uncertainty and events over which I will never have control but I can still enjoy my life.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I can’t seem to control myself – my income, my budget, my credit cards, my savings. I must be a real loser who has a very unhealthy relationship with money. I’ll never be able to take control of this relationship. Money has the power, not me.

10.

Irrational Belief
I must allow my life to just unfold and not work at being happy.

VS.

Rational Belief
I will be happiest when I am an active player in my present and my future. When I devote myself to people or projects outside myself, I will be more creative, accomplished, and happy.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
Hey, no sense in trying to take control of my finances. There is no sense in understanding all my payroll deductions or looking for ways of increasing my income because my financial health is beyond my control.

11.

Irrational Belief
I must always express my emotions because I have no control over them. I can’t help being disturbed by certain events.

VS.

Rational Belief
I can take control over my negative feelings by changing my beliefs and eliminating the “musts” in my thinking. There is always a space of time between a trigger and my reaction to it during which I can change my reaction.

 

Irrational Financial Belief
I have a right to be angry about Social Security, my lack of savings, my bleak financial future, and I have the right to let everyone know just how angry I am and about how little I take home.

(citation: 11 Irrational Ideas were rewritten and modified from The Essence of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by Albert Ellis)

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Income

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