Myths are not uncommon. For generations, tall tales have been handed down through families and society about all sorts of things. Some fibs are repeated so many times people believe they are true.

Have you ever heard someone ask, “Is it illegal to drive barefoot?” and immediately thought “yes” without looking into it? Or heard one of your parents tell you that you are going to catch the flu by going outside in the cold weather without a hat on? Those are both myths but they have spread near and far.

Although those myths aren’t very serious, myths about money could really hurt you. Let’s look at some of the most common money myths and how you can protect your financial health

What Is a Money Myth?

Many people mistake money myths for the truth. Giving up on money myths may improve your life in many ways. Here’s an example of a myth that could cost you big time.

You need a job to earn a living.

We learn as children that the only way to earn money is to get excellent grades and study hard and then devote the rest of our lives to working at a good job.

Now let’s examine why money myths, in general, are dangerous.

Why Money Myths Are Dangerous

First, myths can make you feel gullible. The reason people believe these myths is because they are plausible. The myth about it being illegal to drive with your shoes off is plausible. Someone could argue that it’s dangerous to drive barefoot because you’re not able to apply enough pressure on the clutch or brake, because you could get a cramp in your foot, or because your foot slips on the pedal.

Conversely, someone else could argue that it might be more dangerous to wear the wrong shoes than to wear no shoes at all. However, regardless of which side you take, the main problem with this myth is that it fosters naivete.

Gullibility is particularly dangerous in the business world. It could lead you to invest in scams, in getting involved in corporations with nefarious agendas that harm the public good, or in getting caught up in illegal schemes because you never learned the skills of discernment and critical thinking.

The other issue is that the myths may limit your potential. Some myths are harmless. Some cause you to unwittingly harm others. And some just force you to limit your potential. The myth that you need to get a job to make a living is a good example of a myth that forces you to undervalue your potential. That idea has been completely debunked in recent years.

Many make a good living without working a 9-5 corporate job or a small mom-and-pop shop or restaurant. They find creative ways of earning money by doing things like investing in different asset classes, freelancing as web designers, creating and selling art, writing books, or becoming entrepreneurs.

Other Reasons Why You Should Give Up Money Myths

Since you believe these myths, you share them with others as truths, spreading misinformation. While some myths are harmless, others harm individuals or the public.

Myths can also be dangerous because they lead to other unsubstantiated ideas. In other words, you learn the habit of careless thinking and begin to misjudge other things, too. When you are naive about harmless myths, you are more susceptible to dangerous ideologies, too

What Should You Do About Money Myths?

Recognizing that it is possible to believe in something that is false is helpful. Look at what things are holding you back at work or in your own business and ask yourself if what you believe is true. Just dropping a single limiting money myth could transform you from being broke to living in abundance.