3 Ways You Are Holding Yourself Back and Tips for Changing Them

don't understand moneyAre your finances a mess and you know it? Do you know what you SHOULD be doing but haven’t made any changes? Are you avoiding logging into your accounts to see what damage you are doing?

If you are anything like I was and at times, still am, then you are setting yourself up for further failure. Something, or maybe more than one thing is holding you back, do you know what it is?

Here’s 3 potential ways you are roadblocking yourself from being in control of your finances.

Fear
Fear can be crippling. It can hold you back from everything you want to or need to do in life. Fear is an emotion we all feel from time to time whether it’s due to speaking in front of a crowd, beginning a new job or tackling your finances. If fear is stopping you from doing that, you are not alone.

But there are ways to overcome this fear:

  1. Start slow. You know the phrase: baby steps. That works for your finances. Dave Ramsey’s entire program is based around baby steps. Find one thing you can do each day that will affect your finances. Maybe it’s simply checking your mail because you’ve been afraid to open the bills. Or add up your debt (you ARE going to have to do it at some point! Grab a glass of wine, a beer or a shot of Tequila and dive in. Have chocolate or another drink after you have finished.)
  2. Change your way of thinking. As cheesy as it may sound, you are what you think you are. Even if it’s not true, what you think you are is going to be the reason behind your behaviors. You need to reprogram your mindset. Find ways to work through your fear that way. I love to post quotes through my house. They are often in the form of pink, heart shaped sticky notes. I stick them on the mirrors in my bedroom and bathroom. I have them taped to my fridge as well. Whatever you need to do to get your mindset changed, do it. Self-depricating thoughts will not help you in the process of becoming debt free.
  3. Make it Fun. One of the best ways to tackle fear is to turn it into a game. If there are 10 steps you need to take, then make yourself a fun chart with rewards (inexpensive rewards) when you accomplish them. Pair up with a friend who is trying to do the same thing and see who can finish first.

Lack of Education
People often develop a preconceived notion that basic personal finance is a difficult process. I had a friend once who could not balance her checkbook. She didn’t trust herself because no one had ever shown her how easy it truly is.

Fixing this one is relatively simple:

  1. Read a book. There are literally hundreds of books available about personal finance. Some of the best known authors are David Bach, Dave Ramsey, Jean Chatzky, Clark Howard and don’t forget the “for Dummies” books.
  2. Read the internet. Obviously you are smart enough to find this blog and probably many others. You can certainly find the answers to your personal finance questions. Do a quick Google search with the words “How do I…” (put what you want to know about at the end, of course) and you will find plenty of articles to help you out.
  3. Find a mentor. Do you know someone who is good with money or numbers? Ask around and I bet you can find someone who will be willing to help you.

Laziness
No one wants to admit that they are lazy but chances are a number of you are too lazy to pay attention to your financial situation. In his book That Makes Me Sick, Larry Winget talks about three reasons your life sucks. One of those reasons is being lazy. If you just can’t be bother to take the time, it’s laziness and it’s holding you back from a better life.

Lazy is the most difficult one to change. Mostly because you have to want to change. If you truly wanted to change, then you would start seeking out ways to do so. But I do have a couple of tips for turning your lazy behavior around.

  1. Find a cheerleader. No not a real cheerleader, unless they are great with their finances and will motivate you. Rather, I suggest you find a motivational partner. Someone who will call you and ask you what you have accomplished. A friend who will encourage you when you fail or feeling less than great.
  2. Set deadlines. Whether it’s small hourly deadlines, days away or even months, set a deadline and stick to it. I knew someone who gave her friend $1,000 to hold hostage. Once she accomplished a goal of her’s to lose weight, that friend gave her the money back so she could take a cruise. Until she did so, the friend kept the money. Talk about motivation.
  3. Just do it. Yea, being told to “not be lazy.” Is like telling some one overweight to stop eating food. It’s hard to do but slow and steady wins the race. Take small steps each day and you will reap the benefits.

Changing your financial situation takes hard work and dedication. It also takes honesty. Be honest with yourself about why things are difficult and find a good way to fix it. You can do it and when things get tough, there’s plenty of resources out there for you to push through and succeed.

About Jessica

7 Responses to “3 Ways You Are Holding Yourself Back and Tips for Changing Them”

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  1. Rhonda says:

    I completely agree. In 2006 I started some new things that challenged just about every aspect of my thinking. This year I’ve finally figured out how / learned how / quit being so scared and lazy to make some changes. I wrote a list at the beginning of the year of things I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t for a variety of reasons. I’ve been clicking them off since the beginning of the year. I think you are 100% right about mindset. When a person gets sick and tired of his/her situation, he/she will change it but not before.

    Thanks for the shot of encouragement this morning!

  2. Tyler S. says:

    All of these things you mentioned holding someone back are nicely related: They’re scared because they don’t know what they should do, and they don’t learn more about what to do because of laziness – it’s a vicious cycle to get caught up in.

    You just have to determine at some point to make a change, and stick with it! Like you said, there are so many ways to learn – there really is no excuse not to. I’d recommend CNN Money 101 for beginners.

  3. Another way to overcome fear is to write out a step by step plan. That way each step doesn’t seem so big, and you can proceed in a structured way instead of randomly. It can also help you stick with it longer, too. Even if you are not an expert, you can write out the steps in pencil and change them as you learn and change course if needed.

  4. That is so true Jessica. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said “Do you know someone who is good with money or numbers? Ask around and I bet you can find someone who will be willing to help you”. I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from you!

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