Be Honest with Yourself First

The truth can hurt, but it can also help!

The truth can hurt, but it can also help!

“The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.”
― Derek Landy

Self-deception is nothing new for human beings. Researchers have been studying why we lie for decades and the reasons run the gamut from self-preservation to biological imperative.

Lying to yourself can be a useful tool if you are attempting to overcome a psychological obstacle or maybe psyching yourself into a stronger performance.

Where things seem to take negative turn is when you lie to escape accountability or hide serious issues from yourself.

Personal finance is one area where people seem to lie to themselves quite a bit. I see it all of the time in the Community.  People are desperate to rationalize spending behavior that they fundamentally understand is in conflict with their long term financial goals.

These people have taken a huge step and joined a debt relief program, but getting their mindset in step with their action plan can take some time.

But wait, I just lied to all of you. 

I don’t just see these lies on display in the CareOne Community; I see them in myself all of the time. Every time I walk through a Target, choose a slightly pricier bottle of wine or decide that we can totally afford to eat dinner out versus cooking the food sitting in the fridge.

Being on a debt relief plan, much like being on a diet requires serious honesty from ourselves. We have zippy chance of meeting our long-term goals if we continually glaze over the details with boring and played out marketing slogans like; “I’m worth it.” Or “Life is short…”

The hardest part about living a debt free life is learning how to be completely and rationally honest about our motivations. I have found that confronting a white lie in the moment yields pretty strong results.

The lie loses momentum and, provided you are not arguing with yourself out loud…in the Target…not that I have done that…you stand a pretty good chance of shutting down that misguided purchase.

Although, nobody is perfect and people are sure to slip and indulge the occasional white lie.

I mean hey, “You only live once…” 🙂

How honest are you about your spending?

Do you use any tools or techniques like spending tracking to help keep yourself on the straight and narrow?

Share how you keep lies under control in the comments below.

About Suzanne Coblentz

5 Responses to “Be Honest with Yourself First”

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  1. Great post, Suzanne. This exact subject is what causes us to get into debt in the first place, I believe. Now that we’ve learned to recognize this, and especially now that we’ve got a written plan for getting out of debt, I find it much easier to rationally and objectively consider unnecessary purchases.

    • Hey Laurie,

      I agree that it can certainly be one of many contributing factors that drive us into debt. You are right, once you have that plan in black and white it becomes much easier to look objectively at your purchases. Thank you so much for commenting!

  2. Small steps, I find, are absolutely essential when dealing with something as long term as debt can be.

    • Hey Mike,

      You make a very good point. Getting out of debt is not a quick process and it becomes increasingly more challenging to stay motivated and focused. Smaller steps allow you to create smaller goals so that you experience more success consistently through the process.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Kathy says:

    One major phrase I use is; “is it a want or a need?”
    If it’s a want, I tend to re-look at it very closely. Why do I want it?

    For example, if it’s a new pair of shoes and it’s a ‘want’, how often will I wear them? How much do they cost? Do I have a similar pair & just ‘want’ them?

    Because I can easily ‘need’ a new pair of shoes. I tend to wear out my sandals every year and ‘need’ to buy a new pair to replace the old, worn out pair that I’m tossing.

    But, hey….I only live once and I will buy that pair of shoes even if it’s a ‘want’ because I’m worth it!

    Actually, I do tend to eat out (a lot more than I should) and I buy things I shouldn’t (wants). However, I try to be as honest with myself as I can. So, I admit it (at lease to myself). Because, baby steps works with me.

    If I change one thing at a time and not everything at once, I know when I’m ready to make that next baby step. And then the next step after that, and so on.

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