Why do you think financial change is so hard to achieve?
In my experience, there are several reasons and I’ll explain the main culprits. The good news is that if you become aware of these obstacles, you can neutralize the roadblocks and go on to reinvent yourself successfully and permanently. Let’s identify these hurdles and find a way to jump right over them.
1. Smarty Pants Syndrome
You might think you know what the problem is but you could be way off. For example, one of my favorite Pilgrim’s was convinced she needed to grow her portfolio quickly in order to solve her problems. As a result she made risky investments that promised explosive growth. Of course they also exposed her to terrible risks. After speaking with her it was clear that what she really needed was to create more portfolio income. That meant a completely different investment approach (with much lower risk too.)
You can’t possible change your financial situation if you are trying to solve the wrong problem. Play dumb. Break it down. Use your accountability partner as a sounding board and make sure you are really clear on the nature of the problem. Talk about the symptoms before you make a diagnosis.
2. Information Stuffing
The internet is wonderful but it can be a source of gridlock for all of us. It is so easy to get information, ideas and opinions. It’s hard to know when it’s time to start and (more importantly) when it’s time to stop researching.
Have you found it difficult to save money? Why not set up an automatic investment account using Betterment? It’s simple to set up, inexpensive and after you answer a few questions, they will take care of making all the investment decisions.
I know about this problem first-hand. I wasted 6 months researching about blogging before I wrote my first post. That was a colossal waste of time. In the end, I learned more in 6 days of blogging than I did during those 6 months of research about blogging. “Learning” is good. ” Doing” is better. Limit your research phase and get into action.
Make yourself a promise that you are going to spend no more than 1 hour a day for 2 weeks researching your problem. And promise yourself further that once that time is up you’re going to stop your expedition and get into action. You may not gather all the information and you may not find the absolute perfect solution. But because you’ll spend more time in action, you’ll advance and learn much faster.
3. Failure to Use The Right Tools
You are a product of your background, training, resources and mindset. The sum total of these four explain exactly who you are and why you are where you are. Many people excuse their failure to advance in life because of their background. I can understand this of course but I think it’s a shame. You can’t change your background, but so what? You can change your mindset (the easiest thing to change and the most powerful tool at your disposal). You can also change how you use your resources and get more training.
Define the problem you are trying to overcome. What do you need to change in order to overcome the issue? Is it your mindset, training or resources? If so, get to it. Are you allowing yourself to stay stuck in the mud convinced that because of your background you simply can’t move? It’s a lie. Stop believing it.
Some folks don’t change the things they should because they deny they have a problem. This is pretty hard to overcome. It’s a mindset issue that the person is stuck with.
The problem is, you might have this problem and by the very nature of it, not even know. The best solution is to talk to 3 different people you trust and respect. Ask them this one question.” What are the greatest opportunities you think I have that I have yet to take advantage of?”
Don’t worry. Just because these people offer their insights, doesn’t mean you have to act on them. You are gathering ideas….that’s it. But if 3 people you trust and respect easily come up with ideas on how you can improve your financial situation, you owe it to yourself to investigate further.
5. Vacation Syndrome
Changing some part of your financial life takes work. You are going to have to get out of your comfort zone. If you are waiting to “get motivated” stop waiting. Just “do”. Even if you start off with high hopes, sooner or later you’re going to get tired. If you are only willing to work on this when you want to, you won’t make it. You should fully expect that there will be times when the work to change your financial situation will be uncomfortable. You’re going to have to commit to doing it anyway. Otherwise, don’t even start.
If you noticed, there is a common theme explaining why it’s so difficult to change your financial life. It boils down to the fact that we find it hard to take direction and take action. If I have a problem, I have to realize that my very best thinking got me into that hole. Why should I think for a minute that I have the understanding or ability to think my way out of the problem? I need help. I need to “fire myself” and take direction even though I may not like it.
I have to go against my natural tendencies to:
- Think I understand the exact nature of the problem
- Search endlessly for more information
- Blame my situation on my circumstances and ignore the other tools at my disposal
- Deny I have overlooked my opportunities
- Be lazy
In short, if you or I want to really change something, we have got to bring other people into our process. It is hard to ask for help sometimes but this is the first and most important step to take if you are serious about really moving forward.
Why do you think people stay stuck? What do you suggest as a way to make a change?