Are You Sabotaging Your Financial Progress?
Are You Sabotaging Your Financial Progress?
Recently, a friend told me she receives the weekly emails I send from this blog but doesn’t open them because they remind her that she’s not where she wants to be financially.
This made me feel a little down — not because my friend doesn’t read my emails, but because she was being so hard on herself. And also because I could relate. My friend is “hiding out” from reminders that she isn’t where she wants to be. Been there, done that, and unfortunately, still do at times. Maybe you do too.
Why do we do that? Avoidance, fear, perfectionism, procrastination, and many other reasons. But what we don’t realize is we are engaging in self-sabotage.
The Cycle of Self-Sabotage
Burying your head in the sand because you have not achieved what you have hoped to only makes matters worse. While your head is stuck in the sand, time and opportunity are passing you by. Time and opportunity to gain knowledge and move towards where you want to be.
Furthermore, avoidance breeds avoidance and creates a cycle — one that is hard to break. We get comfortable with our dodging, and it becomes even more difficult to face what we need to. We end up engaging in behaviors that bring us further and further away from what we need to accomplish. We sabotage our chances of achieving the very thing we want to.
Something else we don’t realize is that avoidance takes time, mental energy, and effort. Every time my friend sees my email and chooses not to open it, she is spending mental energy — actually wasting it, since nothing positive results from her efforts.
If we’re going to spend precious resources like time, energy, effort, and focus, why not spend them on activities that move us forward?
Of course, this is easier said than done. But if we continue to elude a goal because “we’re not there yet,” we will NEVER get there. Makes sense, right?
What Goal Are You Sabotaging?
Can you relate? Do you engage in self-sabotage? Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and when you hear debt-free stories, they inspire you, but they equally induce some eye-rolling. You’re just not there yet. How can you think about paying off more than your minimum payment, when you can barely make it to the next payday? So, you end up not even trying.
Or maybe you’re in the middle of paying off debt, and you feel sick thinking about the state of your retirement. Instead of allowing yourself to envision the next stage of your financial journey, you brush it off and avoid even thinking about it.
Perhaps you’re not just sabotaging your financial progress. It could be relationships or your career. Whatever it is in your case, realize that by not confronting it, you are hurting your chances of getting there — ever. You’ll look back and regret wasting time on avoiding your goals instead of working on them.
How to Break the Cycle
So, what’s the solution? How do we break the cycle? Acknowledge where you are, and acknowledge where you want to be. Commit to taking the necessary steps that will move you forward.
This does not mean to start jumping on and acting on a million and one things at the same time. No, you still need to focus, but take your head out of the sand and allow yourself to be exposed to what you are avoiding. You need to be reminded of where you’re headed and where you want to go.
The unknown is so much more frightening than the known, so I encourage you to open up and embrace the very thing you’re afraid to confront. Dreading and avoiding just puts us further away from our goals, but envisioning what we want to accomplish brings us closer to them.
Identify a step you can take. It could be just educating yourself. Spend time learning more about what you’re avoiding. That will remove the fear and the daunting feeling. Or perhaps you need to find an accountability partner, coach, or friend to ensure you stay on the right path. It could be a number of things.
Name what it is you can do to move you towards your goal and commit to doing it — today!
• 4 Habits You Must Adopt to Win with Money
• The One Thing You Need to Make Lasting Change
• 30 Reasons You’re Not Where You Want to Be Financially
What behaviors are you engaging in, or what actions are you avoiding that’s sabotaging your financial progress?
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