It’s true. Many times our real problem with money has absolutely nothing to do with money. Sometimes our actual problem is something that goes much deeper than a green piece of paper with numbers and dead Presidents on them. It cuts down deep into the heart.
I recently had a coaching session where the client was struggling to make money work for them. Their “budget problem” wasn’t a lack of knowledge or a skewed perspective – they knew how to budget and knew how to manage their money well. They also knew they should do certain things like save an emergency fund and pay off debt. Their real problem was personal – deeply personal.
When it’s not about money
Their problem was that they refused to move forward with an extremely hard decision – one that they absolutely knew they must move forward with but they just couldn’t make themselves.
Even though they weren’t intentionally doing this, they were sabotaging their efforts to move forward with taking the actions they needed with their money. Again, this client knew how to budget and knew they needed a savings plan and a plan of attack to kill off debt, they just weren’t doing it.
They kept asking me, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I get this money stuff figured out?” The truth is that it had absolutely nothing to do with money. This is the hardest part of my job and the part I sometimes don’t want to do if I’m being really honest. I don’t want to make folks stare into what I call “the ugly truth mirror” because let’s get real. No one on the face of the planet wants to look into that mirror – to face the reality we keep trying to push away.
But that’s what I had to do for this client. I had to as gently as possible explain to them that their real problem had nothing to do with money. That yes, I can and will make suggestions to help with developing a savings plan and figuring out an attack plan for their debt, but at the end of the day none of these efforts will help them until they move forward with their painful reality.
Sometimes you just gotta move it.
And how many times do we do this to ourselves? We think that the problem is one thing but in reality the problem is something that has nothing to do with the problem in the first place. One of my favorite quotes is by the amazing Tony Robbins (if you don’t listen to any of his coaching training, you should be – it’s amazing stuff! This is the one I’m working through right now. – it’s $100 off currently and I don’t know how long it’ll be available at that price. 🙂 )
“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.”
And as Tony explains in one of his videos, we all can describe what a depressed person looks like without even seeing them. Why? Because when we’re depressed our body does certain things – our head is down, our shoulders are down, our whole being seems down – right? Now how would you describe someone that is happy? The complete opposite – right?
And that’s what Tony is referring to – if we want to change our current state we need to change the current state our mind is in and we can do that through our body. More specifically through our body’s motion. If we’re feeling depressed and then we get up and jump up and down and put a huge smile on our faces, what happens? All of a sudden our current state shifts out that depressed state into a more positive one.
Now, I’m not saying that depression can be cured just by jumping up and down and acting like a kid, but the movements our bodies do can and do impact us.
So just what the heck does this have to do with money and our original topic? A lot. Because when we’re refusing to face a reality that is challenging, we keep our bodies from moving – our emotional state doesn’t change. In order to face reality, we have to actually move towards that reality.
My reality check
Way back when I was suffering from over $11,000 of credit card debt and feeling like I was being suffocated because I was dead broke, I realized that I could continue to sit on my coach crying about the fact that I was broke and just let the apartment complex evict me, or I could get up and do something about it.
It was motion that saved me from complete financial ruin. I had to get up off the coach, make my first budget, and then cry some more because I was running a $1,000 monthly deficit, and then ransack my apartment rounding up junk to sell off to help me make up some of that deficit.
It was motion that made me go get that second job (a job a hated) in order to create more wiggle room in my budget by paying off the next credit card on my debt plan of attack.
It was motion – the motion of picking up the phone and voluntarily letting my really, really nice brand new car be repo’d because I knew I couldn’t afford to keep it.
In the end it was motion that kept me from going utterly broke. I had to get up and do something about my current state. I could stay depressed and in despair at my grim reality and try to pretend it wasn’t real or I could do something about it. And this is true for anyone – you can either do nothing or do something.
You want a better life? You’ll have to take action.
Want to become debt-free? You’ll have to take action.
Want to retire one day? You’ll have to take action.
If you want changes in your life to happen, you MUST take action. You must put yourself in motion towards facing reality and making those positive changes. Nothing will happen if you don’t put things in motion.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Nothing will happen if you don’t put things in motion.’ @jessifearon” quote=”‘Nothing will happen if you don’t put things in motion.'”]
What has been your biggest accomplishment when you faced a reality that was challenging? Let’s encourage others that are facing a rough road.
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Money controlling you? I know the feeling. My family has been living this real life on a budget for a long time and I can tell you that there's never a perfect season, but with a few changes you can start to reign in your money issues.
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