Financial Comfort Zone and Self-Sabotage: Part 2 of a 3 Part Series
In my last post, we looked at your Financial Comfort Zone. We discussed why it mattered and the gap between where you are and where you want to be. In this post, I want to expand on the work you’re doing and look at how we self-sabotage.
Your Financial Comfort Zone is where you are most familiar.
Most of my clients come to see me because they want to increase their capacity for growth. In doing so, they are stepping out of what they are most familiar with. They want to earn more money, payoff their debt, or be able to save more. They want to bring spending down or have the ability to spend. Whatever the reason, they want to be somewhere different than where they have been. These are incredibly smart and successful people. But they are stuck. Their ability to self-sabotage gets in the way of furthering their success.
I want you to grab a piece of paper and draw a vertical line. Label the bottom of the line ‘Your Current Financial Life’ and label the top of the line ‘Where I Want To Be’. Can you see the gap between the two? Take a close look at the space between ‘Your Current Financial Life’ and ‘Where You Want To Be’. As you start to make your way up, you open yourself up to self-sabotage.
It is much easier to stay where you are. It’s more familiar. Your brain wants you to stay there because it is safe and comfortable. You know what it feels like.
The number one reason we self-sabotage is fear.
When you are uncomfortable, your brain will do everything possible to bring you back down. Even though the behavior doesn’t make sense to us, it makes perfect sense to your subconscious. You may think, “How does making more money make me uncomfortable? I want to make more money. This doesn’t make sense!”. If you’ve been making the same amount of money for a decent amount of time, your brain believes you are safe at that level. It’s the unknown of having more money that becomes the issue. This causes self-sabotaging behaviors.
How you can avoid self-sabotage.
1. Become aware of your Financial Comfort Zone.
If you haven’t already, go through the activity I provided in Part 1. You need to become aware of the gap between your zone of familiarity and where you want to be. When you understand your Financial Comfort Zone, you can be more aware of when you’re about to leave it.
2. Identify any fears that you may have outside of your Financial Comfort Zone.
What fear do you have about xyz? (Ex. Making more money.)
Why do you have these fears?
I have had clients say things to me like, “You know what? I could never make more money than my dad! It’s too weird!” You want to question these beliefs and see if they are true. In this case, of course you can make more money than your dad! You need to question the beliefs, patterns and behaviors of the thoughts holding you back. When you look at them in the light, you’re going to find that most of the thoughts that you have aren’t true at all.
3. Develop an awareness of when you are outside your Financial Comfort Zone.
When you make this discovery, it will be easier to let the thoughts go and start to close the gap. Start to journal on your subconscious fears. When you journal, it is important to see past the conscious mind and peer into your subconscious mind. It’s important to get comfortable when you do this. If you meditate, this may also help you to look deeper inside.
4. Take out your journal and free write.
Don’t use punctuation or worry about spelling or complete sentences. You want to give your subconscious a voice. This will appear more artistically. Your handwriting may even appear different. It’s interesting to delve deep within yourself. You’re going to love it!
Become aware of your favorite flavors of self-sabotage.
Each of us has our own unique types of self-sabotage. Identifying what type is your favorite means looking for patterns in your behaviors. Start to notice any time you have been outside of your financial comfort zone. Usually, it’s going to be a time when something in your life was rocking and rolling. Then things come to a grinding halt. You lose interest in your project. You start procrastinating. Any motivation you may have had is gone.
Sometimes a favorite flavor of self-sabotage is health related. We’ll get sick the day of a job interview. Or sprain our ankle the day of a big presentation. Or it may be relationship related. On the way out the door for something big, you may fight with your spouse or on a call with your mom while driving in the car. It may not appear as though it relates to our money, but your subconscious finds a way to bring you back. We all have our own personal bag of tricks to torture ourselves. You want to be aware of what they are.
If you are someone who self-sabotages a lot, get some help.
Sometimes our patterns are so deep rooted, we have trouble identifying them before it’s too late. Get your friends or coworkers to notice. They may be more comfortable in pointing these things out to you. No one’s self-sabotage comes from their conscious mind.
No one says, “You know what, things have been going fantastic this week. I’m going to ruin it all for myself.” It just happens.
A good friend can sit down with you. They will help to question your behaviors before the consequences of your actions. This is also where a good coach can step in. Sometimes it’s important to have someone who can lovingly and gently call you out on your crap.
Check back next week to learn how to stretch your financial comfort zone. Don’t forget, you can ask questions in the comments below.
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