As I began to write this piece on avoidance, I needed to catch up on the deadline for our monthly newsletter because I was pretty avoidant myself. I love to write. But I fear that I am not so great at it. I fear my word choice isn’t the best, that my grammar sucks, and that no one will even read what I write or find it valuable. And, of course, I am busy. We all are. But when I looked at why I didn’t sit down and write? Avoidance.
Fear usually stems from what we don’t know, what we don’t feel proficient with. When it comes to making financial decisions, I make them fairly quickly. That is because it is what I do daily. I am comfortable with the topic – thank goodness! But it is also because I know my financial situation like the back of my hand. I know what I can risk. I try to live a life centered on my values, clearly defined goals, and ever-increasing knowledge about finance. I want this for my clients as well.
For clients to sit down with us and work toward their financial goals, they must be motivated. We all have different levels of knowledge about finance. We have varying backgrounds that allowed or disallowed open discussion about financial issues. My goal is to create an environment of trust and open dialogue, help educate and build knowledge around personal finance and help break the chain of avoidance.
Deb Bucci, Ph.D., says, “Change is hard. Changing behavior is especially difficult if we are unclear about why we need to. The word ‘should’ often creeps into our internal dialogue without clarifying specific reasons for making a shift. We won’t detail the why, what, and how of making a change and the conviction to do so. A coping mechanism that we have all found ourselves experiencing at some time in our lives is avoidance. While avoidance can protect us from people, places, and activities that we know are detrimental, it can also hinder personal growth in areas that help us thrive.”
She offers the following questions and steps toward implementing change:
Ask yourself these questions:
- What matters most to me?
- What are my goals?
- Where do I want to be at the end of three months, a year, five years?
Step 1: Select 1 goal at a time to focus on. Make it specific.
Step 2: List the steps to be followed.
Step 3: Prioritize tasks and add deadlines.
Step 4: Set milestones.
Step 5: Identify the resources needed.
Step 6: Monitor, evaluate and update.
A financial planner can assist in this process. We want to help you Be Bold and Love Your Life!
Brandon Cabaniss, CFP®