What's Stopping You?

This might be a difficult post to read. It was a bit difficult to write. But the truth is until you face the reasons why you are not seeing the changes you want, your situation is likely to stay the same.

In today’s noisy world, lack of knowledge isn’t the issue. Never in history has information been a commodity in such excess. But usually it’s out own preconceived notions and beliefs that prevent us from making changes.

Several years ago our family’s financial situation reached a critical point. Maternity leaves, daycare costs and the departure from my corporate job had left us feeling like we were drowning in debt. But asking for help felt impossible. I was embarrassed and felt ashamed that I had allowed this to happen. It took an objective third party to tell me that there is no shame in asking for help. “You model the behaviour you want your kids to emulate. If you want them to ask for help when they need it, you need to be able to do it too.” That was a huge light-bulb moment for me.

Believe me I get it. It can be so hard to admit that you don’t have it all figured out. Especially when it feels like everyone else does. We call this “Confirmation Bias”. We surround ourselves with people whose lives and beliefs closely resemble our own. This makes it hard to ask for help because we assume that we are the only ones dealing with our issues.

Blame” is also a common inhibitor to change. This is an easy trap to fall into and one that I am guilty of myself. “If only they had taken my advice they wouldn’t still be in that situation….” That outlook doesn’t help anyone. I didn’t do a good enough job of demonstrating my value if a client opts not to work with me. When you’re blaming others you’re not spending time solving the problem. At the end of the day you are in the situation you are in. It might not be your fault but it is your responsibility to find an answer.

Finally “Ego”. This is the hardest bias of all for most people. Ego tells us that we are smart and we should be able to figure out a solution on our own. Our ego makes us worry about what other people will think. Ego makes us put up with overwhelming anxiety and sleepless nights rather than seeking help. In most cases, ego really is the enemy.

It is possible to change your biases and behaviours but you won’t be able to do it alone. There is just too much information out there and it causes paralysis by analysis trying to wade through it all. You need help. You need the objectivity of someone outside of your situation to help you take small steps towards your bigger goal.

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