diving into change

Sploosh or Dab?

I would like to talk with you about your financial thoughts, or let you listen to my story and process if you want…
 This is how a dear friend began a conversation today online. I felt my hackles raise; I felt my chest and shoulders tighten and my ears seemed electrified.

It’s something you have to begin training yourself to take the emotions out of:
that’s the first and most permeating issue I find most of us have…

 Rather sheepishly, I did my best to breathe. She knows me rather well, but only recently became aware of my long-standing hate-affair with money. Something about our conversations recently had inspired her to share her story with me, along with offering both personal help and the services of a financial advisor she trusted.
courtesy Steven Depolo
This? Not usually me.

I confess, much as I respect her, I was skeptical. You see, Suzy Orman, Maneesh Sethi, Rich Dad/Poor Dad, Quicken, Get Rich Slowly, the Simple Dollar…tried them all various times. Always found that they almost but not quite fit my situation. I’m a freelancer; I have a variable budget. Up until very recently I never had a “cushion” of money, so when emergencies happened it was always a scramble. It was as if my financial life was where budgets went to die.

Then she got really scary:
Don’t try to make this change slowly and tear off the bandage with care.
Rip it off and get mad–make use of that negativity to push yourself away
from your old habits and thought patterns around money,
and move with ever increasing speed away from those directions.
The tension was back; I was really uncomfortable with this idea. While I am known for occasional grand gestures, I do actually try to practice “slow and steady” and kaizen: getting a little better, day by day. I didn’t even know what my friend was exactly proposing, but the way she was proposing it sounded really, really frightening. “Rip it off”? But I’ve been holding onto this particular personal dysfunction for about four decades. Ripping it off sounds like it would hurt!

Embrace that this change is going to be very uncomfortable:
but it’s going to be for a higher reason than your current interests

Now, I’m sorry to disappoint you; I don’t actually know what these changes and new financial practices are going to be. I’m a bit swamped right now, and so we made an appointment to talk again Thursday. But I find myself, outside of the visceral fear, abstractly fascinated by the idea of the process.Regardless of whether it works, this approach, I think, is something we all could use reminding of now and again:

…it’s about being persistent and continuing to find new patterns…
It’s not which path so much as finding one you can follow.

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