Have you ever wondered if you are addicted to your current emotions and feelings courtesy of a recurring financial situation?
I know it sounds crazy. Who would be addicted to lack, being broke and not having enough. So I decided to revisit my own experiences as well as those I’ve encountered through the years. After much consideration, I see how possible it is to be addicted to a less than favorable financial situation. But like most addictions many are in denial of the situation because they are telling themselves how crazy it is to be addicted to something that has no benefit. Then I realize…drugs have the same effect.
Think about it for a moment. If you have been struggling to overcome your current financial situation for quite some time, is it possible to be addicted to “trying” to overcome obstacles instead of making progress? For example, Phil rarely has enough money to pay all of his bills on time each month. He often finds himself stretching that dollar until it’s almost transparent, but he’s use to making lemonade from lemons. Like every month, Phil knows his phone is scheduled to be cut off because he’s constantly behind. On autopilot Phil makes a payment arrangement with the phone company to pay his bill by close of business on Friday. Even though Phil has made arrangements to pay his bill the closer it gets to the payment date, his anxiety grows and he begins to feel that familiar feeling of pins and needles when things get a little tight. Phil recognizes this oh so familiar feeling and deep down maybe he was anticipating it. Living on the edge like this has become his hectic existence, which is why many say it’s much harder to maneuver when your broke versus having a plethora of money which brings it’s own set of issues. Even if Phil had money it would be difficult to break his addiction if not addressed properly. This is why the majority of lottery winners go broke.
Think about it…If Phil wins the lottery his financial problems are over, right? Well they can be if he can avoid costly mistakes, but wait Phil is addicted to lack, not having and being a financial wreck. Phil waiting to make a payment instead of paying it as soon as he has the money makes him feel like he has more money in his pocket and can live. At the same time not paying his bills will lead to fees and other misfortunes like disconnect and repossession. This behavior destroys his financial snapshot and when it’s comes time to pay the price it divides his attention, and overwhelms him with stress. But, the key is it prevented him from feeling like he had less or was missing out on life. It also filled him with adrenaline and relief, so guess what? Phil will do the same thing next month starting the cycle again and again. Instead of doing something to change his situation like making more money and becoming a better manager he settles for the status quo. Even if Phil wins the big game, the odds say his bad habits will spill over into his new situation.
The three steps to breaking the habit are:
- Replace the habit – Our habits provide some type of benefit, so instead of eliminating the habit replace it with a new habit that provides a similar benefit.
- Have an accountability partner – You have to step out of your comfort zone and share the problem to identify solutions and possible someone you trust who can help guide you to the decision you already know to be right.
- Visualize your change – In order for you to truly achieve anything worth while you must first believe you can and then see yourself overcome that habit and living the life you envision.
The key here is to realize that your financial life is not about just making and managing money, but it’s about managing your behavior. Until these habits are addressed they will continue to lead you down financial hole, stuck waiting for your next high.
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