In the past eight years, I’ve spoken with or consulted for hundreds of entrepreneurs, mid- to high-level executives, consultants, private practitioners or small business owners who are, as I was at one time, in complete denial about their money situation. They know they’re not earning nearly enough or they’re spending too much, and money is slipping through their hands, but that’s as far as their understanding of the problem goes.
In short, their heads are deep in the sand about their money relationship. They’re working hard to ignore the obvious – that they’re heading towards a dangerous precipice unless they change directions fast.
Helping people who are facing denial about money is very important work to me, because I was there. Years ago, after I left corporate life and became a therapist and a coach, I hung out my shingle and thought “I’m a good therapist and coach – it’ll all work out fine.” Truly, I had a “Build It And They Will Come” mentality. The problem was, I built and they didn’t come. At least, in sufficient numbers for me to make the living I needed and wanted.
I struggled for years, trying everything I could think of to improve my financial situation and my business’s return. But nothing worked.
Slowly, step by step, inch by inch, I started to figure things out. I learned that how I dealt with, and approached, money was based on what I learned as a child in my family. And these teachings were no longer serving me. I learned that my own sense of worthiness in the world needed to be revised. I had “debt and goal trauma” that kept me locked in fear. I learned that my business model was deeply flawed – and that how I was earning my living wasn’t sustainable (or enjoyable, for that matter). And I learned that I had to change personally, before my professional life and business could improve.
But before things began to shift for me, I remained far too long in denial, and didn’t want to see reality.
If this resonates with you, and I hope you’ll stop in your tracks, and gain greater awareness of your situation and what it’s trying to tell you.
How can you determine if you’re in denial about your money situation?
Here are 8 glaring signs that you need to change your money course:
1. You can’t pay your monthly mortgage or your rent without tapping into savings, retirement, home equity loans or other funds.
2. You are using your credit cards each month to buy essentials such as food, clothes, and gas.
3. Your small business, consultancy or private practice is losing money each and every month, and despite your valiant efforts, nothing you do is changing that fact.
4. All the ways you’ve made money in the past are not working now.
5. You don’t have a Plan B in the event your Plan A fails, and you don’t have the necessary benchmarks and signposts to tell you it’s time to change course.
6. You’re hanging on by a thread to your “Build it and They Will Come” mentality, but they’re not coming.
7. Someone you love and respect has been telling you over and over that you’re in denial and things must change, but you’ve ignored them or argued against them bitterly.
8. Finally, when you get quiet (and very honest) with yourself and ask, “What can I personally do to change this situation?” your mind goes completely blank.
If these signs sound familiar, it’s time to do something dramatically different from what you’ve done before. Your money situation cannot improve unless you begin to take new steps that will help you change your course.
What should you do differently?
I’ve found that there are six vital steps that will help you go from “I’m broke and overwhelmed” to “I know what I want, and I know how to get it.”
For more about these critical steps, CLICK HERE to read my latest post on Forbes.
Kathy Caprino, M.A. is a nationally-recognized career success coach, writer, trainer and speaker dedicated to the advancement of women in business. She is the author of Breakdown, Breakthrough:The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose, and Founder/President of Ellia Communications, Inc. and the Amazing Career Project, focused on helping professional women build successful, rewarding careers of significance. A Forbes, Huffington Post and LinkedIn contributor and top media source on women’s career and workplace issues, she has appeared in over 100 leading newspapers and magazines and on national radio and television. For more information, visit www.kathycaprino.com and connect with Kathy on: Twitter, FB, LinkedIn.