From time to time I have clients who just.can’t.do it. They can’t pull their head out of the sand. Or sometimes they do, for the briefest while, and then dive right back into the comfort zone of Not Knowing.
One of my roles is to help clients reduce their anxiety about managing their money. There are myriad ostensible reasons people prefer to avoid taking a good look at their money, but the underlying reason is usually a fear of inadequacy.
The fear could be …
- inadequate income for their spending levels (I knew it! I knew it! Now what??)
- inadequate time/organizing skills to keep up with money management (I won’t be able to do it for the long haul anyway, so why bother trying now?)
- inadequate confidence to see themselves as effective money managers (I’ve never been good with money)
Resolving these tensions takes time, and sometimes a few starts, stops and re-starts, before they fade. In all cases, the most effective method to overcome the fears is by diving in and starting the practice of managing money. With rare exception, clients discover that things are not as bad as they may have feared, but even more important is the sense of dignity, that’s right, dignity, of putting themselves in the driver’s seat.