Are you frustrated with your debt situation? Do you want things to be different? Have you ever considered that you are frustrated because you are fighting against yourself and you do not know it? Welcome to my second coaching session…Your Values.
Values are those things in your life which are important and worthwhile. They bring meaning to your life. They provide you with enjoyment and inspiration. Values are what you want more of from your life.
What is there in your life that people cannot stop you from doing? Your values are responsible for this. For instance if you fish or golf every weekend, then Leisure is a value. This does not mean that you do not value Hard Work; it means Leisure is an important part of who you are.
There are tons of Values lists online to look at. An exercise you can do right now is to Google “Values Assessment Worksheet”. Pick one of these and you will find a Values list inside the document. Then pick 10-15 which are important to you.
Now begin to compare these values to each other. The top 5 are considered to be your Core Values. These are your bedrock principles. When you are under pressure, these Core Values are guide your immediate actions.
Think of Core Values like the habits that professional athletes develop during practices. They drill and drill so when that situation develops during a game, they respond automatically with what they want to do. They don’t have to think about what action to take, they do it without thinking.
Living in alignment with your values results in confidence and fulfillment. Living outside of your values creates stress and discontentment, and weakens your boundaries.
If you are struggling with getting your debt under control, I can guess that you are either living outside of your values, or you have competing values which are at odds with each other.
- For instance you value Success but you allow others to determine if you are successful. Did you take out a loan to purchase a RV, despite this stretching your budget to its max, because your friend has one?
- Perhaps you value Financial Security and you also value Generosity. If you are at Toys R Us and your child wants a new toy, which value wins? Both are great values but when Generosity wins too many times, your debt increases.
The good news is that you CAN change your values. So if you honestly know your values, you can decide some may need to go if they are preventing you from tackling your debt issue.
Let’s assume a new smartphone comes on the market.
- If Debt Freedom is a value then you will postpone upgrading to the new phone. But if you have to have the new phone, even if it means you will bust your budget, then Gratification is your real value.
- If you think Debt Freedom is your value but it really is Gratification, then you will never make progress with your finances.
Which of these decisions would you make? You can have Fun and Happiness for the rest of your life but no Peace from Debt. Or you can have Peace from Debt for the rest of your life but no Fun and Happiness.
THIS IS A FALSE CHOICE OF VALUES! You can have Fun and Happiness AND you can get out of debt. You just have to decide to balance your values. Spend less and save more by reducing spending on Fun, but still have some inexpensive Fun. Maybe you have a picnic lunch at a park instead of going to a restaurant.
You can figure out how to make your values support each other, not fight against each other.
Do your declared Values support your decisions and your behavior? If not, fix this, and then you will move forward. When you have clarity of your values, you will develop the behaviors that you want, which helps you to make better decisions, and this makes achieving your goal of freedom from debt much easier.
Phil Danley is a certified life breakthrough coach, a speaker and is the creator of
http://www.ConsumerDebtCoach.com. He and his wife paid off their credit cards and loans in 2012 and paid off their mortgage in 2014. Phil will help you to get out of debt too!