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The Seven Enemies Of Change

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Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.


Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published May 27, 2014)

Knowing Your Personal Finances
The Seven Enemies of Change
By Donell Edwards


Today’s topic is the seven enemies of change.  For most readers of this blog who are genuinely interested in improving their personal money management skills, it will be necessary to make some changes in your life and habits.  We have mentioned this before and have repeated the necessity to make changes because it is so important to understand that deeply ingrained habits that were learned over a number of years, or perhaps a lifetime, are not easily changed.  One of the major problems for many people is the lack of the willingness to change.  There may be a number of reasons for a person having this attitude.  Because change is not easy.  So today, we will discuss seven of the enemies of change.  These are by no means all of the enemies of change, but these are seven that we feel are of particular importance.

Doubt – Some have doubts about their ability to make changes.  They have grown so accustomed to managing their financial affairs a certain way for so long, they do not feel that they can make any changes.  Or, they doubt that making changes will be beneficial.  So, doubt prevents them from having the willingness to change, or to see any advantages in making changes.

Fear – A powerful enemy of change is fear.  Fear is much stronger than doubt and is much more difficult to overcome.  One of the greatest fears many have is the fear of losing control.  When it comes to managing personal finances, it may be necessary to relinquish some control to a mate, a relative, or a professional counselor or adviser. This is a scary scenario for some to contemplate.   Then, there is the fear of change itself.  Most people are comfortable with their own way of doing things and fear the impact that changes may have on their life.  They fear the sacrifices they may have to make.  They fear the effect it may have on lifestyle and relationships.  So, fear not only prevents them from having the willingness to change, it prevents them from making changes.

Weakness – It takes a lot of inner strength to make changes.  When it comes to managing money some are weak when it comes to resisting the temptation to buy things they don’t need, they are too weak to make the sacrifices they must make in order to live within their budget,  they are too weak to implement any changes in life that require willpower and determination.  So, weakness prevents them from making changes, or if they attempt to make changes, weakness prevents them from following through on their decision to change.  

Laziness – Making changes requires great effort.  When it comes to managing money it takes effort to monitor and control spending.  It takes effort to develop a realistic budget and to follow it rigidly.  It takes effort to resist temptation, to make sacrifices, and to communicate with others who may be involved or affected by personal money management decisions.  Some people just do not want to take the time and energy to take control of their personal money management, so they allow laziness to prevent them from making beneficial changes.

Jump Through Hoop --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Jump Through Hoop — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Denial –  Alcoholics will tell you that they do not have a drinking problem.  In spite of all of the evidence, they will vehemently deny that they have a problem.  Some who live from paycheck-to-paycheck tell themselves that if they can just make it one more paycheck, or one more month, they will be able to get over the proverbial hump.  But it seldom happens.  Bills go unpaid, or get paid late, ultimately resulting in some bills going into collection.  In spite of all of the evidence, many people in this situation are in denial.  They cannot accept the fact that they need to make changes in the manner in which they manage their money, they need help.  Denial is one of the most powerful of all enemies to change.

Delusion – Delusion and denial are closely related enemies of change.  Whereas denial is the refusal to accept the obvious facts, delusion is usually the catalyst that causes the denial; it is a false belief or manner of thinking that a person deceives themselves into believing is truth.  So, a person is deluded into denying the reality of their situation, and thus has an aversion to change.

Complacency – As creatures of habit it is a lot easier to remain in our comfort zone and be content with the status quo, rather than to embrace change, even beneficial change.  This complacent attitude is another one of the enemies of change.  Again, some delude themselves into thinking that everything is just fine the way it is, and they ignore warning signs that finances are getting out of control, or that they are already in trouble with the way they are managing their personal finances.  They see no need for change.   

So avoid these seven enemies of change, as well as all other enemies of change, because change is essential to your success in managing your personal finances and in all aspects of life.

Behavioral change is very difficult, so in today’s Must Reads we present a series of very short articles on behavior change written by Kendra Cherry, who is a licensed psychologist and also the psychology expert at about.com.  In her articles Dr. Cherry discusses how to get started in making behavioral changes, the essentials of change, and the different stages of change.  I highly recommend that you read these articles to help you recognize and defeat the enemies of change. 


Must Reads:

Behavior Change:  Getting Started

The Elements of Change

Stage 1 – Precontemplation

Stage 2 – Contemplation

Stage 3 – Preparation

Stage 4 – Action

Stage 5 – Maintenance

Stage 6 – Relapse



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Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.


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