Brian Skrobonja: I’m involved in financial matters nearly every day in my life, and it energizes me to be working with clients to solve problems and create strategies for generating the outcome the client’s working towards. And I speak with dozens of clients each week. And one of the facets to the process I go through with my clients is how they respond to what is being discussed. People are unpredictable and they’re complicated, making each person’s journey through the planning process different from the next. The consulting side of what I do is second nature and comes relatively easy for me. But there is another side to all of this that at times can overshadow all the math and all the logic and that other side is human behavior. You see, with math there’s a single outcome to an equation. But when you incorporate clients opinions, fears, experiences, beliefs and preferences, then things can become about emotion more than they can be about logic. So over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time studying human behavior and trying to figure out what makes people tick. And for me, it’s not enough to simply know what someone thinks. I want to know why they think what they think and do what they do before trying to bring math and logic into the conversation.

Brian Skrobonja: And the reason that it’s important to me is because people often make emotional decisions derived out of their beliefs and seldom make logical, rational decisions based on new facts or evidence. And these beliefs are carried around and can prevent someone from reaching the next level, not only financially, but with all areas of their life. The truth is that we all, as human beings, carry around this proverbial backpack of beliefs and emotions, and we carry it everywhere we go. And when we show up somewhere that’s in a relationship and a conversation having to make a decision, we unpack the backpack. There’s no hiding the backpack. It’s with us all the time. It is full of a lot of good things, but mixed in with it our limited beliefs that can wreak havoc with our decision making. These beliefs are just an accumulation of information that you either hear, you read, you experience that can have you instantly forming an opinion that then drives your behavior and decision making. It’s what drives your thoughts, your opinions, your attitudes and your propensity. Think about it. You eat bad sushi and then you get sick. That belief forms that sushi is bad and you throw that belief into the backpack. You go into a store and have a bad experience. You belief into the backpack.

You meet someone for the first time and within ten seconds a belief is cemented in your head and into the backpack. It goes, you hear a financial opinion into the backpack. You do it constantly. And at times you may find your beliefs challenged the way you think, your relationships, your attitude, your finances, and begin to question why you believe what you believe. But this isn’t always a bad thing. Cleaning out the backpack of beliefs occasionally can prove to be a good thing when you can get rid of beliefs that are preventing you from making important decisions in your life. The psychology of why we do what we do is the topic of today’s show. And here to discuss this with us is Chez Barbosa. Chez is going to help break all this down for us and offers some strategies and techniques that could possibly help you make some life altering improvements. I’ve known Chez and his wife Charity for many years and at one time even had him consulting with my company before he made the jump to where he is now. He’s been married for 16 years and has three children. He’s the CEO and co-founder of True Vine Christian Services, which is a 501c3 organization that offers professional mental health, mediation and coaching services. He’s a licensed counselor specializing in marriage and family dynamics, along with communication and conflict resolution training.

He’s also very active in his community, serving as a board member and has leadership roles and other nonprofit organizations. And he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southwest Baptist University and his master’s in counseling from Missouri Baptist University.

Hey Chez, welcome to the Common Sense Financial podcast. How’s it going?

Chez Barbosa: Good. How are you doing?

Brian Skrobonja: I’m doing pretty good, man. So glad to have you on. I mentioned in the opening that we’ve known each other for several years and I’m just really pumped to have you on and have an opportunity to collaborate and just kind of talk this stuff through. So looking forward to it. You know, I’m I’m really engaged, of course, in finance and I’m always reading, trying to learn things. But one of my second passions is just psychology and human behavior, because I feel like I’m in that business just as much as anything else. So, you know, our beliefs and the way we view the world and it transfers into every decision that we make. So really looking forward to this. So anyway, but before we jump into that, if you don’t mind, just kind of tell us a little bit about you and the path that led you to where you’re at right now.

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, absolutely. You know, when I was when I was growing up and as a teenager, I was the classic, which a lot of councillor’s you’ll hear him say, I was the kid everybody went to the go share their problems with or just talk to you. And you kind of feel like, “Did I have a sign on my forehead that said, come talk to me?” So we laugh in the counseling field, because a lot of us kind of have that same background, but I knew at a fairly young age that I was going to pursue something with helping people. And I was really fascinated like you with psychology, with counseling, just with people. And so I knew I was going do something in that vein. So as I kind of got older, you know, I was in college and I knew psychology was going to be the direction. But then as I got into school, I really kind of realized I wanted to walk with people, get in the trenches with them and actually try to help them navigate life. And so that’s ultimately what kind of pushed me down the road of counseling, specifically in the mental health realm. So you pursued that, did a lot of school, a lot of training, pursued the licensure and and then didn’t look back. And so counseling has always been a confident pursuit for me. You know, there’s been other things that I’ve done as well, but counseling has always been the constant. And I knew that was always going to be something that primarily I would be doing. And so that then, of course, morphed on into kind of growing some business aspect of nonprofit organization, kind of some ministry aspect. And so that morphed into some leadership roles in those kind of things. But at the foundation, it has always been that desire to help people. And that’s really where I would say kind of how I got in it and why I got in it. And then the rest is just been continued development of that overall desire.

Brian Skrobonja: That’s awesome. And that’s part of why I have you here, because I know you do have a heart for people and and you’re a great communicator. And so I thought it just made a whole bunch of sense to get you on here. So I guess just jumping into it, you know, and part of what kind of led me to to get you on here is that we live in this 24/7 news cycle, right. Where we’re constantly bombarded with political drama and now covid. And just as a society, we’re just stressed out. Right. And there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future. And I routinely have conversations with clients who are motivated by fear and anxiety, and they just have this negative outlook on things. And you notice it, too, around just being around people. Things just aren’t normal and maybe something is not right. So what are the signs of what I’ve heard you call a rusty mindset of negativity?

Chez Barbosa: Hmm. Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, I think what I what I see a lot is people are are constantly looking at the negative, the doom and gloom, the state of our economy, our government But what I see a lot is that that resting negative mindset is is basically a consumed mindset of all of the bad and negative and primarily all the things that we can’t control. And if anybody watches any news for any amount of time, we know that in the news it’s negative. Know, I see a strong ninety nine percent of news reporting, unfortunately, is just negative. It’s all the bad things going on. And so if we live in a world if we live in the doom and gloom and also social media is just becoming rampantly negative as well, you know, whether that’s political or even personal and people attacking each other, it’s just getting out of hand. And so when that is consuming our mindset, it’s a natural reaction for our brains to go to a negative resting point or place. And then everything stems from there. And so that consumption of negativity is honestly often more dangerous and impactful than the actual negative things going on around us, if that makes sense.

Brian Skrobonja: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Once you start looking to that prism of negativity, you just start seeing everything in a negative light. And so trying to find that that sense of positivity is difficult. And it kind of leads into my next question. I mean, you and I have had these conversations in the past about belief systems and how that can be incredibly powerful. And it’s part of what fascinates me about all of this stuff. And but what I never really realized as much as I do now and today is that really a lot of the behavior and the mindset around those things, there is some control over that. I mean, we do have more control over that than we tend to think. And this may seem a little bit elementary to some people to say, well, what do you mean you can have control over over something? Well, if we understand that, right, our beliefs are really derived from our experiences. So if we’re bombarding ourselves with negativity, our belief system is going to be negative and the same as if we’re always focusing on things that are positive than things or are positive. But going a step further, you know that. Belief system, whether it be negative or positive or whatever, it does have an influence on how we act. And how we make decisions which really ultimately determines the results in our lives. And so but even for me, somebody that studied this stuff, of course, not as extensively as you have, but I’ve had coaching and I’ve read books and I’m just always intrigued by it. I still find it difficult to recognize the patterns and the unhealthy mindset that follows and trying to figure out what what needs to be adjusted and tweaked to get to the next place. So I guess the question comes to you then, how do how do people overcome these behaviors, these mindsets to help enable them to reset their thinking and pull themselves out of that cycle?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, I hear that so often in counseling. You know, I hear the “yeah, I agree. It sounds good, but, man, it’s so hard.” And I and I say to them, “yeah, I wish it was as easy to do as it is to sit here and say”, and I often tell my clients, as I’m saying, things like, “I understand that this is really easy to say. That sounds great on paper”, you know, and so so that’s a valid struggle. But often where I find myself answering that question or encouraging clients with that struggle is – it’s not a new concept. It’s discipline. Right. It’s the same struggle that we have with either exercise and fitness or eating. Right. Or, you know, if you’re in business and trying to be intentional about doing the steps in business that you need to grow your company like all of that kind of anchors down to discipline. And it’s hard. I mean, it is hard.

Chez Barbosa: And so I think there’s a handful of ways that you can that you can approach that. Accountability is one of them get some people around you, some cheerleaders around you to encourage you. Coaches are huge for that. If you’re really struggling, counselors can, of course, help you through those kind of things. But my big thing, though, as far as the practical step to start with, is puzzle piece mentality. We often just try to approach the whole thing and just fix it. And we want it and we we just have to overcome the whole thing. And that’s so overwhelming and it’s immediately defeating. And so if you think about it like a puzzle, if you have a five thousand piece puzzle, one small little puzzle piece seems and feels insignificant because it’s just a blur. Like you don’t even look like anything. It would be it would be easy to look at that and think, well, if I lost this piece, I mean, it’s not it’s not going to do anything. Well, it’s interesting, though, because while all the pieces are on the floor, they’re not significant. But you put the rest of the puzzle together and then that one piece is missing. Now, all of a sudden, the most important part of that puzzle is the missing piece, which is that small, insignificant piece. So if you look at it from that kind of perspective, that every step is necessary. But but in order for a puzzle to be put together, especially if it feels like an overwhelming one, the little steps matter.

Chez Barbosa: And so take a little bite sized steps is huge, limiting your social media or your news intake by one day less each week, you know what I mean? And then or as you’re going for an hour or less a day or so, think thinking incrementally and putting something in place of that I’m a big proponent of if you take something out, you’ve got to put something else in there. So what is another positive that you can put in there as far as to try to balance that? So, you know, there’s not one answer. Unfortunately, I wish you could do that. But what I have found that most people tend to resonate with is if you start talking about only discipline and all that – it discourages people. But if you start talking, I mean, it’s true. But to give them something to start some momentum is what is one small thing you can do differently today that you haven’t done and then start to build that domino kind of feel and then also helping them to think objectively on what that could look like. That starts to get momentum. And then, as you know, when you start getting momentum going, discipline, it’s a little easier and a little easier, a little easier, then becomes a habit. So it’s got to start with the puzzle piece approach.

Brian Skrobonja: You know, the whole idea of of going back to that idea of the belief system, which is the foundation, I think, of kind of what you’re what you’re saying is that about a year ago I quit watching the news, which sounds crazy, but I just stopped watching. I just felt like it was weighing on me because I get caught up into things like that. And and it was just irritating. And so I just decided one day, I’m not watching this stuff anymore. And so, you know, I have other sources that I get my news from to stay abreast of things. But just sitting there watching that continuous negativity became overwhelming. And the problem with that is, you know, you get into conversations with people and they’re doing the same thing. And so it just fuels that anxiety. And so, you know, I think and you said a key thing is that if you if you take something away, you need to fill it back in with something because something will back flow back into it. It’s like putting your foot into a bucket of water and pulling it out. It’s going to fill back in. So creating those experiences to create a different belief, a different world view, right. A different perspective on things to try to just make things positive. So, yeah, I totally agree that none of that is easy, just just trying to have different experience, different mindset, different thought process around the whole thing. Well, just shifting gears a little bit, you know, you and I have talked about this before and I’ve hear it said and I’ve read this a lot of times, but the way I understand it anyways is that sex and money are two of the main causes of marital problems, which most often stems from a communication issue. So could it be said, though, that communication really is the root of nearly every problem in relationships?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, I believe so. That’s that’s often what I share with my clients and anyone that I’m talking with on this topic. You know, I think that communication is the foundation that everything builds on. Even if you understand conflict, interpersonal conflict, most of that is due to unmet needs, not all, but most of it. And so if you understand that usually what a points back to is that there was ineffective communication, miscommunication, misunderstanding, poor delivery. It boils down to just communication.

Chez Barbosa: And those are harder to navigate for sure. But they still rest on communication because at the end of the day, it’s still what do you need or want in these areas? And so or what’s hurting you? And so when people don’t know how to communicate, it gets very, very distracted from what the actual core issue is.

Chez Barbosa: And they end up fighting about things that aren’t going to change the scope of the subject anyway. I say everything rises and falls and communication because that’s where everything starts and clarity happens and needs often start to become met.

Brian Skrobonja: I think just like with decision making. Right. And I said this in the opening is is that people tend to throw logic out the window. In most situations. They go with what they call their gut feeling or they go with just some emotion that that drives them right. Whether it’s right or wrong, whether the math adds up two plus two equals four or not. It’s it’s how somebody feels about something. So so even in the communication, when you say that it’s the kind of the same thing, is that trying to have a foundational conversation, it’s still rooted in an emotion as opposed to logic. And so what are the steps, I guess, that you could call them, that couples should take to open up communication without emotion and get on the same page?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, and before I kind of get into the steps just to support what you’re saying, you know, you just look around right now, right? Just look at our look at our society of how devastating that being driven by feelings can result in. And it’s almost this twilight zone that you find yourself in. And so I believe one of the biggest lies that people live with is that that because we feel something, it must be true. And I think everything, if they start to believe that, it just completely distorts their next steps.

Chez Barbosa: So I say to people all the time, I see feelings are real. Emotions are real. Yes. But that doesn’t mean they’re true. There’s a difference between what’s real and what’s true. And I know you can go on to a whole different realm of truth and absolute truth and relativism and all that. But let’s not overthink it for the sake of philosophizing and just say, hey, there’s a difference between truth and real. And and when you can understand that there’s an anchor, there’s a foundation point that can help you navigate. Most of us are creatures of emotion.

Chez Barbosa: And we do horrible at managing emotion because it feels so strong that it must be true. So everything starts to stem off that. Well, get back to your question. We see a similar thing in the marriage even or in relationships. Is that well, I feel this or it feels like you think this about me. So it must be dot, dot, dot fight ensues. And then it goes down that road and it’s not even remotely what they should be focusing on. And so feelings are often very distracting, very, very distracting. They deceive us. They misdirect us. And so I always say feelings are important. I’m not minimizing them. They give me kind of a temperature of what’s going on. But they don’t ever need to be the the the final deciding factor. So some things that people can do is, you know, objectivity. Huge. Whether depending on your need, whether that’s a marriage counselor or maybe even like a relationship coach or sometimes and we’ll say that carefully sometimes even friends, not counseling, don’t go to your friends for counseling, but just to give some objective perspective on something.

Chez Barbosa: So objectivity becomes helpful in that capacity because it helps you see and kind of step back and look at some things differently. But if somebody can’t navigate past that, you know, go see a counselor, like there’s this huge stigma about counseling, marriage counseling, and that it’s only for either crazy people or marriages that are really on the rocks and facing divorce and all that. And while we certainly see a lot of that state in marriage, it’s it’s also for people that just want to get ahead of it and just work through some conflict and have that power of objectivity. So that’s a big one. And then another area, I would suggest is change how you listen to each other. That’s big. We often listen to respond instead of listening to understand. And so we’re just thinking about what we want to say. And we’re not really actually hearing what the other person is trying to convey.

Chez Barbosa: So change how you’re listening, change to try to listen to what are there, what is their hurt, what’s their need, not listen to what they seem to be accusing you of or making you feel like they’re saying. Try to push into that. I’ll be honest. It takes and training. It takes some skill. Like not everybody is good at that. Our flesh doesn’t typically like that. But when you can learn how to change, you’re listening. It can really change that that dynamic, because then it gets back in communication. And there’s a lot of things that you can do. Those are just a couple like initial things that I think are huge game changers.

Brian Skrobonja: Yeah, you said a key thing there that got my attention is that the stigma that goes along with especially marriage counseling or any type of counseling, I guess. But, you know, I’ve had business coaches for years, right. I’ve paid lots of money to these guys to try to just help me with how I think and how I view things and, of course, the intricacies of how the business is run, et cetera. But it doesn’t mean that necessarily something’s wrong. You just trying to get to that next level. And so when you said that, I thought to myself, yeah, a marriage counseling could be just a form of coaching. Right. Almost like how you get a car tuned up. You just need to be because there may not be really anything major wrong. But, hey, if nothing changes, nothing changes. And so and so to try to just get that to that next level, to make things even better, possibly, you know, considering something like that, that’s interesting. I never really looked at a specifically marriage counseling as something that could just be a fine tuning thing, not a way to dig out of a hole.

Chez Barbosa: Yeah. And I think it’s a huge it’s a total paradigm shift that has to continue to and we’re getting better at it. Like when I say we I mean, our our society. Counseling is really the stigma is really being challenged and addressed.

Chez Barbosa: And that’s that’s awesome. Just for counseling as a whole. But I still think there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on what all goes into it. Like you’re saying, and I have a lot of married couples that even as they’ve they’ll either come in for counseling and just say, hey, we feel like we have a good, good relationship, but we got a great relationship or we’ve had a couple things that we we want to get ahead of it before it gets bad. And all the other side, you know, couples that have come in and devastation helped them through and they’re in a better place they’ve ever been. But they’ll say we want we call it maintenance counseling. We want to still stay like once every couple months just to check in, make sure things are going well because we want to stay ahead of that. So it is. It’s a total paradigm shift on how to look at it. And when people start to do that, it can really change the impact it can have on the purpose that it takes on.

Chez Barbosa: Because you’re right, if you say to somebody, you know, hey, do you have a business coach? Nobody’s going to be like, oh, no, I don’t want that. Most people are like, no. Yeah, that would be expected. If you want to do well in business, have a business coach, you know, so it’s just a paradigm shift that we have to continue to keep educating.

Brian Skrobonja: It is. But it goes back to the foundation of everything we’re talking about. It’s the belief system. Yeah. It’s our way of viewing the world and how we stigmatize different things. Now, of course, money is the is the focus of this podcast. Right. And we all know that there can be many emotions about either having it or not having it, which can lead to poor decision making when there’s desperation, trying to get money or if there’s this fear.

Brian Skrobonja: I’ve always found that people are either trying to they’re stressed out about getting money and then once they have it, they’re stressed out about losing money. So so that money relationship is a tricky one. If you if it’s not managed. And I think a lot of people really, really do struggle with so much like a relationship with a spouse or relationship with money is important to manage because it could become unhealthy really, really fast. Right. So so what are some of the few things that people can do to kind of examine their relationship with money if we can separate it from marriage counseling for a minute and get. To the relationship with money, which may seem odd, but I think there’s a lot of parallels there, right? Maybe not in the communication, but how we think about it.

Chez Barbosa: I’d say there’s a lot of parallel on both sides for sure. You know, like we were saying, if it ties to emotion, you know, money, as you’re saying, like there is a lot of emotion tied in money and whether that’s afraid of not having enough or afraid of losing, afraid of retirement, afraid of college for your kids like all these. It’s one of those topics that really, really touches deep internally that has a very large emotional effect on people. So so, yeah, it it starts to bleed out in communication and priorities and needs and expectations and it gets messy, gets real, real messy real quick. I think a couple of things that can be really encouraging for people is to say, OK, you know what, let’s take our focus off the emotion for a second. Let’s take our focus for a minute off of what’s the best way to utilize your money and what do you need to do? I mean, you’ve got to figure that out. Yeah, but the first thing is let’s get on the same page with what is your expectation of money? What’s the purpose of money? Not the best way to invest – initially.

Chez Barbosa: It’s just. Getting people to understand, like what do you see the purpose of money being, because I think sometimes what happens a lot is that people are arguing, they’re coming at money in two different perspectives. And expectations or the priority order or the purpose of it. They’re fighting about trying to convince the other person what’s the best thing to do with money. And they get lost in the weeds about either bills or investment or saving or retirement or whatever is necessary at their season of life. But really, it’s about like, are we on the same page with how we need to approach this resource? So I would even say, if this makes sense, come back off of the focus of money and let’s re-establish – are we on the same page with what our expectation for money period is and where it needs to sit in the priority of our life. Too often, as you see, people allow money to just drive and control them. I’m not judging them on that. I mean, it’s hard not to in our world. It really is. But but I think there’s some initial things that you have to look at first and when you can have some clarity, especially the significant other, that immediately builds confidence and it restores some hope of like, OK, we’re on the same page here.

Chez Barbosa: Now, let’s now let’s look at the nuts and bolts. At that point, I kind of looking at my job is to help them get to what I just said, and then I give them some resources. If you need help to just how to put your dollars where and what the best way to strategize about that is. There’s professionals that do that, like go talk to a financial coach, go get somebody objectively to help you figure out and how to plan for that. But first, go in with the same page understanding of what your goals are, not your financial goals, but the goals emotionally together in the role of this purpose. That gives a lot of clarity and confidence. Even if they walk in and they’re like, yeah, there’s not enough dollars there yet, at least they have some hope that we’re on the same page here. We don’t feel like we are against each other.

Brian Skrobonja: Yeah. So, I mean, the two things come out of that in my mind. So, you know, a lot of times because opposites attract. That’s what we hear. Is that one is maybe really frugal with money and the other is very free, willing, let’s call it with money. So, one, there’s their security is more tied to money and having the money. And then for the other one, not so much. Right. There are more adrenaline driven, I guess, with the purchase or or whatnot, which can lead to regret on the other side of that. But trying to bring especially if there’s really polar opposite on that, trying to bring them together to try to at least see each other’s point of view and find a middle ground. Right. So is there any tricks to the trade there as far as trying to compromise in something like that?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, absolutely. And you’re right, we see about 80 percent of couples. That one’s a spender and one’s a saver. It just is far more rare for both of them to be the same of either one. So it definitely makes for some fun conversations for them. One of the first steps I tell people to to on the path to compromise is let go of the idea that it will ever look exactly how you want it to look when it comes to money. You have to first let that go, because too many, too many times we come into those conversations with each other saying almost with a subconscious idea, that I need to try to convince them to see it my way. So if, for example, I’m a spender and they’re a saver, I’m trying to convince them to see how spending is the better way to do it. And they’re doing the same thing with me on saving. So then we just argue about who’s right. And so I tell couples, if you want to compromise, you have to let go of the idea will ever look exactly how you want it to look and then you can start building from there.

Chez Barbosa: And if both of you can also, secondly, give as much as you can and take as little as you can, then you’ll find more that middle ground to where you can end up with something you’re both OK with. But it’s a mindset, preparation that they have to enter that conversation with. It’s not about who’s right or wrong because you can honestly make a case either way and pros and cons either way. But if your goal is to try to convince the other person who’s wrong or right, you won’t. You both fail. You won’t get anywhere because then you just stand in your corners and you just keep going round after round. So let go of the idea that It’ll ever be exactly how you want it to be and give as much as you can, take as much or as little as you can, and then you’ll often find yourselves in a much more compromised middle ground that’s attainable.

Brian Skrobonja: Another thing I guess, that stems off of that is and you and I have had this conversation before, is with clients that, you know, a lot of people think about retirement. I think people at any age is dreaming of the day when they can stop working. Right. That’s always this this euphoria, this this thing that we want to try to achieve. So but for the people that that actually start to arrive at that place. Right. So they get closer and closer to retirement.

Brian Skrobonja: Some people realize that at different stages, but there’s some anxiety around that. So you think that would be a freeing thing that happens. But what happens actually is that they’re still grounded in their employment and they’re still their purpose is still found in what they have always done and sometimes that can be for 40 or 50 years.

Brian Skrobonja: And so the idea of actually retiring and then living off of assets or pensions or whatever, I find sometimes that the clients struggle with finding new purpose. Right. Do you have any thoughts on that and how to think through that and and maybe overcome some of those feelings of of lostness, I guess is a way to put it?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. That’s such a hard transition. I think the first thing I help people see is that it’s not that it’s not actually about money or retirement. That’s about identity. You know, somewhere along the line, we believed all of a sudden that we were defined by what we do, not who we are. And don’t get me wrong, what we do is a part of who we are, but it’s not definitively who we are. So when we surrender to that or just accept that at some point with that usually happens and kind of midway through career, not just jobs, but career like when you that’s really what you do. We just kind of at some point adapted that this is who I am. So we see this a lot, especially with men, because men are far more statistically bad at relationships and they bury themselves in work. So we see this often more on the men’s side that they just retirement’s terrifying for them because, like you said, that purpose. Helping them understand to basically either maybe discover for the first time who really are they like, how do you understand identity? What defines that? You know, what what is purpose still in life outside of work? Help them. Sometimes they only know how to look for that, you know, so there’s a lot of education and reprogramming. Basically, to sum it up, you got to you got to help people understand. Like you’re looking at this in a different perspective. The priorities are flipped. It’s an identity issue. You got to know your enemy here. It’s not about money at this point or retirement investment or assets.

Chez Barbosa: It’s about who are you, not what do you do? And just a lot of education that comes with that. Given the giving them the tools on how to learn, then how to see it, how to identify what is still around them, that’s far more valuable than work and what kind of a legacy or impact are they leaving. So broadening that paradigm. That paradigm shift is key, but it’s very hard for people because, as you know, we get very tunnel vision and that’s what, 30, 40 year career. Eat, breathe and sleep it. Wake up the next day and then all of a sudden I don’t to do that anymore. What’s supposed to look like now. So it can feel very daunting. But there’s always hope in that it’s just about learning a new perspective on how to take on this new season. And then lastly, I found an immense amount of peace, when I when I learned how to look at life and seasons, that not everything is the way it needs to be forever, that’s overwhelming. So when you understand that everything happens in seasons, that just changes in perspective. It’s not this way forever. And there’s a new season. So there’s there’s a time for new to anticipate. But if you’re in a rough season, doesn’t mean it’s going to have to be that way for the rest of your life. And it can feel that way. So bottom line kind of reprogramming, educating and challenging their perspective is some big key points on how to work through that.

Brian Skrobonja: I’m guessing part of that and this is kind of the angle I take when I’m talking to clients, because it is part of our our I guess our consulting is to say, hey, look, you’re going to be retiring and this many days or this many months or whatever. Have you thought about what you’re going to do? Chances are when you think about retirement, it’s vacations. It’s not sitting on the couch eating potato chips, but those vacations are going to eventually stop. It’s not going to be this this thirty, forty years of vacations. So how are you going to be spending your time? Because that also comes into play with how we’re managing their cash flow and their budgets. And because we got to incorporate those types of things. Are you going to play golf every day? And so understanding those types of things I think is going to help with the mental side of it as well. I’m just having a purpose, having a plan. It boils down to just having a plan. I guess, you know, there’s so many rabbit trails we could chase with all this, right? I mean, there’s just so many things you could talk. You know, we talked a lot about marriage stuff. And I think it’s critically important tying that into some retirement stuff, which I think is great. But I guess and sometimes we can even look at it because goes back to what we say and the stigma when we talk about counseling in some way, we always kind of it kind of gets skewed to this idea of a problem.

Brian Skrobonja: Right. And of course, we all have problems all the time with different things, but it’s just focus on that problem. Instead of having the mindset of, hey, we’re trying to get to that next level, we’re trying to get to that better place. Right. So things may be OK, but we’re just trying to get to that that next place. Right. So anyway, I guess before we wrap up, I mean, is there is there if if somebody’s listening to this that may be struggling with some of these areas and could use some encouragement, what would you what would you say to them?

Chez Barbosa: Yeah, I mean, the loudest message to hear initially is there’s always hope. There’s always options. Even if you can’t see or feel, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. And so if you’re feeling hopeless, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re feeling stressed, which sums up for a lot of people, twenty, twenty. Just know that just because you like I said earlier, just because you’re feeling that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s real. I’m not discounting your emotion and all of us can I can resonate to some aspect of that. It’s especially been a rough year. And so for a lot of people, that means significant life change. And so while that’s definitely real and present, it does not mean that that is your dictator for where you’re going and what the future needs to look like or that you don’t have a way out or that there’s no way to to overcome that. And so to know that there’s always hope and there are resources out there, sometimes when we’re feeling so overwhelmed, we don’t know where to turn with it. So reach out to people that care about you, you know, reach out to your friends and family not to fix it, but just to maybe help you identify some of the steps you can take and some resources to connect you to.

Chez Barbosa: And just know, like I said. We live in a world of its good and bad technology and information at our fingertips, that’s bad in a lot of ways, but it’s also immensely invaluable in that we can just research all kinds of things here so we have access in a way that we never have. And so even if you’re not ready to go, be in person with somebody like there’s technology and there’s virtual platform. So bottom line, there are many ways that you can get help. It’s not the end of the road. There’s not a hopeless dead end here. And don’t let your feelings dictate what your next steps need to look like. There are things that can help and there are things that can be done no matter what your situation is. And just because you feel something doesn’t automatically make that true or false. You’ve got to also challenge what is true. So you’re always ultimately able and capable of taking control of what you feel and what’s going on around you. Sometimes you just need some help doing it. And so just know it never has to feel like it’s dead end.

Brian Skrobonja: Yeah, that’s a key thing there. And we talk a lot about this with clients is that, hey, a lot of times we worry about the things that we have no control over. So if we if we spend our time focus on the things we do have control over and making those things great, some of that other stuff fades into the background, right? Totally. Man, I really appreciate you coming on. I think the time spent was well worth it. I hope people get a lot out of this. I know a lot of people are thinking these things or struggling with these things and just having that little bit of hope and also some practical ways of pulling out of that I think is great. So thanks for joining us today.

Chez Barbosa: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Brian Skrobonja: Absolutely. If you have questions about what you heard about today or if you’d like to connect with Chez, go to my website at, follow the steps to connect with us on the consultation page. That concludes today’s podcast, I’m Brian Skrobonja. And thank you for listening to the Common Sense Financial podcast.