When we first began our debt free journey, we had a LOT of emotional issues that were bubbling beneath the surface. We didn’t know it at the time, but a lot of the reason for our debt problem was that we were spending to quell hidden fears and sadness. We had conditioned ourselves to live with a broke mindset, you see. This excerpt from the beginning of our journey will show you what I mean.
“SO, the first 4 days of our debt freedom journey were peaceful, quiet and uneventful. Smooth sailing, I thought to myself. Then yesterday came, and we had to head out for our first purchases of the year, save for some groceries we picked up on the 1st. We needed a gift for a birthday party that one of the youngins had to go to, and another of the youngins needed new boots. Her old boots were tight – super tight. We also needed a few more personal items like toilet paper and some groceries. We headed to the local Walmart, as they have the cheapest prices in our area. I got great deals on everything, and although I’ve found that I now have an aversion to spending any money at all ( I admit it, I can be a bit manic at times :-)), I handled it well. Then we went home, and that’s where the real trouble began.
I’m not sure how exactly it happened, but as I worked on some more budget stuff and encouraged myself by reading more debt free stories, little monsters of doubt, discouragement and fear attacked me like a vicious storm on a warm, sunny day. I was doing all that I could do, but panic set in, and the little voices started
You can’t do this. You’ll never do this.
You’re going to fail. The mountain is way too big. You’ll never make it to the top.
You might as well just give up now.
I was freaking out! Sheer panic took over, and I thought I might break down and cry right there. Then truth and reality came in. The comforting voice of the Lord was there to set the record straight:
You can do this. You will do this.
One step at a time. One day at a time.
Please don’t give up. Together, we will reach the top.”
You see, the monsters had come to work and discourage us from beginning our journey.
Most all people experience some hidden “monsters” when they begin to work on accomplishing a new goal. No matter if that goal is to lose weight, to start a new business or….to get out of debt.
If you are serious about getting debt free, you will experience opposition. Either from those around you, or from the voices in your own head, but you will experience opposition.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. – Albert Einstein
That mediocre mind might be your own, or it might be someone else’s, but whoever’s it is, make a decision that you won’t succumb to the pressure. Not now, not when you’ve finally gotten serious about getting out of debt.
Here are some tools for playing defense when that violent opposition comes your way:
Do Something Positive
Play a game. Clean something. Pray. Anything that will distract you and lift your spirits. Go for a walk or organize an area in your home. Positive activities promote a positive mind. Encourage yourself by doing something that will make you laugh, will improve your life or something that will make someone smile.
Invest in Continuing Education
You might find yourself more encouraged to continue your journey in spite of fear if you read some debt free stories, a book about getting debt free or building wealth or some money blog posts. Reading about those who have succeeded with money will help you overcome your own discouragement about your money situation and give you motivation to press on.
Recommended Reading: Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals
Call for Backup
Call a trusted friend or relative. Someone who’s on board with your plan and will encourage you and remind you that you CAN do this.
This is why many people recommend accountability partners for reaching financial and other goals. An accountability partner will have that objective view of your situation and be able to bring you back down when you’re feeling out of control, whether it be emotionally or financially.
You do have your list of “whys”, right? Remember, the list that reminds you why you said “yes” to committing to get out of debt. ?
If you don’t have one, make one; now, and refer to it daily. Let it be a daily reminder of why you don’t want to struggle with debt payments and balances any more. Maybe you want debt freedom so that you can have the ability to change jobs. Or maybe you want it so you and your spouse won’t fight about money anymore. Maybe you’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired as you juggle payments and balances.
Your “why” will help push you through the rough spots of your “getting out of debt” journey.
Do Something to Push Yourself Forward
A good way to give fear and doubt a kick in the pants as you’re paying off debt is to do something that will lower your debt balance or help you save money. Revisit your budget, cut something down for this month, and go online and make an extra payment toward your debt. Lower your cell phone bill or insurance bill by shopping around.
Sell something and put the money toward debt. Cash in your change jar and put the money toward debt. Just do something that will show your debt “Hey, I’m not messing around with you anymore. I’m serious this time.”
Prove to yourself and your emotions that you are in control of your money. Those monsters that are working to pull you down and make you give up? Like the monster in the picture, they’re not truly as big as they pretend to be.
No matter how long your journey, or how big your mountain, you can be debt free. Don’t let anyone or anything tell you otherwise. 🙂