Courage is Contagious. An act of courage by one person can trigger a domino effect which results in an aftermath that could shake the very foundation on which we stand. We’ve seen courageous people stand up for what they believe. We’ve even seen courageous souls take a knee. Courage unites us. It gives us the drive to march for our cause. To rebel against those that try to silence us and to force a change in the hands of the corrupt, but this same courage can somehow skip a beat when it comes to facing our finances.
Last week on twitter I was sharing my story of how I was always afraid to face my student loan debt. I alone had over $125,000. Every time I’d look at the number I’d become physically ill. I’d experience dizziness, shortness of breath, and even nausea. I would become so weak that all I could do is sit in utter denial that I had that much debt to pay back. Does what I’m describing sound familiar? It’s probably the same experience many of you have had. No matter what the amount facing debt is paralyzing.
Most of us deal with our debt by pretending it’s not there. Pretending is like putting a band-aid on a gushing hose. It might make us feel better, you know, like we did something, but it was never intended to solve the problem. So how do you find the courage to face your debt?
Change your Mindset
It starts with changing your thought process. We are all victims of our own minds. I told myself for years that I would never be able to pay off my student loans. I let myself believe that lie. It all changed for me when I started focusing on a bigger picture. In my head I allowed myself to envision a better life. Life in which my entire paycheck was not being eaten alive by “payments due.”. This is why I the first few months of Broke on Purpose were no holds bar. I needed to prove to myself that I could make strides in breaking down the debt wall!
Change How You Speak of Yourself
My next step to finding the courage to pay off my debt was that I didn’t let old money habits define me and I didn’t let other people define me by my old money habits. Instead of saying “I’m a spender.” I say “I USED TO BE a spender.”. It was vital for me to separate the old me who was drowning in debt and couldn’t see her way out from the new me who had a plan and was paying off debt left and right. By taking the initiative to change the tone of the conversation I turned my negative situation into a positive one, thus giving others the courage to do the same.
Change Your Actions
It’s easy to say “I want to get out of debt”, or “this year is my year.”, But if you’re actions don’t match your talk then you may as well be speaking to dry bones. You have to put in the work! The one quote that I hold dear to my heart is something I tell myself on a constant basis.
“You can’t keep asking for increase while doing things that cause you to decrease.”
I didn’t see change until I started putting in the work. Late Nights. Early Mornings. Weekends. Marcus didn’t join me on this Broke on Purpose journey until he saw that this wasn’t just another one off attempt to try and pay off our debt. I’d made several attempts before and failed. I even still get the Facebook “On this date” reminders where it shares something we posted. Every time I see one of those I think to myself “what if I’d of stuck with it then?”. Moving forward I can’t to see those reminder post and reflect back on how far we’ve come.
Finding the courage to face your debt is as simple as changing how you think, how you speak of yourself, and your actions. Don’t be afraid to talk about your situation/journey with others. You’d be surprised at how many people can relate and offer a supportive hand to guide you along the way. To continue this topic, another great post to check out is “How to Stand Up to Your Financial Mistakes and Win“.