Your mindset plays a large role in getting through the process of getting out of debt.
Debt can feel daunting, but it’s something you can overcome. There are going to be times when you’re frustrated and want to lie down and have a pity party but don’t. All right maybe 10 minutes of a p party and then it’s back to work. If you’re there now, there are four ways you can keep your mind resilient when in debt.
Talk with someone
When you have a lot of debt, it can feel yucky, like a dirty little secret. Many people are in your same situation—you’re not alone. Talk with someone, a friend, pastor, priest, spiritual leader, or counselor, you pick. Saying your money worries out loud is empowering and freeing. I’m not saying you have to stand on the red ball at Target and yell it, but share it with someone you trust. By acknowledging you need to work on your debt problems, you’re taking the first steps to take back you financial life by staying mentally tough.
Make a Plan of Attack
When you have debt, it can be overwhelming: where do I begin, how do I begin, what do I do? There are a hundred questions, and you need answers. In fact, people can lose track of physically starting the work of getting out of debt and instead get stuck thinking about the problem. Quickly write down your goal of paying down your debt. Then get brainstorming on how to come up with more to accomplish your goal. Here’s an example:
Save more money to pay down my debt
- Get a part-time job doing something you love
- Become a coupon queen and ask Grandma to send me her coupons, too
- Start carpooling to work
- Spend less on eating out
- Use a meal plan and make shopping lists before grocery shopping
- Go on a spending fast
- Cut off cable and read more
Once you have some ideas, start implementing—you don’t have to do them all at once. Just start making small changes, and then you can add more ideas to your attack plan when you’ve gotten into the swing of things. By creating a plan, you’re taking control of your debt situation and are therefore are mentally prepared.
Track With a Vengeance
By that I mean track your money like you’ve got a score to settle—know every penny you are making and spending. Most of those in debt have stopped managing their money. It becomes easier just to spend and not think about the repercussions. When you stop tracking your money, it creates a fear of the unknown and makes the problem worse. In reality, having a clear picture of your debt and financial life puts things into perspective and allows you to take back control.
“What gets measured gets managed.”
Being positive is essential to staying mentally tough when you’re in debt. When I first meet with people in debt, they are most often down in the dumps. It’s understandable when you feel scared and uncertain about the future. The problem is most people are living in their financial past, and it’s keeping them in a negative state. To change your mentality about solving the problem, release yourself from the money mistakes you’ve made, everyone has them. Look at each mistake, take one a lesson or two learned, and then let go and get to work on your future. If you’ve any doubts, I’m here to start your positivity train—you can and will conquer your debt, don’t tell yourself anything different.
“Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” Tony Robbins
Life, in general, challenges you all the time, but when you’re in debt, those challenges can be even more grueling. Being mentally resilient is an important part of getting out of debt. Take these four ways to stay mentally tough and start now.