Debt is, unfortunately, a way of life for many. People are in various degrees of debt. If you’re in a lot of debt, as challenging as you may find your situation to be, don’t do the following:
Don’t Run Away From It
It’s understandable to not want to deal with your debt, to want to run away from it, to ignore the reminders, to leave the bills and reminders stacking up unopened, to pretend they don’t exist. But you’re only making the situation worse and putting off what you’ll have to deal with eventually. Also, ignoring it will make it seem like a bigger monster than it actually is. Stare it in the face. Don’t look away. If you can’t get yourself to open the letters, seek a loved one to sit with you while you open them.
Choosing to open those letters, to stare the monster in the face and not look away, to take stock of it, you see it for what it is. There is power in that.
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Don’t Think You’re Worthless
Debt isn’t a direct reflection of who a person is or their worth. It says nothing about who you care about or who you love. It says nothing about the joys you’ve felt or who you’ve helped. It says nothing about the special meal you cooked for a loved one. It says nothing about the person you taught to swim or ride a bike.
Debt happens. You still are who you are. You just happen to be in debt.
Don’t Blame Yourself
There’s a difference between taking responsibility and blaming yourself. Blame is heavy, can be debilitating, and can make a person feel worse than they already do. It can keep you where you are and can stop you from taking action/moving forward. Taking responsibility is a different energy – it moves, is not stagnant, and lends itself to taking action.
Don’t Think You’re Alone
There’s help out there. Citizen’s Advice Bureau. The Money Advice Service. Debt Counselors. Debt management plans (click here for an example).
You’re not alone. You don’t have to deal with your debts on your own. Reach out and make use of the resources that are there for you.
Don’t Think Your Situation Is an Endless Road
No matter how long you’ve been in debt for, it’s a temporary situation. You weren’t always in debt, you won’t always be in debt, and you won’t always be in as much debt as you’re in now.
Being in debt is nothing to be ashamed of and could be one of the things holding you back from doing something about it. Tell someone. Seek debt counselling. It’s what it’s there for – to support you and help you get through this.
Someone has been where you are; someone is no longer there. It means it’s possible for you too. Hold on to that, and again, make use of all the resources that are available to you.