Debt Got You Down? Read This and Get Back Up.
Posted August 19, 2014 6:22 p.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2014 6:24 p.m. EDT
Dealing with debt worries and stress can make you feel like your life is dark, hopeless and not worth facing another day. And while you feel that way, it's not reality.
I wish I had a magic wand to make you see the way forward but for some reason people feel compelled to make all sorts of the same mistakes over-and-over again, never learning from others, constantly learning the same hard lessons.
From my point in life I think that's a lot like everyone lining up to smack themselves in the face with a bat because they never saw the outcome of others doing that. People in debt suffer in silence but seem condemned to learn all the same lessons all over for the first time.
But maybe it's time to share some general life lessons that can help those stuck in the slippery rut of debt to face another day and plow through to real relief.
So here goes.
There is No Sense Wasting a Perfectly Good Mistake
Everybody makes mistakes. I make mistakes. You make mistakes. The key is not to beat yourself up over what you might have done but to learn from the experience and do better the next time. Don't put the mistake out of your mind. Actively think about it and learn from it. Then put it behind you. Failure is a priceless lesson that can be a gift if you let it.
Far too many people keep walking backwards in life and are constantly looking the wrong way and regretting the wake behind them. That's not where life is really lived. Stop. Turn around. And look forward.
Instead of dwelling in the past, keep you gaze on tomorrow, not yesterday. Every day is a new day to do better in life and if you are not looking forward you will most likely trip over something unexpected again and fall.
Don't Be Your Own Victim
Accept responsibility for the things you've done. Nobody made you do stupid things. Nobody made you do the things you know you've done. Nobody put a gun to your head and made you do anything, but yourself. Don't blame anyone else for your situation. It is what it is and you not powerless at the hand of someone else.
Life is Hard and Has No Guarantees
I think while people might not show it, everyone struggles with life. To various degrees people struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, dependence, being a victim, not taking control, giving up, running away, more depression and all the other things that make up being perfectly flawed.
While life is hard and obstacles may seem gigantic, each day is a new opportunity for a fresh start and a healthy dose of gratitude. There is so much opportunity for joy in every waking moment if you let it in. The key is to learn how to pull the drapes open enough to see the sun.
You might not feel you are worthy or amazing enough but none of that really matters. You don't have to be awesome or multitalented to be amazing. You can be a celebrity just by being nice to everyone you meet. You can be grateful for every little thing that comes into your life tomorrow. Be happy for the person who held the door open for you or the person who says hello at the grocery store. Be thankful for the roof over your head or the hugs that wait for you on demand. Be thankful someone in the world knows how you like your coffee.
You Are Not On Fire
Right now you might be really down and feel like you have failed everyone in your life. But no matter how bad you might feel right now, Do not allow that weight to drown out your life because the situation could always be worse. While you are struggling with addiction someone else is being sold into sexual slavery.
My good friends know a life motto of mine is, "at least I'm not on fire." No matter how bad things might feel at any given moment, being on fire always seem like a fate that could be worse. I might have a nail through my hand but you know what, I'm not on fire.
And speaking of not being on fire you don't have Ebola and you don't live in a garbage dump. Things could be so much worse in so many ways but they are not. So celebrate what you do have and stop allowing your regrets to eat away at your future like acid on metal.
The Secret to Success is No Secret
I'm not sure what success means to a lot of people. For some it is the accumulation of material goods. For others it is the accomplishment of a bucket list or goals.
I even wrote a book about this topic which you can download for free. Read "The Path to Happiness and Wealth."
In my life I've met so many wealthy people who are just plain not admirable. I've met people in bad neighborhoods who are the kindest people on earth. I've met a lot of good and great people in between.
But here is what I've learned, there is no shortcut to whatever your success is. Success requires hard work. Hard work is the secret to success. Maybe for you right now hard work just means facing life in a positive way one hour at a time and one day at a time. That's probably really hard work but that's what it will take. You become successful by being determined and stupid enough to keep trying, not by deserving success and getting it that way.
When You Fall, Take a Day Off to Regroup
We all feel regret and remorse for screwing things up or making a mistake. Depending on the size of the error you might need to just take a day off and try to process what happened, learn from the mistake, and put it behind you. Once you've done that and had a day, get back to the journey ahead. Life isn't going to wait for you.
You Screwed Up. So What.
Stop apologizing for screwing up. You screwed up. You know it. You might think other people know it. You might worry about what other people think about you. Who cares what they think.
The best way to neutralize a massive screw up is to let it be a life altering lesson. There is nothing that prevents you from being a better person, living a better life, and being a ray of sunshine in the lives of others on the other side of your mistake.
You Are Owed Nothing
Life owes you nothing. You are not entitled to your next breath, the next "I love you" from someone dear to you, a hug, the next beautiful day, or a better tomorrow. Whatever lies ahead of you is not something you are entitled to. The only thing you can do is apply what you've learned so far and make tomorrow a new day, be grateful for every little good thing in the day and be a better you hour-by-hour.
Nobody is going to work harder that you are willing to work yourself.
Let Good People Help You
All that being said about having to do it all yourself there are people around you who you can turn to for help to make it across those rickety moments. Let us help when we can and people who care about you will walk with you on your journey to help you when you need help.
So Where is the Debt Advice?
This is all good advice to break the bondage of debt. Unless you can get your life headed back in a positive direction the debt problems will emotionally drag you back into the dark pit of debt.
The getting out of debt part is actually the easiest bit of all this. All you have to do is get your head in a good place and then dealing with the debt is logical exercise and not a personal attack on your self-worth.
If you've read all the above then maybe it's time to read this and make today the start of a better life ahead.
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy
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