Past debts can be like a black cloud constantly hovering over our heads. Credit cards bills, student loan payments and even our car note can turn into very unpleasant reminders of our former lives. But for many of us, debt has just become a way of life. It causes us to put money in the spotlight, along with how many hours we work, how much we make and how hard it is to get ahead.
These types of conversations are pretty popular in the media these days; even some social conversations that turn to money end up being of the “I worked X hours this week” variety. The more comfortable our society has gotten with debt, the easier it’s been for people to find a reason to get into a lot of it. Students are coming out of college with six figures worth of debt and a mid-five figure income — if they’re lucky. Yet it’s okay because “everyone has it.” If this is true, then why do so many of us have this burden of debt on our shoulders?
I’ve talked a lot about the crabs in your bucket; crabs are the people or things that pull you back down when you’ve made progress towards a goal. Often times, this is can be debt. When you allow things – or people – to be a crab in your life, you are giving away your personal power. Every time you’ve said you couldn’t do something because of your debt (weekend getaway? new dress? get married or have kids?), you gave your debt more credit than it deserves.
Don’t make debt the major deciding factor in how you want to live your life. Will your debt make some things more difficult to accomplish right now? Of course, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start chipping away at what’s truly important to you. Taking small steps towards big goals is a great way to both pay down debt and live a life you’re proud of. Start making choices that vibe more with your authentic life, and let go of the thinking that things can’t be done because of debt.
Your life doesn’t have to be run by the money that you owe. Creating a life that you love shouldn’t be defined by the one you fell into in the past. Look for small ways to make big changes in your life right now regardless of money. That could be anything from making better choices with food; changing jobs for more income and better quality of life; or picking up new hobbies and expanding your social circle.
Nothing is set in stone; your life will be dictated by your debt for as long as you allow it. This is your life, not your debt’s life. Choose to change right now in the small ways that you can, and the money situation – as well as the debt – will work itself out.