A client complained that his debt wasn’t going away. He said he’d paid several big payments toward his credit card bill but the balance was still huge. I asked questions about how he actually felt about the debt. He said he felt bad because “everyone knows that credit card debt is bad.” My radar went up.
Did we talk about a plan to pay it off? Nope.
Did we talk about how the debt got there? No, again.
We talked about the perception that credit card debt is bad.
If you feel bad about current debt, you have no freedom. You’ll hear voices in your head like:
“Shame on me for using that credit card.”
“You are not very good with money.”
“You should never buy anything on a credit card ever again.”
Take note: These statements immediately make you feel like a victim, weak, and/or wrong. Not very empowering, are they? When you’re feeling guilty for something you did in your past, you’ll find it very hard to be powerful in the present.
Guilt and shame are the most disempowering emotions you can experience. Not to mention, if all of your attention is going to “bad debt,” guess what you will attract? More of the same kind of debt!
Be grateful for what the credit or loan gave you.
Why not be regret-free on your way to debt-free?!
By no means am I telling you to go out and rack up debt. But to feel bad about what has been done is simply useless. The only reason to look back at things you’re not pleased about is to look at what you’ve learned through the experience.
The learning is best done by being objective. Did your actions bring you the desired outcome? What other options could you have chosen at the time?
You can play the same game on yourself when you wallow in sorrow about how you didn’t make your income goals last year or how you should’ve invested in something but didn’t.
Your life is not a test on how well you do financially. We’re all going to miss opportunities, be compulsive, be scared, think inside the box, or be lazy at some point.
So what?! Move on. Step up to the plate and swing again. Swing with more focus, power, and commitment. And swing joyfully!
When you beat yourself up, you create separation from self. You feel small and make the situation larger than it is.
Two of the most empowering emotions are appreciation and joy. You can even appreciate the lessons you’ve learned from every decision you’ve made in the past about money. So, look forward and backward in your life with your highest good in mind. There is no such thing as a mistake. Only experiences.
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