Paying off a substantial amount of debt is difficult, but certainly not impossible. With belief and commitment, you can get out of debt for good. It’s all about getting into the right mindset and really wanting to be free from debt! The road to debt freedom contains plenty of ups and downs and as well as these, you might find yourself experiencing a rollercoaster ride of emotions along the way.
Every Wednesday for the next 4 weeks, I’ll be writing about some common emotions that go hand in hand with getting out of debt along with some practical advice on how to deal with them. If you missed any of the emotions I’ve covered previously, here they are: Fear; Denial; Anger; Regret; Acceptance and Passion.
Stage 7: Hope
Being in debt can be such a heavy burden for many people so it’s no wonder that the emotions that we could feel because of being in debt are often thought of as negative and depressing. Debt can be pretty evil after all.
However, one of the reasons I started this series is to highlight the good emotions that can come with having debt. And ‘Hope’ is one of these!
What is hope?
“Grounds for believing that something good may happen.” Source: Oxford Dictionaries
If you’ve ever seen ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, you might recall this famous tag line from the film: “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” I love this film and that line!
It’s not uncommon to think that hoping for something is pointless and only leads to disappointment when we get let down (or let ourselves down). But the alternative is bleak and I personally think that having hope can help us to get through some very difficult stages in our lives.
Hope can be the foundation for achieving many good things, as it spurs us on to keep going when times are tough. We will surely achieve more in life with hope than without it. When we’ve laid the foundations for tackling our debt and are serious about doing what it takes to become debt free once and for all, hope is a powerful emotion that we can allow ourselves to feel.
In the context of debt, hope is our belief that one day the debt will be gone. Even when we face major hurdles in our mission to become debt free, as long as we have hope, we will likely one day achieve our goal of debt freedom.
I believe that hope is a powerful and positive emotion which can help anyone in debt to see their journey to debt freedom through from start to finish.
How you can use hope to set you (debt) free
Really believe that you can get out of debt
I know I’ve mentioned this before already in this series but I will say it again! If you really want to become debt free, you have to believe that you can get out of debt and follow this up by taking action each day to help you achieve this. Don’t just wish for a miracle to happen which will sort things out financially for you. Real hope is that belief that you can do something to improve your situation.
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther
Prepare for disappointment
When paying down your debt, you will at some point encounter hurdles and challenges along the way. This might be in the form of unexpected bills cropping up when you least expect them or a change in personal circumstances which leaves you strapped for cash.
When you really hope for something and then ‘life’ happens which means things aren’t going your way, you could end up feeling disappointed at the very least. Disappointment can be a crushing feeling to contend with and may even knock you off track in terms of getting out of debt. The best way to get through this is to prepare for disappointment without losing hope.
This might sound difficult but it’s not really. We all suffer disappointments in our lives and getting out of debt will be no different. When challenges present themselves, pick yourself up and get on with paying down your debt again as soon as you can. Remember your end goal and hang onto the hope of getting there. And you will!
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Find your inner strength
Getting out of debt will take strength and willpower to keep going even when you really don’t want to. If you don’t have the strength and willpower which will be needed to get out of debt for good, then you may end up only getting so far before giving in again to the cycle of debt.
You’ll have to be strong when it comes to making purchasing decisions and when it comes to saying ‘no’ to your family and friends if you know that you can’t really afford that meal out or to splash money on gifts for them like you may have done in the past.
With strength comes hope! Don’t waiver in your strength or you’ll fall back into the debt trap and you’ll be back to square one again.
“A strong mind always hopes, and always has cause to hope.” Thomas Carlyle
Don’t be afraid to dream
When you look at your finances now, what do you dream of? Are you wishing you could live debt free but don’t really want to think too hard about this for fear of letting yourself down?
If you have a dream, you have hope. There’s nothing wrong with having a vision for what you’ll do with your life when the debts are gone – in fact, it’s necessary in my opinion. You may find that your dream changes over time as the process of becoming debt free starts to be a reality at last. But either way, having that vision for the future is really important and having hope will get you there.
“There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.” Jonas Salk
Hope can’t be all that pointless because without it, what are we left with? Despair… depression…. negativity? Who needs those rubbish feelings when they’re trying to get out of debt? Not me and not you! It’s time to change things and start letting hope set you (debt) free.
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Image courtesy of Flickr. This image has been altered with a text overlay by A Disease Called Debt.