If your current financial situation includes debt, you are not alone. In fact, in many parts of the world, having some amount of debt is more common than being debt-free. The question that seems to elude many is, “How do I get and stay out of debt?” As someone who has walked that path, going from $180,000 of debt to owning and operating businesses, acquiring properties in various places around the world and thriving financially, I know that it can be done. I also know that if I can do it, you can too.
These are my top 4 tips on how to eliminate debt, go beyond any money problem you think you have, and into the true wealth that is possible.
1. Get clear on your current financial situation
One of the greatest misconceptions about debt is that it is unchangeable. When you have this point of view, the tendency is to ignore and avoid your finances rather than looking at what steps you can take to create something different. When I recognized that no one was going to come along and fix the financial situation that I had created and that I was the only one who could change it, I stopped ignoring my finances, got clear on what was occurring and started using the Access Consciousness tools that I had been using to change other areas of my life, to change my money situation too. I got out my computer, poured a glass of wine and went through the numbers. How much was I bringing in? How much did I owe? What amount of money did I require each month to pay off the debt and have the life I desired? Now, the very important question, “What is it going to take to create this?” Ignoring your finances will never create greater. When you stop ignoring and look at it, then you can change it. You can change absolutely anything.
2. Be willing to go beyond your comfort zone
Have you ever known someone who was in a relationship that they really did not enjoy and yet they stayed in it anyway? Why is that? Most people create and stay in what they are comfortable with. The same is true of money. Whatever amount of money you are making right now, is the amount you are comfortable with. Whatever amount of debt you have right now, is the amount you are comfortable with. I know this makes no logical sense, but if you will have an honest look, you may find it to be true.
How did you grow up? What was your socioeconomic status? What kind of neighborhood do you live in now? What things shaped your point of view about money?
What you are familiar with is often what you are comfortable with and if you are not willing to go beyond your comfort zone, you will limit the amount of money you can receive. Ask, “What amount of money am I comfortable with? Now, what would it take to receive more and go beyond my comfort zone?”
3. Stop your financial insanity
Two weeks after getting out of debt, I was back in. Just like that. Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I knew that if I desired to have something different, I had to choose something different. I started to ask, “What do I Iove about creating debt?” Again, this does not make logical sense. Why would anyone love debt? Yet, if you are creating it, there is something you love about it. When I asked this question, I became aware of so many things. I realized that I knew the energy of debt so well. It was familiar. It was comfortable. I was well acquainted with what it was like to have that anxiety or that panic about paying a bill, wondering where the money was going to come from. Or the thrill of creating a job at the last minute so I could take care of all my expenses.
If you desire a financial reality that is different than the one you keep repeating, you must get to the other side. Ask, “What do Ilove about creating debt? What do I hate about having money? What’s something different that I could choose right now? What change do I need to make? What action can I take?” Make the demand that you will have something different. Ask questions and act. Every single day. Even if it is one step, take it!
4. Keep living!
Whatever your current financial reality is, it is vital that you keep living. Far too often, people look at their debt and decide that every extra dollar that comes in must go to pay off that debt. If you choose this, you will cut off the joy of living which also limits the amount of money you can receive. Money follows joy. Joy does not follow money. This is a very key piece. You still must live. You are allowed to live.
Look at the dollar amount of your debt and ask, “How long will it take me to pay this off? How much money can I set aside to pay it off? Have the awareness of all of this. Keep choosing the things that bring you and your body joy. Give yourself permission to live and enjoy life while you are on your way to Getting Out of Debt Joyfully.
Changing your financial reality is a marathon not a sprint. Now, keep moving forward.