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A huge component of Financial Independence is becoming Debt Free. When Timika and I counsel that FI is for everyone, we sincerely mean that! Even if you currently have debt. Both of us have either paid off significant amounts of debt, or are in the process of doing so and we are BOTH on the road to FI. So do not let your fear or your shame about your debt prevent you from fully participating. Absorb everything, then begin executing your plan to be debt free. And if you need help? That’s what we are here for. In this original post from girlFIday.com, Wendy shares some of her debt history and how she has dealt with Debt Shame.
DON’T LET YOUR FEAR OF JUDGEMENT PREVENT YOU FROM FREEING YOURSELF OF DEBT ONCE AND FOR ALL
I try to be a pretty open book. When you coach others to become debt free, you kind of have to get used to sharing the mistakes you have made financially. It’s what makes us relatable. So, the thought that debt, and the magnitude of others debt, would be something that many simply keep secret was surprising to me. This came to light during a discussion with a colleague. I was sharing my passion about helping others get out of debt and how I would love to share it on a larger scale. She looked at me in surprise and said, “do you really think people will talk about it?” The more I thought about her question – the more I recognized the magnitude of the issue and the shame that surrounds it.
We live in America. This is the “Land of the Free”. This is where dreams come true and anyone can make it. Others risk their lives to live here in pursuit of their dream. So, what does that mean for those of us who have or who ARE struggling? Who are burdened by our debt? In our minds, right or wrong, we are failures. We have fallen short. There is something in us that is deficient. And all of that brings us shame. Failure – shame. OUCH.
Shame is powerful. Shame can lead to paralysis. It can lead to secrets. It can prevent us from seeking the help we need. Shame at its root is fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of rejection. Fear of losing something or someone. Since the beginning of time fear and shame have been with us. In the Garden of Eden, it was shame and fear that led Adam and Eve to hide themselves from God. Today, we suffer the same fear and shame when we make poor choices. Often, like little children, our first reaction is to hide what we have done. What we must realize; however, is that healing, success, and growth will not happen until we can expose these missteps, bring our failures into the light and seek to make right our poor choices.
I can tell you more times than not, when my husband and I have shared our past failures, what has happened is someone later comes to us and asks for help or they share that they, too, had similar circumstances with debt and how they turned it around. Not once have I had someone shame me or judge me (at least not to my face). Does it mean that you have to shout your debt situation from the street corner or stand up in front of a room and proclaim you are a failure with debt? Of course not. But you do need to come out of hiding. Seek out others. Talk about it. For now, maybe that may simply mean you have found this site and you comment or message me how to get started, or you have picked up a book or joined a Facebook group full of virtual friends. Whatever route you have chosen and you feel most comfortable with – just get out there so that you can finally break free of your debt and move towards a life of financial freedom. You will be glad you did and I am certain you will discover that the rewards of facing your shame are far greater than the fear that kept you shackled to it.
My hope is that I can be a resource to you. There is nothing that you have done that will surprise or shock me. I’ve made some doozy mistakes in my lifetime and we have turned things around. Chances are we have been exactly where you are. But most importantly, there is no shame here. Lift your head, be brave and breath in….and then exhale and get to work. How can I help? [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]