3 Emotional Effects Of Debt Lessons

Have you ever been upset by a random story you read online?

I remember reading a tragic story on the BBC news and getting really troubled by it.

A newly retired American couple had embarked on the much-anticipated round-the-world trip.

After years of servitude to responsibilities (job, kids, and whatnots), the time had finally come for them to relax and enjoy what life after retirement could offer.

And guess what different plan fate has for them?

On the first leg of the trip, the husband fell to his death from a famous tourist attraction.

I remember blurting out:

Oh, why them?! Why now?!

They were strangers to me. But the tragic event really upset me—the cruelty and unfairness of life and all.

Life’s Randomness and Unfairness

Millions of people spend their whole life working, saving, and preparing for the future.

Along the way, some of us fall ill, get dealt a bad hand, and face a cruel fate like the unfortunate couple above.

Life is unpredictable; we simply don’t know when our time is up.

I’m not saying this to paint a bleak picture of life or to advocate:

“Let’s just live for today because we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

That would be plain wrong (and unwise).

But life’s randomness and unfairness can give us a better perspective.

And that’s precisely what we need when we tackle the debt: a clear head and a new perspective.

Without both, we struggle daily with fear, panic, stress, anger, and depression.

That’s just too much to bear. 

Below are 3 debt lessons I’ve learned during the most difficult time of my life.

They put me in a whole different mindset so that I could deal with debt in a positive way.

Debt Lessons No. 1: “Debt is One Part of Our Life”

After closing down my online shop, I faced a debt so large that I felt paralysed.

And I panicked.

How am I ever going to pay off all this?

It was an insurmountable amount that scared me.

I wished for some invisible hole to swallow me and make me disappear.

I had spent so long in that state that I got myself ill and ended up having minor surgery.

My immediate thought (after coming around from the surgery) was:

What if I died?

Only a few days prior to the surgery, I had read that a patient had died due to an allergic reaction to anesthesia.

What if I had a bad reaction like her and died there and then?

Then there was another thought.

What if I knew I was going to die in a few hours’ time? Would I be so worried about my debt?

Hmm… probably not.

It’d be the last thing I’d worry about, considering all my debt would die with me.

By worrying about it constantly, I made my life all about my debt when, in fact, debt was only a part of it.

Debt Lessons No. 2: “Debt is Just a Problem That Needs a Solution”

While struggling through university, one life motto got me through:

Every problem has a solution.

I chanted the phrase whenever I was plunged into challenging situations.

Eventually, I put myself through education.

Whatever life threw at me, I looked for solutions instead of dwelling on the problems.

Sure enough, every time, I’d find solutions, one way or another.

And I realised I had forgotten all about that because my mind was preoccupied with problems, not solutions.

The random comment on an online forum by someone saying “any debt can be solved” has woken me up and brought out my old self.

And I decided to face my debt head-on as I had done many times before, and tackle it systematically.

So, I sat down, did my first budget, cut out expenses straight away, and started looking for opportunities to increase my earnings.

Remember, debt is a fixable problem.

The moment you step away from worry, anxiety, and stress over debt and turn your focus on solutions, you’ll relieve negative emotions and start seeing opportunities to reduce debt.

Debt Lessons No. 3: “Don’t Let Debt Define Us”

Whether it’s from bad choices or life’s unfortunate events such as medical emergencies, car repairs, divorce, job loss, or business failure, debt doesn’t define us.

Sure, it can knock us down. H.A.R.D

But never forget that we’re not our debt.

We have the ability to work out what went wrong and what to do to put things right.

We set off on the new trajectory of our lives, approaching everything with a conscious mind and making good choices.

In the process, we become humble, show empathy to others, change our money mindset, be free from material possessions, be resilient, learn to be fearless, and become a better person.

And we are made up of all those things, not just our debt.

Final Thoughts

We have only so much time in this life.

We’ve already wasted enough time on emotional turmoil—I certainly did.

See the big picture of your life as a whole and realise that debt is just a small part of it. It’s fixable and needs a solution, and it doesn’t define us.

Celebrate a day-to-day achievement while chipping away at debt.

And know that debt doesn’t have to nor should stop you from living your best life.

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