Paying of debt and finding success with money can be intimidating. When it comes to debt, you already feel behind and even ashamed of your status, yet you also feel the pressure to do something you have never done well. So how do you overcome the fear and insecurity that holds you back to tackle your debt? As someone who has personally dealt with this, here is how to find confidence when paying off debt.
Table of Contents
My Own Insecurities
For as long as I remember, I have been insecure. Initially, it was because I was this short, skinny kid who would be treated different and didn’t always feel like one of the guys. I am still thin and of average height at best and still find it tough to fit in with people. So often I feel as though no one is listening to what I have to say and question whether it is even valuable. I tend to be really passionate about my interests and feel it isolates me from others and even those with similar interests.
Things have gotten better as I have gotten older and more independent, but when it came to money, it was no different and I still have insecurities.
I am glad though that I find the confidence to believe that I could be good with money because it has lifted a weight off my shoulders that I never knew existed. It has opened a whole new world to me that has helped to boost my confidence in multiple areas of my life.
With that said, I still have my insecurities and constantly feel behind others in all aspects of my life at times. It is so easy to look at the success of others or realize a mistake I made and feel totally isolated or inadequate.
What I do know though is that I do have value and that if I gave in to the insecurities this world would be worse off so it is important for me to push the insecurity aside and step out in faith.
You can probably relate as everyone has insecurities so let’s work together and help each other.
How To Find Confidence When Paying Off Debt
Whether it is insecurity, shame, lack of knowledge or something else, it does not have to define you.
We all inherently know how to be good with money. At its core, regardless of your life experiences, there is one golden rule.
Spend less than you earn and save/invest the rest and you will be OK.
The good thing is that it is simply a math problem.
The bad thing is that emotions get caught up into it and they have a way of tricking us into not believing that we can be successful.
To get over the negatives, here is how to find confidence when paying off debt.
1. Replace Negative Influences With Positive Influences
Up to this point, you have probably been inundated with negative influences telling you aren’t good enough or can’t do it. This can both be from others and yourself.
Go easy on yourself just as you would other people.
If you have people in your life that are feeding these negative thoughts, then you need to get rid of them. I know that sounds harsh, but it isn’t healthy for you. Either stop spending time with these people, which is not always possible, or at least stop talking to them about this subject. If you are in an abusive situation then seek help, but most of us just have bad influences that want to hold you back.
Positive influences are successful friends and family, books, podcasts and blogs that you can relate to and make you feel comfortable yet still push you.
Find influences that treat you equal even though you are learning from them. The last thing you need is to feel inferior to the people that you are listening to.
The best example I can think of that represent what you want to do is replacing dirty water with clean water in a glass. Next time you are drinking a dirt green smoothie put the glass under the faucet and turn the water on. As the water runs, you will see the dirty muck get replaced by pure and clean water.
This is what you need to do with your head to get you thinking clearly.
It will not happen overnight though. It took me about a year of listening to Dave Ramsey to believe that I could be like others having success.
Keep in mind that not all critical comments are negative, but if you can’t trust the source then it is tough to filter them out.
And sometimes you just need to trust yourself. You know yourself best, so do what is right for you.
2. Look At Your Past Success
It is tough to feel confident with money when you haven’t been so great with it. How are you supposed to just change and start having success?
There are two effective ways to do this.
- Keep listening to those positive influences. Specifically, find debt free stories that inspire you and listen to interviews of others who have done what you are trying to do. Don’t get jealous, just listen.
- Find and reflect on your past successes.
While it may not feel like you have any past successes to draw upon, you do. No doubt, you absolutely have some.
Dwell on those. Most likely there is something you can pull from to help boost your confidence.
Know that you have done it before and that you can do it again.
Even if you feel you have done nothing right with money, look at it as a positive. Just don’t do those bad things again and you will turn things around in no time. Right?
A little sarcasm there, but don’t underestimate the value of your past experiences.
3. Build Up Small Wins
Gaining traction is one of the toughest things you can do with your debt payoff.
For that reason alone, I suggest to start your debt payoff using the debt snowball to pay off your loans and see progress quick.
Before you even look to pay off a loan though, break it down ever further.
Maybe it is just going 2 days without eating out at all or simply completing your first budget ever. You get to determine what is important to you so choose something that will have an impact.
Don’t just do what others tell you either, including me. You know yourself, if there is something small that would give you a boost, then go for it.
For me, it was doing a budget on Sunday and after spending according to the budget through the following Thursday, I saw that we would have extra money each month. At that point, 4 days into our debt payoff, I knew we had this. Seriously, it was that one simple moment that gave me the confidence to hang in there for the long haul.
We still hadn’t even made an extra payment at that point but it didn’t matter. We were going to do this.
Also, it isn’t about being perfect. We are simply looking for improvement. Incremental improvement goes a long way to reaching and exceeding your goals.
4. Tell Yourself You Can Do It
Fake it until you make it. That is advice I have heard often and it does seem to have a positive effect.
To piggy back on the first suggestion, you need positive reinforcement. If you are telling yourself you can’t do it, then you are self-sabotaging yourself. This can be detrimental to your debt payoff, let alone your entire wellbeing.
If you identify with being successful, then eventually you will start to believe it. This doesn’t mean acting cocky, but there is a healthy level of telling yourself you can do it.
Just like the glass of water where you can drown out the dirty water with clean water, you can do the same with positive thoughts.
When you combine this with the small wins it is a lethal combination towards whatever goals you have.
Also, it just helps your wellbeing. Our reality a lot of the time is what we construct in our head. I’m not suggesting you can forget some painful experience or ignore the world, but your daily experience and how you react to the people around you is what you make of it.
Don’t let yourself be stuck in negativity towards every situation that comes your way. That will only negatively affect your debt payoff and everything else.
5. Get Passionate
Passion is what I consider the ‘x’ factor in your debt payoff.
When you are passionate about something nothing can get in your way.
It also helps to give you a focus that you didn’t have before and push through the more difficult times.
It is tough to manufacturer passion, so I suggest simply following your heart and find your ‘why’. While debt payoff may not be that fun, there is something on the other side of that payoff that gets you closer to where you want to go.
If you don’t know your why then it is easy to succumb to the whims of today. That just delays progress and keeps you stuck and only reinforcing those negative thoughts.
Finding passion helps to keep you determined and take things to another level.
Don’t force it though, let it happen naturally.
6. Support Others
This may not be as intuitive but what goes around comes around. If you want to find others that you can trust and be supportive of you then those are the qualities you need to exhibit.
During the process of helping someone else you get to take your focus off yourself and put it on them. Even if you are lacking confidence in yourself, you still will be able to provide good advice to them because you care. In turn, you can reflect on your advice and see what you can apply to yourself.
Most likely you will exhibit a level of grace for someone else that you are not applying to yourself.
Sometimes, you just have to go easier on yourself just as you would someone else. By working with others, it helps put into perspective your struggles and the way you treat yourself.
You Can Do It
I think one of the first things we need to realize is that everyone has doubt and insecurities. Most of the time, we are so worried about our supposed shortcomings that we aren’t even paying attention to others. Therefore, it also means that others aren’t paying attention to us like we think they are.
It is important to remind ourselves of that and just like we would encourage someone else, we need to encourage ourselves.
At this point, you should know that you have it in you to tackle this debt. Debt freedom is possible, and it will happen to you. You deserve this, and it is within your reach.
You can do it!