If you are over your head in significant debt at this
moment, you may be having trouble breathing. You catch your breath
every time the phone or doorbell rings, as creditors and collectors
attempt to contact you.
I know what that's like. I remember it
being so bad that I turned off my telephone ringer and let the calls go
to voice mail. I thought if I put off listening to them they would be
easier to handle. Instead, the more I put things off, the harder they
were to handle and the more in debt I became.
I had been a
successful single woman. Now I was scared, anxious, depressed,
embarrassed and alone. The deeper in debt I got, the more I hid and
pretended everything was fine. How could I tell anyone that I had
failed? How could I? There was a constant heaviness on my heart. The
weight of the debt was almost too much to bear.
My life is very
different today. One of the most important things I've learned is how
to start from where you are and just breathe. If you can relate to any
of the feelings I've shared, please consider these seven steps. They
will help you to breathe more deeply and start moving in the right
1. Be honest with yourself. Wherever you are at this
moment is okay, it's just where you are. Make a list of what you owe
and to whom. Try to do this step as if you are dealing with someone
else's debt. Be an objective observer and just write it down.
Don't take it personally. A common thread I've seen in people
experiencing debt issues is to beat themselves up and call themselves a
"failure." You may have failed (though I prefer to say you've had some
learning lessons), but you are not a failure. You simply found one way
of doing things that didn't work. Separate your Self from your actions.
This will help you release the shackles to your past and allow you to
make new choices.
3. Ask for help. My biggest fear when I was in
severe debt was of looking stupid. If I'd only asked for help, I could
have avoided some of the additional consequences that occurred. I'm not
suggesting that you ask for money. Taking personal loans from friends
and family can add more pressure if they need it back before you're
ready. Instead, ask for advice and be willing to take it. That old
adage is true "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a
man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." Be willing to work
your way out of your situation by trying new solutions.
4. Get on
your knees. Whatever you believe, pray or simply throw your hands up
and ask for assistance from the Universe. You got yourself into this;
reach for some cosmic help to get out. Be willing to pray and believe
that your prayers have been heard.
5. Be quiet. Once you have
prayed, listen for an answer. Listen to your intuition. If you haven't
connected with your intuition before, now is the time to learn to trust
your inner guidance. It's your gut instinct, that still small voice,
that will guide you toward your next best step to take.
grateful. One way to attract more of what you want into your life is to
be grateful for what you have. Keep a daily gratitude journal of at
least three things you are grateful for and watch that list grow over
time as you become more and more aware of the good that is already in
7. Take action. Ask yourself each day what one thing
you can do today to change your circumstances. Is it a call to
creditors, writing a letter or writing a list of options you could take
that would change your situation? Be a possibilities thinker.
Brainstorm, learn how to mind map, and be open to new ideas. One thing
I frequently remind my clients and myself is that "The Universe is
always conspiring in our favor." It might not feel like that at this
moment, but what if it is true? What next step would you take if it
Remember to breathe! With time, as you begin to take these
actions, the weight will begin to lift, you will breathe easier, and
begin to dream a new, more abundant life for yourself.
you want to learn more about getting out of debt, I invite you to
receive a free excerpt of my book, Journey to Abundance: A Workbook and
Resource Guide for Creating the Prosperous Life You Desire by visiting http://www.kaminbell.com/abundance
Bell, MS, MA, went from extreme debt to living a prosperous life. She
is now passionately committed to teaching people how to attract more
abundance into their lives and live the life of their dreams.