Debt Doesn’t Define You: A Mantra to Help You Release the Anchors And Move Forward

A few days ago I met with a close friend and client of mine.  She asked me a few questions about a few decisions she needed to make.  I told her what I thought would help her in her journey to financial freedom.  While we were chatting a thought occurred to me and I asked her, “How does being this much in debt make you feel?”  What she told me made my eyes well up and I wanted to give her a hug even though we were in Starbucks having coffee.  She said to me, “I feel like a failure.” 🙁 This is a college educated woman who is a go-getter and has goals for her future.  To hear that the money issues she’d been having brought her self-esteem down so much really saddened me.  It also renewed the feeling of needing to help her and women like her get their mojo back.

[Tweet “Having Debt Doesn’t Make You a Failure”]

Having debt doesn’t make you a failure.

It doesn’t make you a loser or stupid.  No matter the dollar amount, past collections, court visits, you are not your debt.  Only you know what kind of person you are and can be.  Your credit score isn’t a measurement of who you are as a person.  It’s just a scoring system based on past actions you have taken.  Do not let it hold you back.

Coming to grips with how you feel about your money and your debt is the very first step in gaining clarity and control.  You can’t move forward with mental anchors holding you in place.  Your feelings of inferiority and guilt are all forms of mental anchors.  Another type of anchor is a physical anchor reserved for family and friends.  All of these are things you might need to leave behind on this journey. I mean leave them behind in a financial sense.

Today I want you to write down your honest feelings about you and your debt.  I also want you to write down some anchors holding you in place financially.  Then release them.  Allow yourself to be released from the strain and drain of it all.

I would like you to repeat after me:

I am not my debt.  My debt does not define me.  I love myself in spite of my debt and money issues.

[Tweet “I am not my debt. My debt does not define me. I love myself in spite of my debt and money issues.”]

You are not alone in this.

I struggled with my feelings towards my debt of $25,000 debt + student loans.  I had a low credit score and low self-esteem.  I didn’t do much in the way of payments except make the minimum.  I hadn’t really been taught how to manage my money, just how to pay bills.  Then a few years ago I decided that I wanted to be a millionaire and after research discovered that I couldn’t become one while still making debt payments.  It took a lot of work and soul searching but I have since cleared most of it except for one student loan taken recently.  I tell you this so you know I am there with you and I’ve been through the deeply hurt feelings towards myself.  I thought I was a failure.  My confidence was in the toilet.  It wasn’t until I wanted and felt the need to make a change that I did.  Now I want to help you make those changes as well.  We can do this!

Now it’s your turn.  How has having debt made you feel?  If you aren’t in as much debt or have no debt how does that make you feel?  Share in the comments and I will reply!

About the Author

Brittany Marie is a Transformational Growth Coach for women who want to make their dreams a reality and use it to live their purpose and impact the world! She does this by providing coaching, 1:1 intensives, group masterminds, blog posts, and workshops! When she isn't doing all of this she is spending time with the love of her life or relaxing with her knitting :-D To get in contact with her please go to the "reach out to me" in the menu bar or in the footer.

Leave a Reply 12 comments

Kwame - May 9, 2016 Reply

My debt has always made me feel the same way, like a failure. So much so that I couldn’t see a way out of it. Combine that with people telling me that I should have listened to their advice, I just felt like I couldn’t trust myself anymore to make the right choice. I grew up in a family riddled with financial issues and had no desire to live the same life. But sometimes that fear keeps me caught up in a self depreciating mindset. Taking it day by day now, things have gotten better

    Brittany White-Volks - May 9, 2016 Reply

    Kwame thank you for sharing! Its important to know that you are not a failure and the best thing to do right now is to remind yourself that you are a work in progress! You got this! Feel free to message me if you would like to chat!

Stefan - The Millennial Budget - May 9, 2016 Reply

Luckily I did not have to take on debt during college as I had an athletic as well as academic scholarship but debt should never make anybody feel like a failure. In this day and age almost everybody has debt as expenses outpace wages. I look as debt as a way to success. You need it to invest in things to make you more successful in the future (assuming you are using debt in a positive way). Nice post!

Melanie - May 10, 2016 Reply

I made the mistake of getting 8 credit cards and running them all up. I had to default on 7 of them when I went through my divorce and now I’m trying hard to pay them off and build my credit back. You’re right it doesn’t define me. This can and does happen to everyone. Great post !

    Brittany White-Volks - May 12, 2016 Reply

    Melanie, thank you for sharing 💜 My client went through something similar and it tears me apart knowing what its doing to her inside. Feel free to message me. We can chat about it 🙂

Samantha - May 10, 2016 Reply

This is such a great reminder. It’s so easy to feel self-conscious and ashamed of your debt, and it can wear you down. It’s nice to read that our debt is not who we are.

    Brittany White-Volks - May 12, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Samantha! This topic is quite taboo and hush hush! People don’t like talking about their money…especially when it isn’t working for them. I want to encourage an open dialouge about money and how its not all bad. Thank you for commenting! 💜

Style Domination - May 10, 2016 Reply

Fantastic post! While I don’t have much debt now, I did as a student. I will never, ever manage money poorly like I did ever again.

    Brittany White-Volks - May 12, 2016 Reply

    Dominique, student debt is one of the most prevalent types of debt around right now because a lot of students don’t know about the other options out there. Also a lot students coming from low-income homes are often never taught about personal finance. I am soo glad you have gotten from underneath it all! Feel free to message me and we can chat! Thank you for commenting! 💜

      Style Domination - May 13, 2016 Reply

      I was lucky. I didn’t come from a low income family, I was just a stupid kid without the knowledge of how to manage my funds. I’m lucky. I realized the errors of my ways and turned it around fast! xo

Nicole Nemeth - May 10, 2016 Reply

I moved out really young because I had to (shortly after I turned 18, with my boyfriend and our 1 year old daughter). We haven’t had any financial support from anyone, and without the guidance or help from our parents, we had no idea how to manage our finances. So, yes, we are in debt and I often feel crummy when I think about it. We’re looking into getting help from a non-profit finance company soon. It’s so important to learn about personal finance and take responsibility rather than ignoring the problem, which is what I did for years.

    Brittany White-Volks - May 12, 2016 Reply

    Nicole ::hugs:: Please don’t feel crummy! You are doing what you need to do to survive and take care of your family. Realizing that debt doesn’t determine what kind of person YOU are is the first step. Making sure you educate yourself and your family members as you go along will help. Feel free to message me and we can chat about it! No judgement here 💜 Thank you so much for sharing!

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