Lesson 2: Focus on where you want to go
While debt can seem overwhelming, adopting a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset is crucial, says Wasserman. A growth mindset means believing that things can change and you can be the one to change them.
“Take that statement of ‘I’ll always be in debt’ and change it to ‘I’m $15,000 in debt and I won’t be in debt in the next 24 months,'” she says.
Wasserman also advises identifying your goal and creating a visual, daily reminder of that goal. For example, if you want to get rid of your credit card debt to increase your credit score and possibly buy a nicer car, find a picture of the vehicle, put it in a frame, and hang it near your front door. ‘Entrance.
It can help you stay motivated as you work towards your goal.
Lesson 3: Let go of shame
Few money problems come with as much shame as being in debt. Others will shame you for what they perceive to be poor financial choices, and you will likely shame yourself.
But shaming doesn’t work, Kahler says. In fact, it can completely derail you.
“Shame says, ‘You’re flawed. You’re screwed. You’re a bad person.’ And none of that will motivate behavior change. It’s just more evidence that you can’t do that,” he says.