Debt Crushed my Self Esteem

Over the past few weeks I have come to a very daunting conclusion: my self esteem is shot. For some people this is how they are and how they live their lives, but for me I have always felt I had a strong self esteem and I was comfortable in this knowledge. Knowing I had a strong self image is a great thing unfortunately over the years this became less and less the case until recently I finally came to the realization that I no longer had as much self esteem as I used to or as I would like.

Had my life really changed that much? The answer to this question is probably longer than a single post but upon some recollection it seems that my self esteem started going down pretty much at the same time that my debt started going up. I don’t think that this is a coincidence! If you’re in debt struggling to make ends meet especially over a long period of time your personal self image and your self esteem are bound do get battered. I know mine did.

Being broke and knowing that you’re broke as a thought in the back of your mind definitely does not help. I have been speaking about myself in this situation because I know my story pretty well, but if you take a moment and watch the people around you do the people that you know are deep in debt hold themselves up as if they had a strong self esteem? My guess would be no they don’t. With the economy being on everyone’s mind you can almost see the people who are in debt sitting on the bus in mental self anguish.

The unfortunate thing about this scenario is that it is counter productive. If you’re in debt loosing your confidence is not going to help you get out of debt and if anything it’s going to make the situation worse.

Being that I’m currently in this situation I can’t give any constructive advice; I just know that I liked myself when I had self confidence, I moved around my world freely without doubt. I am going to reclaim this feeling, slowly if I have to. If you’ve been here before let me know your story, I’m sure the details are different but it would be good to hear how you got past the lack of self esteem and nagging self doubt.

2 thoughts on “Debt Crushed my Self Esteem”

  1. Oh, I understand this one. I am beginning a seperation. And I can tell that the finances have me feeling glum. Another set back (again). Such a journey. I hope that my goals frutation come sooner than I expect. Because I would like my darn Self Esteem back!

    Cheer up. Things will get better.

  2. A lot of getting past the self doubt is getting yourself into action. Many of my friends are deeply in debt (mostly school related) to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars while they’re not yet making money or making very little. It’s really hard on them, and the only thing I can offer them is help with their budgeting and maximizing what income they DO have. They make a lot of choices that I wouldn’t make, but I know that the level of debt they have is far beyond my experience.

    When I was paying off debts, I felt totally hopeless some days. It seemed like no matter how hard I worked, nothing was getting better. The best medicine I had for those blues was to figure out how badly I wanted to stop feeling like that, and make the appropriate sacrifices. Knowing that the alternative was to continue in a funk of depression over the debt, it never seemed like I was “depriving” myself of material things – I was working on reaching a goal. And the relief upon reaching that goal was palpable! I can sincerely look back and say, yes, I don’t remember hanging out with my friends a tenth as much as I would have liked, but I have zero debt now. And while facing unemployment, all the things and events I passed on were pretty much just a blur in comparison to the reality of having enough savings to keep me afloat during some really scary times.

    A lot of it is setting yourself in a position to view the changes needed as a good thing. But it also depends on your priorities. Like I said, people with 300K of debt are going to look at a car loan as just a drop in the bucket. For me, as the numbers were a bit smaller, though continuous, it was easier to keep the debt from growing, and cutting it down.

    In your case, getting your self esteem back is a powerful motivator.

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