Have Hope

April 8, 2016

We’re never going to get from under this mountain of debt. We’re always going to be in debt. We’re always going to live paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ll always have this car payment/student loan/credit card/fill-in-the-blank. It would take a miracle for things to change. We just need more money.

Sound familiar? I played that soundtrack over and over for years. If you find yourself saying these or similar statements, you’ve lost hope. Instead of believing things can change, you believe change is impossible, that things are just the way they are, and this is how they’re always going to be…you’ve lost hope. Not only are these statements negative and toxic, but they are the very thing that is preventing you from seeing any progress in your finances/career/marriage/that-area-of-your-life-you-so-desperately-wish-was-different.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” There’s a direct correlation between your thoughts and your ability, your results.

…the only thing that could turn our situation around was if we were suddenly and inexplicably blasted with gobs and gobs of money.

I remember very clearly having toxic thoughts about my financial situation. With being $74,000 in debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck, I felt the only way for us to get out from under the crushing boulder of debt was if a miracle happened or if I won the lottery – which would be a miracle, right? You couldn’t tell me at the time, but I was whining. I can hear myself now. But, I truly did believe at the time, that the only thing that could turn our situation around was if we were suddenly and inexplicably blasted with gobs and gobs of money.

What I didn’t realize was that as long as I thought that, I was right. That really was the only thing that would make a difference. I was limiting sabotaging myself with my thoughts. So, for quite some time, we continued in a vicious cycle of not believing we could change – not changing – not believing we could change – not changing, and so on until…I found hope.

I read Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey. I had a nerdy habit of reading any book I could find about personal finance, but this was the first one that gave me hope. The pages are filled with stories of people who did it – who changed their “we’re-always-going-to-be-in-debt” situations into “we’re-making-it” situations. Not only that, the book laid out a clear, methodical process of addressing my finances.

We started believing we could change things, and guess what? We did.

I read the book and then I had hope. I gave the book to the husband. He didn’t read it. And then he did. And he had hope. I will always remember the words that changed everything for us. They weren’t mine, and they weren’t in the book. They belonged to the husband. “WE CAN DO THIS,” he said.  

We started believing we could change things, and guess what?  We did. The cycle we were in changed to we can change – changing – we truly believe we can change – changing more. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how hope was our catalyst. Hope was the fuel that propelled our getting out of debt. We once believed we couldn’t. And we were right. We didn’t. We started believing that we could. And we were right. We did.

I truly believe that every situation – no matter how bad it seems to you – has hope. Find the hope in yours and grab on to it– because when you do, it changes everything!