Many people are trapped in debts and the situation keeps getting desperate by the day. Someone said, and correctly so, that modern day slaves are not in chains but trapped in debts. The trap of bad debts is one that swiftly weakens every side of your life. If left unattended, it leads to depression, stress, strained relationships, family break ups, children dropping out of school, alcoholism and so on. Many have given up in life, many have suspended their life purposes indefinitely and opted to work for other people just to afford to repay debts until they retire; the problem is that they still borrow more! Many have also taken their lives on the account of debt. But is it really a sealed case? Is there any hope left?
Yes, hope is still alive for anyone who needs change; for anyone who is determined to get out of the situation. The journey of discovery from the abyss of debts is a procedural journey that begins in your mind. Your mind needs to be transformed first for you to begin viewing debt through different lens. If the battle is not first won in the mind, you will slide back even if someone cleared your debts for you.
I developed the ADSA 4-Stage Approach to recovery from the trap of debts as a structured process that our debt clinic follows. This approach acknowledges ACCEPTANCE as the first step in recovery; one has to accept that they are trapped for recovery to begin. That is a stage that happens in the mind of the affected before seeking for interventions. The second stage is the DISCLOSURE stage. This is where one gets to face the realities of how deep they are in debts and then look for help. The disclosure stage has two levels: Disclosure Within and Disclosure Without
Disclosure Within is where you get to list down all the debts that you have as suggested in Focus Talk 17/52/2017. It reveals where you are and informs your thinking on the kind of solutions to get you out of the situation. However, it is not enough to list the debts, listing only discloses the situation to you while real solutions exist out here. Disclosure Without requires that once you appreciate the situation as is, you open up to someone else in a bid to seek assistance. The old position of a problem shared is half solved hasn’t rusted yet.
Caution needs to be exercised here, you do not just tell everyone of your situation in the name of disclosure. Take time to single out people who may listen and reassure you of the possibility of recovery; people who may offer real help; people who may become your accountability partners; people who may keep you in check; not people who will broadcast and make fun of your situation. For the married, it is highly recommended that you bring your spouse up to speed with the situation. In marriage, whatever eats one person eats the entire unit; it is of no value to keep your situation to yourself. I know of people who opted to open up to their spouses, upon learning about this from our debt clinic and they called to confirm the situation had been put to rest or was under control.
Many times, people avoid disclosing because they think their situation is too personal – which is true; but not too personal not to be disclosed. Some times what you think is personal is so common out here; people have been through it and back. If you have no one to trust in your circles, come to us or any other professional who can listen without passing judgements. Some have an ego (especially men) that holds them from disclosure; it reminds them that opening up will portray them as being weak. So they pretend to be fine even as they suffer from the inside; eventually what they work so hard to hide catches up with them in a crueler manner that makes them regret why they did not disclose from the onset.
Do not suffer silently, speak up! Share with someone you trust in a bid to look for a solution. Do not open up to seek for sympathy votes but solutions. I formed the Focus Talk Debt Management Clinic for this reason; to offer a listening ear to you, to prescribe tailor made options that suit your situation, to hold your hand in the journey and become your accountability partners until normalcy is restored. All you need is a willing mind. When you open up, YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Debt Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker and Author.
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