There are only so many hours in the day, so many resources and so much energy that we can muster up towards our goals. Particularly our financial goals. We’re limited in the things that we can accomplish. Wait, wait! I know that sounds pessimistic, but hear me out. These limitations can actually help to motivate us in our journey!
One of the most challenging things we must come to terms with when when facing our finances is that we have to work within the reality of our financial circumstances. Debt, income level, external expenses – they have a real-time impact on our decisions. But the incredible thing about acknowledging just what it means to live with some limits is to really appreciate all the things that already exist within that boundary. Instead of feeling constrained by the limits, we should embrace the guidelines they set and continue to push back against them. Paying off debt means acknowledging and working to restructure those limitations so that we can ultimately succeed.
Below, we’ll look at how awareness of our limitations can be empowering:
Knowledge is power
Limitations could be considered another way to touch base with your circumstances. It’s like looking at the whole puzzle instead of the single piece. Looking at a big pile of scrambled up puzzle pieces can seem overwhelming. But with the picture on the front of the box, you’ve suddenly seen what the picture should and could look like.
Limits can be used to discover alternatives
We don’t exactly know what we’re capable of accomplishing without first coming to terms with, and then overcoming, the obstacles that stand in our way. In much the same way that we might come up against a brick wall in the middle of the road, we assess what alternative options we have. Our minds are hardwired to look for ways to fix what’s seen as a problem, and with our debt it can take looking at our challenges or limitations straight in the eye before we’re able to think of the ways we can begin to work towards repayment.
Sometimes the solutions you come up with are more focused than they initially would have been
When you do figure out alternatives, you might actually find that your choices become more focused. Because you’ve assessed your options, you know which option will most likely fit your plan best. Limitations can inspire brainstorming and things you may not have considered originally may become more evident for you.
Mental blocks are one form of limitations to be wary of
A lot of the limits you might face will be based on the facts: a tightening budget, a large debt, a short amount of time. Those can feel restrictive and a little bit intimidating. But they also present a tidier and less abstract challenge. Mental barriers are often the more challenging kind of limitations that we put on ourselves as we work towards financial freedom. It’s not easy to pay off debt or stay motivated sometimes. And negative thoughts can definitely lead to what seems like an unpassable situation. The problem with mental barriers is that they can be consuming and overwhelming. But, the good thing about this kind of limit is that it isn’t cut and dried. You can push back on those negative thoughts!
At the end of the day, we’re striving for positive transformations
We have to prioritize, to work for it, and to put in the effort to get to the point where our goals are possible. What isn’t possible initially will eventually transform into something attainable and reachable. Though we faced limitations in the beginning, we were able to use those as guidelines, to help us set goals and eventually triumph.
So yes, long-term or short-term, financial freedom and becoming debt-free are dictated by the numbers. And it can feel suffocating or scary when the numbers simply don’t match up. But approaching this from a proactive perspective, and being ready to educate yourself and learn how finances work will put you in a position to succeed. By using your perceived limitations as a way to connect with your plan and add momentum to your goals, you’ll become empowered to accomplish them even faster.
Mario, from Debt BLAG says
I like this a lot. What’s that old saying; necessity breeds invention? Something like that. I guess the point is that people are resourceful, and they’ll find ways to survive and thrive in tight situations.
There’s one other thing: have you ever been in a restaurant that had 20 pages of choices? When that happens to me, I always get frustrated and no matter how hard I work at picking an order, I always have a little bit of regret at all the things I *didn’t* order. In a sense, having fewer options can sometimes be a good thing :)
Michael Taylor says
Claire, having a limited income and having the desire to get out of debt forces you to learn how to create a household budget. Yes, it can be a struggle to figure it out. And then after you figure out how to budget you have to figure out how to stick to the budget. It’s hard work, but definitely worth it!