The most crucial part of debt recovery is taking responsibility, heeding to sound experienced advice and then instituting a plan to take the relevant action.
However, in my experience in the UAE, debtors approach me with their debt problems, and once I tender my basic advice they go off never to be heard again. Somewhere along the line they end up contacting me again when they are in a worse situation.
This is something I cannot comprehend because if you find yourself facing a debt crisis then the best time to nip it is in the bud - at the beginning - and not heeding to inexperienced unqualified advice, because most times the people we seek and ask are the wrong ones. They may give you the wrong advice.
When facing this situation it is important to remember that you come first. Only later comes anyone else. And if you are not emotionally stable, living with fear and unable to manage your life, then you cannot be a support to your family or others, cannot do your job properly or effectively manage your business. So you need to learn to block out everything else. At that stage what is relevant is getting yourself organised so you get to a level of comfort that will serve you well.
If you take the wrong advice, you may find yourself alone and when that happens, people normally ‘shut down’ and refrain from any form of activity, business or social interaction and they shy away from any connections they have and this too, is the wrong decision. That is not the time to disappear from society and think that your problems will vanish into thin air! They will only snowball into a situation that will be uncontrollable and in some instances, irreversible.
Getting a grip on yourself and your situation is the best advice that I can tender today because once you have made the first move towards resolving your problems, you will start feeling better, even if that is just approaching someone that is an expert on this topic that can help you formulate a logical effective plan, which includes your wellbeing and your financial situation. As the days, weeks and months pass, things will start getting better, you will start feeling better and you would have learnt how not to live in fear because facing a debt crisis normally engulfs us in fear and that is not a good emotional condition to be in at any given time. When you are in this bad state, you cloud your vision and thinking where my suggestion is always start working on your wellbeing as a start and once that is done, your head is clear to think logically and take the appropriate action.
If you can get this right from inception, then your focus is in place and you think clearly, feel more comfortable to face your creditors and raise your confidence levels, which is the ideal state of mind to acquire. You cannot progress if your mind is not at some form of comfort level and so it is hugely important that you source these resources as a first step and they are readily available online, no need to incur any costs to master these exercises. If you want to know, you can browse YouTube and search for ‘wellbeing, releasing fear, tapping for releasing fear which is essentially NLP’ and you will find many available resources that are highly effective within a few days.
This is the new way of the world, it is how the world has shifted its paradigm and people are using this as their daily exercise to correct their mindset and emotions and achieve what they want in life.
The key is when you realize you have a problem, or you knew you had a problem a few months ago, but simply ignored it and now it is at your doorstep, you should not continue ignoring it, but face your fear and start the process of recovery for you. People currently facing a debt crisis actually know way ahead of time that they are in this situation but it is human nature to live in hope that a miracle will happen to eliminate the problem before it gets out of hand.
You should realise that unless you are able to service your debt with the knowledge and security that you have a steady income or cash flow generated monthly that you continue servicing it, you should start a second plan of action long before it becomes uncontrollable because it only means that you ignored the problem.
Remember, nothing is so bad that it cannot be rectified and there is always time to win back your own confidence and those of your creditors, you just have to learn to maintain a positive attitude, even when the tunnel is dark. I know it’s not easy but it takes some serious training to be able to get to that stage, but anyone can achieve this level of ability to overcome, it just takes practice, perseverance and patience.
Debtors become reluctant because at any given time they always look at the big picture and to achieve anything in life we need to break down that big picture into smaller components, dealing with the most important first and then prioritizing the rest.
That practice in itself will make you feel better that you are more in control than what you were before and once you have met with your creditors, that reluctant feeling disappears because you have achieved even the smallest milestones of this journey, i.e. one day at a time and remember Rome was not built in one day so this debt that you accumulated over a long period of time, cannot just dissolve in a day. It is going to take time and sacrifice to put your ‘spending habits’ on one side and live with only being able to buy things with money you have, not money you have not spent yet. So if you do not have money, you cannot buy the things you want and those are the simple rules.
Yes, it will take time to eliminate your debt but you will be grateful to yourself that you took the time to experience this exercise and that you won your own battle. Walking away is never going to serve you; in fact it could destroy you if your debt is huge. Again, let me assure you whether you have a huge or small debt that you are unable to service, the effect is the same on anyone because it is normally relevant to their earnings, spending habits or lifestyle levels so the mindset they find themselves in, is inevitably the same because it has the same effect.
Being reluctant to focus on this very dire problem will be to your detriment and even if you opt to exit and leave, we can run but we cannot hide and nobody wants to live and spend the rest of their days looking over their shoulder because in some form or other, life dictates we pay our dues, maybe not now, but at the time that is not of our choosing.
So it is very important that we live a principled life. If we do not have the means to repay someone now, let the person know that and convince you will do at the first available opportunity. And if the person does not want to have contact with you, keep it in mind that one fine day, you will reciprocate because that is character and integrity and the very basis of who you are.
My advice again, don’t walk away, don’t be reluctant, learn that integrity is king!
[Note 1: Theda Muller is a UAE-based author of two books: Embrace Financial Freedom Volume One: 10 Proven Ways To Release Debt And Emotional Fears In Today’s Economy, and Volume Two: Releasing Fear And Bouncing Back From A Debt Crisis.
She also conducts webinars and workshops on debt recovery.]
[Note 2: The views expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect in any way, the views of Emirates 24|7. Readers are advised to carry out their own due diligence before taking any decision.]