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Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable With Debt?

Sometimes it’s worth making yourself uncomfortable to make a change, says the Money Mentalist, Lynda Moore.

5 October 2021

A comfort zone is a place we like to hang out in because, well, it’s comfortable.

These zones are everywhere in our lives. We just get comfortable with the habits we have. They just work for us, so we stay with them and don’t change.

Are you comfortably uncomfortable? Let me explain.

Something triggers a decision

Every now and then something happens that makes you decide it’s time to make a change. Many things can trigger this decision.

You may see someone else doing something different, then stop and think: “Hmm, that looks interesting, I should give that a shot.”

So, you begin the daring move to shift out of your comfort zone and not surprisingly, life gets a bit uncomfortable.

  • You start to exercise more and the body lets you know about it.
  • Your diet changes and you start to crave food.
  • You start to change your spending habits and a large bill suddenly appears.

It would be so easy to say, “Whoa, I didn’t sign on for this, I’m going back to where I was.”

And that’s what many people do. They never venture outside the box that is their comfort zone, or at least not for long.

Why is it easier to stay where we are than it is to push ourselves and explore boundaries? Think of a thermostat or regulator.

What does your thermostat say?

A thermostat is designed to keep the temperature within a certain range. If it senses that it’s getting too cold, it switches the heat on and brings the temperature back to the set point.

If things gets too hot, it switches off.

You, too, have built-in regulators – which explains why most of us find it difficult to change.

You have your set points and if you deviate too far from them, the pressure to change back (both from within ourselves and those around us) can be very difficult to push through.

Getting back to my original question, are you comfortably uncomfortable?

Are you in a comfort zone that isn’t working for you but you are staying there? In other words, it’s uncomfortable.

Or, you try breaking out, but you’re continually slipping back in.

A scenario that springs to mind is exercise. We all know it’s good for us, but we’re not brilliant at putting those good intentions into practice.

Research shows that around 70 per cent of people who’ve had cardiac surgery slip back to their old lifestyles, putting their lives at further risk, rather than change their diet and exercise regime.

Are you comfortable with debt?

It’s the same with money. You can get very ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ with debt.

You know it’s there. It’s the noose around your neck and you want (even need) to get rid of it.

You work really hard to clear the credit card debt or student loan, only to have the car break down or a urgent trip to the dentist – something pulls you back down into debt.

If this keeps happening to you, then you’re comfortably uncomfortable with debt.

If you’re nodding your head right now, you might be thinking, how on earth do I get out of this uncomfortable zone? The answer is, you need to change the way you think about savings.

Rethink debt

“Hang on, aren’t I trying to get out of debt?” Yes, you are, but you’re thinking about ‘debt’.

Try moving your regulator from always thinking about debt to ‘creating savings’.

Think about what your life would look like when you channel what you’re currently paying to debt, into savings.

Think about the new experiences you could have, the things you could buy. Think about all the things that you are sacrificing right now because of debt.

Start a vision board

If you’re visual person, make yourself a vision board or a graph showing your savings growing.

Whatever it is you need to do, move your brain out of an uncomfortable comfort zone to a comfortable one.

Don’t expect the transition to be easy. It won’t be!

Sometimes you will feel as if you are taking one step forward and two back; that’s all part of the process of change. Remember, change is a process, not an event.

If change was easy, we’d all be doing it, rather than the few who do break out of their comfort zones and find something exciting.

Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.

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