I want to be ready to face the discomfort of tackling my law school debt. Over the past four years, I’ve worked to change my thinking and actions around my mental, physical and financial wellness. As a recovering anorexic and someone living with major depression, I’ve seen a lot of growth in my mental and physical well-being. I’m on a decent eating schedule and I’ve integrated positive self-care practices (incl. medication, reflection and deep-breathing) into my daily practice. I’ve also invested a lot into my career over this time; I have settled very well into a demanding new role, accrued a small and fantastic staff and gained a mentor in my boss.
However, I still struggle with my debt from graduate school. Four years ago, I took a big leap and moved from US back to my home country. I started to consistently feel a sense of terror and crippling panic when I thought about the law school debt. I used therapy and some self-coaching to work through this. Two years ago I took steps to address the debt, but I have not followed-up. Now, when I think about it and what I need to do I feel deep shame, guilt and worry. I have let fear stop me from taking the practical steps to address it. I see the thoughts that block me: That it won’t work out and by not doing anything, I am holding it in limbo, that I have destroyed my life, that I am a failure, that I will always be a failure, that I will only ever fail. I think this connects to many of the insecurities and negative thoughts I had during my graduate law program. And my best defense is to shut it out of my mind entirely and not deal with it.
But I realize that that is a negative coping mechanism from my past. It keeps me trapped in the problem’s loop, where my inaction worsens the situation and reinforces my negative thoughts. Intellectually I see this, but I could really use help in how to move forward. The major block is my thinking and the feelings I will make myself feel and instead, try to run away from. I want to do what Brooke says in ‘Discomfort on purpose’ and pursue the discomfort, invite it instead and look to it as a goal, where I want to become good at feeling the discomfort. I have no idea how to get my mind or self ready for these feelings, but I know it’s the currency for this dream. And I need this dream to work if I’m going to have a future with any financial stability, a future that isn’t ruled by fear. I have leaned into some discomfort over the past few years, but I have no idea how to walk towards a problem, where I feel this level of shame, fear and guilt around it.
Do I use ladder thoughts to bridge this–if so, what are they? How do I get ready to tackle this when I have made it so big in my mind? How do I start to see it differently?
Thank you for your help?