Oct 7, 2013
It’s not true just because we think it
I have a habit of placing things in categories. Walk down the street and see a dog pulling its owner? Bad dog. Stroll through the mall and see a man and a woman walking together and holding hands? Happy couple.
There’s nothing wrong with using categories – it’s a really convenient mental short cut that can make life much easier than it would be otherwise.
The key is to remember that categories are helpful tools, but they aren’t true just because we’re using them.
The dog pulling its owner might just be hungry and need to get home. The couple walking through the mall holding hands could be on their first date. Point is, I don’t know the actual reality unless I am in it, actively experiencing it.
There was a time when I placed myself in categories because I have student debt. After talking with someone with no student loan debt I’d conclude that they must be smarter than me. When I had a conversation with someone who thought that student loan debt isn’t really a big problem I concluded that I must be too sensitive to stress.
In reality, using short-cut categories to manage my experience of student loan debt drove me to endless frustration, and eventually giving up.
I felt like a failure.
But then I read posts like this, and started to understand that what I needed to give up on were my old approaches towards managing my student loan debt that just weren’t working for me.
Have you felt like giving up on student debt? Is your urge to give up because you’re struggling with student debt really about you? Your impulse to stop trying to solve your student debt problems could really be exhaustion over hitting your head against the wall trying the same old awful solutions that generate the dissatisfying results you’ve always gotten while managing your student loan debt.
It’s time to give up on the old student debt management approaches that frustrate us and choose the life we want.
- Give up on: “I’m doomed to be pitiful and filled with regret because I took out too much student loan debt.”
- Choose: “This is my life. I get to choose how I will live it, so today, I choose to learn how to manage my student debt in ways that reduce stress and free up the brain space I need to live.”
- Give up on: “I’ll never get out of debt.”
- Choose: “Student debt is just a fact in my life, not my whole life.”
Giving up on the old student debt management approaches that aren’t working for us is really about choosing to live the life we want – a life of integrity instead of insecurity.