In the “How Do You Get Out of Debt?” Series I thought I had finished with part 7, I showed you every step it takes to take control of your financial situation and get out of debt.

But what I didn’t talk about were some of the things that can potentially stand in your way that will resist your efforts to get out of debt.

Whenever you decide to do something that will radically change the way you live for the rest of your life, it rarely comes easy.  There will always be beliefs, habits, people, and even physical processes that will work to scuttle your efforts at every turn.

You should expect them.

To Get Out of Debt, You Have to Overcome Resistance

But in order to succeed and reach your ultimate destination of debt freedom, you have to learn to counter that resistance and be an overcomer.

As I see it, there are 3 types of resistance people generally encounter that stands in the way of getting out of debt and changing your financial life forever.

These three types of resistance might not happen to everyone, but they are common enough that you’ll probably encounter at least one of them, if not all three.

Here’s the list, along with a solution for each one:

Physical (Brain) Resistance-  Your brain naturally resists forming new habits.  When old habits are well established, you brain wants to continue doing the same old thing it’s always done.  So it convinces you that that new thing you’re trying to do is too difficult, it won’t work, it’s not worth it, etc.

Solution:  Tell yourself a different story.  Actively tell yourself that getting out of debt is the best thing you can do for yourself financially.  Use positive talk and do battle mentally every day, telling yourself you can do it, it is worth it, and that you WILL succeed, come Hell or high water (Read more about why brain resistance happens and what to do about it here).

Resistance From People-  There may be certain people in your life that serve as resistance (intentionally or not) to you meeting your goal of debt freedom.  The might say things like “No credit cards? That’s crazy!” or “You can’t get out of debt, it’s too hard.  You want to live like a monk for the rest of your life?”, or any number of “reasons” that they can get into your head and cause you to second guess the path you’ve chosen.

Or it could be that friend who calls you up for a day of mindless shopping or dinner at a nice restaurant.  When you tell them that it’s just not in the budget right now, they try to convince you to do it anyway, saying “Just this once” or “Don’t you want to have any fun?”

These people may mean well in their own strange way, but if you let them influence you, they will derail your get out of debt train like a stray cow in the middle of the tracks.

Solution:  You have to let these people know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that getting out of debt is a top priority for you, and you’d really like them to be on board with that.  If they refuse to stop the negative talk and/or peer pressure, you may have to limit your contact with them for awhile or keep your conversations very light, avoiding any talk about money and getting out of debt at all costs.

Spiritual Resistance-  Much like what happens with physical brain resistance, your spirit, and the enemy that can reside therein, may try to convince you that it’s too hard, you’ll never make it, or you’re not worthy to live a debt free life.  Much like the physical battle in your brain I talked about above, the battle in your spirit can be just as difficult.

Solution:  Stay close to God in prayer.  He wants you to live a life free from financial struggle, and the closer you stay to Him and follow His way of doing things, the better you’ll be able to overcome any kind of resistance that comes your way.  Any time you attempt to make your life better, change habits, or overcome adversity, there will always be resistance.  Whether it be internal or external, you have to recognize that resistance WILL come and that there is always a way to overcome it.

As they say, “Nothing good comes easy”

When I think about overcoming obstacles, I like to think about the Biblical story of Jacob and his struggle at the stream of Jabbok (Genesis 32:22-29).

Jacob was leaving a bad situation for the land that God promised him, but before he could cross over, he met with resistance, wrestling with a man throughout the night, never giving up.  After his struggle was complete, he was allowed to cross over.  God changed his name forever to Israel, and he became great.

You can do it too!

Overcome the resistance!

Have you encountered any resistance while trying to improve your finances?

Article originally published on Celebrating Financial Freedom. Used with permission.

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker.  He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course.  His new book How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works is now available.  He can be reached for interviews or  speaking engagements by email (jasoncabler@cfinancialfreedom.com) and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Publication date: December 26, 2012