*excerpted from Bounce Back From Bankruptcy by Paula Langguth Ryan

You can become debt-free and STAY debt-free if you follow these practical and spiritual tips. Money is energy. Nothing less, nothing more. It does not have any power to control your actions…only your thoughts control your actions. Our thoughts about money usually fall in one of three planes. At the bottom is where you’ll find most of us. This is where we spend our energy and time worrying about and talking about our money problems. Where we spend most of our time saying things like “I’m not going to have enough money to…”

You can take the first step toward breaking the debt cycle by elevating your thinking. You can start elevating your thinking to the next plane BY SETTING GOALS FOR YOURSELF. This second plane is where we spend our energy and time saying things like “I want to achieve this goal I’ve set, BUT I’ve got these money problems…” If you’re already on this plane, congratulate yourself! You’re one step closer to permanent prosperity already!

You’ll reach the third and highest plane once you make a committed effort to put the following ten tips to use in your life. When you’ve reached this plane, you’ll find yourself saying things like “I have this goal, and it may be a very tiny goal, but it is my goal, and this is the next step I’m going to take to make this goal a reality.”

For example, if you’re worried right now about meeting this month’s mortgage payment, and your goal is to come up with enough money to pay the mortgage by the date it’s due, then you’re on your way. Several of the tips below will immediately generate cash on hand to help you make your goal a reality. Other tips will help you build a foundation underneath you, so that more cash will come to you.

I encourage you to start putting each of these tips to use in your life TODAY. Work toward progress, not perfection. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do everything at once. Take it a step at a time and keep moving forward. Above all else, know that YOU ARE PROSPEROUS!

  1. FREE UP THE TRAPPED PROSPERITY IN YOUR LIFE. Release things that take up “space” in your life. Friends who sap your energy and provide nothing in return. Books, clothes, food, what are you stockpiling that you don’t use? Look at everything you haven’t used in over a year and find a way to sell it or trade it in.
  2. PAY WHAT YOU CAN NOW. If you have debts to pay, and you have savings, don’t withhold money and say, “I’ll pay these debts later, when I have more money so I don’t have to touch my savings.” Free up that money, put it into the universe. You can’t get a flow of money coming in to you unless you have a flow of money coming out. Don’t put off paying what you can pay today.
  3. RELEASE PEOPLE FROM THEIR DEBTS TO YOU. If you have lent money in the past, or extended credit, and you know that the chances for you ever getting that money back are remote, release them from their debt to you. Call or write them and say, “I want you to know that I’ve decided to consider this money a gift to you. I am freeing you from any obligation to repay this money, ever, and I hope you’ll accept this gift with all my love.” You then make it possible for that money or more to come to you from some other source.
  4. SEE THE HIGHEST GOOD FOR EVERYONE. When you’re in a situation where you think, “they’re going to try and rip me off” affirm “I see the highest good for both of us.” Then know this person will do right by you.
  5. GIVE THANKS FOR YOUR DEBTS. When you pay your debts, hold them one by one in your hand and give thanks for whatever that debt represents. “Thank you Universe for Cable Television, which enables us as a family to watch movies together at home.” “Thank you Universe for this dental bill, which took away the pain in my mouth.” “Thank you Universe for this mortgage, which lets us live in this home we love.”
  6. DON’T BRAG ABOUT WHAT YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH OR ABOUT THE PROSPERITY IN YOUR LIFE. Instead, imagine it as accomplished, then go about your daily business, putting the stepping stones in place for your pathway to your goal. Then, once you’ve accomplished your goal, go inside yourself and give thanks for your abundance. And give back to those who have helped you achieve your prosperity.
  7. DON’T LET PRIDE STAND IN THE WAY OF YOUR PROSPERITY. You can be your own worst enemy if you refuse to accept your prosperity in whatever form it takes. As you practice the laws of prosperity, people around you will suddenly start giving you things. Don’t refuse these gifts as charity or acts of pity. They are the first evidence that your prosperous thinking is paying off. Joyfully accept these gifts. Stop yourself before you say, “Oh you shouldn’t have.” “This is too expensive.” “I couldn’t possibly accept.” Practice accepting gifts graciously. “Bless your heart!” “You’re an angel!” “Glory be!” “Thank you.”
  8. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF AS YOU LEARN PROSPERITY SKILLS. Don’t be like the farmer who planted corn, then cut off all the tassels that appeared, because he was looking to grow EARS of corn, not tassels. Don’t dismiss the results you get as weeds. Know that whatever grows in your life is for your highest good.
  9. LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY IN EXPERIENCES. When a “negative” happens to us, it’s usually a nudge to help us choose a better direction for our lives, for our growth. Don’t waste your time and energy bemoaning an event. Stop and center yourself and figure out what you were meant to learn, how this event will help you achieve your goals. Don’t ask, “Why did this happen to me?” Ask, “What am I going to do about it?”
  10. LET GO OF PREJUDICES. Don’t spend time and energy worrying about others, or how others perceive you. Remember the old taunt, “I’m rubber and you’re glue…whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you?” The same goes for positive thoughts and words. Don’t set yourself above anyone else, or love others “in spite of” their actions. Learn to love everyone unconditionally and that love will flow back to you tenfold.

You can be your own worst enemy in your search for abundance or you can be the best guide you’ve ever had. The choice is up to you!