" I thought to myself If I can break my debt habit after all these years then I want to help others do the same-and so the idea of my book was born."
A Leeds mum of 2 is celebrating this week having become a best-selling author, sharing how she overcame 50K of debt and her year long challenge she set herself to pay it off, providing insights, advice and encouragement to anyone in ‘credit card fear’.
With this week being the week that most people get their first credit card bill from Christmas expenditure, 43 year old Leeds entrepreneur, and mum of twins, Sanae Floyd, has chosen it as the time to share her story, and in doing so has seen herself fly up the Amazon charts to become a No.1 best-seller in Finance, Personal Finance and Psychology categories, sitting alongside big names such as Swedish physician, academic and statistician Hans Rosling and British food writer and journalist Jack Monroe and activist known for campaigning on money and poverty issues.
Just a few of hours after it’s release ‘Paid in Full’ captured the attention of people globally - written for readers everywhere who are struggling with debt, or who have a bad relationship with money, Sanae’s mission with the book is to show people the power of self-awareness and of retraining your brain and adopting new habits, and how, even from a place of despair, with very low self-worth, it’s possible to turn your life around within 12 months.
2018 was the year Sanae, from Horsforth, faced up to the reality of her debt, which she’d hidden for years from friends and family but after her card was declined for the final time, proving she had maxed out her largest credit card and no longer had access to any more funds, she hit rock bottom.
Sanae who even convinced herself that her debt was 20K less than it actually was, due to her fear of facing up to the reality, was suddenly forced to stop hiding from her shame and address it head on, opening up to a close confidant. It was when her reaction was “God Sanae, people commit suicide over less so you must be very strong” that the severity of her problem really hit her and this was Sanae’s turning point.
Sharing her story of emotional spending over the last 20 years, Sanae reveals how her self-esteem hit rock bottom - but how, in the end she channelled her anger at having got herself into this position and made the decision to refuse “to become a statistic”.
She said: “When I started this project – to become Paid in Full and chronicle the journey - I was so full of shame and self-doubt. My self-worth was on the floor! I didn’t realise quite how exhausted I was and how burdened I was by my debt until I started to scratch beneath the surface and see what was really going on. I was emotionally spent believing I was doomed to a life of debt and dependency.”
Sanae talks a lot in her book about how we create subconscious negative associations with debt and label ourselves in such a way that wreaks havoc with our state of mind and drives our behaviours.
She said: “I had subconsciously defined myself as a loser, as someone who is greedy, undisciplined and out of control when it comes to money. I was embarrassed, ashamed and felt like a pressure cooker that would explode from hiding this secret that could erupt at any moment. No wonder I hit rock bottom. Once I had faced up to the reality and openly admitted to it, and then started to recognise my negative beliefs around money, I could focus on changing my situation and I needed to take responsibility to do so.”
“My response was to set myself a year long challenge to become debt free, and to journal every step of the way so I could be held accountable and also explore the emotions that came with working through my struggles. I was driven by a bigger purpose – I thought to myself ‘If I can break my debt habit after all these years then I want to help others do the same’-and so the idea of my book was born.”
“I had tried various debt repayment strategies in the past and nothing had worked and so I knew this was a deeper issue – I had to address my patterns of thought and behaviour around money and debt”
Paid in Full charts Sanae’s journey from the moment of her turning point to how she changed her patterns of thought, to overcoming shame and raising her self-awareness and self-acceptance to fully being able to experience joy and in doing so was more empowered to achieve her goal.
Throughout the book she shares her learnings and suggests actions the reader can take themselves to work through their own challenges.
Discussing the issue of how easy it can be to get credit Sanae said: “Is there a question to be asked about how I was allowed access to so much debt. Yes. Should I have been able to rack up £40K on credit cards when I didn’t have a steady income? No. But ultimately I am responsible for my own choices and should have been able to control my finances rather than expanding my debt year on year.”
Sanae, who is a Certified Personal Performance coach and Success Principles Trainer now experiences success that sees her bring in £29K some months , and her focus is on helping other entrepreneurs master their mindset and confront their money blocks to help build their business success, as she believes she had sabotaged her own growth during her debt ridden years.
She said: “… Whenever I thought about my debt, I was attracting more debt. Even when I was thinking in terms of “not wanting this debt” and wishing I was “debt free” I was still focused on debt. When I looked at my credit card statements, my thoughts were so negative that I felt ashamed and out of control. That was my dominant vibration for so long, so it’s no surprise that I continued to attract more to feel ashamed and out of control about. Changing your stories and beliefs about debt, and accepting the truth that debt really has no meaning except the meaning you have given it means you can begin to take your power back. I started to enjoy being a conscious observer of my every emotion and this is where the journal and the book came in. This has been a really cathartic process for me and something I now hope will help others who are feeling like they are drowning as a result of debt.”
Sanae notes one of her biggest developments being a mindset shift after really starting to understand “The Secret” and the power of law of attraction.
She adds: “I have gained so much more in this process than simply becoming debt free and I hope that anyone who reads my book and takes the actions will experience this value too. The point is that you can change your mindset so that you’re no longer unconsciously perpetuating debt.You can eliminate the burden of shame and neutralise the intense negative emotions that you have around money and debt. You can forgive yourself and move into a state of self-compassion and self-acceptance and from there you can move past being all consumed by your debt and life becomes enjoyable again”.
Sanae has now paid off 2/3 of her debt over the last 9 months - she does still have a couple of months left to go before being 100% debt free, however feels at a point where she is now in control with a strong plan in place. She has chosen to share her story at this point so others can see she is still on her journey but that her life has changed within just 8 months, and that is what she is celebrating.
Bringing this book to life through Authors & Co, whose focus is on telling stories of those who are keen to inspire and leave a legacy, Sanae’s dream of writing a book to share her story and help others has materialised in just9 months from concept to completion and it has all been part of processing her own struggles over the last 20 years, as she now embarks on a new chapter herself.
Available now via Amazon, Sanae is hugely overwhelmed about her book’s instant success. She said: “I am so taken aback by the response this has had and so so grateful to the team at Authors & Co who helped me bring this to life. I knew I had to share what I had learnt and am so glad my experiences will now help others - I know there are so many people currently going through elements of what I did and thinking that it’s too late for them to ever be free from debt but I want them to see that it doesn’t have to be that way and that they can make a change.”
Covering subjects such as releasing resistance, the power of decision, the law of attraction, and self-acceptance, Paid in Full combines Sanae’s real life experiences with practical exercises and a strong focus on mindset to help the reader identify their own feelings and work through them during challenges they are facing.
Tips Sanae shares with reader include:-
1.Consider what will be the impact on your life, your health, wealth and well-being of becoming Paid in Full? Really FEEL the emotion of this and connect to it.
2. Get crystal clear on the whybehind your decision and write it down. Keep it close to you and read it daily. This will tap into your positive emotional state and help you stay motivated to keep going, even when things feel tough.
3. Raise awareness to your thoughts and emotions associated with debt in order to neutralize the shame and negativity: Either look at your credit card statements or just think about your current debt situation and notice when you start to feel those all too familiar negative emotions. Close your eyes and mentally scan your body up and down a few times and then allow your attention to rest on the place where you’re feeling the most intensity. It could be in the pit of your stomach or your chest; it may be a sensation in your throat or an ache in your heart. Focus on the feeling and ask yourself: What are the thoughts fuelling this feeling? What I am saying to myself that is making me feel these feelings? What is my belief right now?
4. Start to change the emotions you attach to checking your bank account -Set an alarm prompt, to look at your bank account balance every day and as you do so, focus on 3 areas of abundance such as the abundance of laughter in your friendships, the abundance of food in your fridge, of hot running water, of the autumn leaves on the trees that are so beautiful. Positive associations will help to change your negative mindset around checking your balance.
5. Start visualising having money and feeling abundant to change your state - keep a note in your wallet and get used to seeing it there, have a money jar in your bedroom that you see an appreciate everyday. Be thankful for every bit of money that comes to you - whether it’s 1p or £1K recognise it, record it and be thankful for it - likewise for gifts in kind or when you receive a special offer or deal. All of this helps you attract money rather than repel it.
6. Take 5-10 minutes every single day to imagine the details of celebrating being paid in full. How do you feel? Who are you with? What are you wearing? Where are you and what are you doing? It not only feels utterly blissful, but you emerge from each experience changed at a fundamental cellular level – less the person you were who gets into debt, and more and more like the person in your visualisation! Paid in Full!
7. If you’re feeling hugely out of control and taking hold of managing your debt feels like a giant leap, start with smaller steps and take control of something easier to manage - maybe a drawer full of paperwork that needs organising or a room that needs decluttering - then celebrate the feeling of having taken control and feeling so much better - even steps like this will help get you closer to your goal by getting you in a better place to deal with the challenge.