How I Got Over My Chronic Underearning

Joanne on benchHow to describe these last few weeks with my money guides, the Money Fix and Barbara Stanny whispering in my ear every day?

Since my last post, in which I faced up to decades of underearning patterns, I’ve learned how to take steps not only toward realizing my true earning potential, but fulfilling my life’s purpose.

It’s set me on a journey whose destination is so irresistible, I’m determined to tackle any boulders and hack through any thickets in my path to get there.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to stumble now and then as I move forward. I have to get to know each stick and stone in my way and patiently (and continually) whittle and wear them down.

On the internal front, Barbara has helped me to identify the voices that would sneer, “Who do you think you are, Ms. Fancy Pants?” or “Isn’t that too hard for you, honey?” Turns out they weren’t the voice of God, the Cosmos, or even my conscience. It was just dear old misguided Dad, worrywart Mom and curmudgeonly Sister Mary Pat from second grade.

Knowing that those messages came from mere mortals yakking at me has made it easier to muzzle them and tune into my own inner truth instead.

On the practical front, Barbara also instructed me to track my daily expenses to shine a light on what I spend money on, and (wince) to see why. Even a modest spender (which I’d like to think I am) can fritter away chunks of cash on “I worked hard today, I deserve a treat” fast food and a couple of pairs of “Screw you, controlling spouse!” jeans.

I’ve been doing a pretty good job on the expense tracking. But I’m still choking on examining our overall cash flow. So Barbara suggested that when I decide NOT to buy that shirt or stop at Micky D’s, to recast that choice as a decision to invest in myself (not deprive myself).

After all, the real motivation for dealing with the sticks and stones is the sparkling vision of my new life that beckons on the horizon. Barbara is helping me bring that into focus, too.

She had me do an exercise where I chunk my life into thirds (0 – 20 years old, 21 – 40, 40 – 59), and list at least three personal successes or highpoints in each. Then, she asked me to describe what the context was, and what skills, talents and interests it drew upon, and what my motivation was in each instance.

Not only was that exercise very self-affirming, it’s helping me define my strengths and talents—and even clues to my life purpose. I’m still working on that, and it’s becoming clearer every day.

Barbara promises that these assignments will lead to practical steps of translating my sense of worth and sense of purpose into finding that well-paid and well-deserved job. And I am confident it will.

I wish I could take you all with me as I progress further down my path, but please know that everyone here—Daily Worth, Barbara Stanny and all of you who have been reading along and offering your own stories and encouragement—has been critical in helping me take these amazing first steps. I hope that likewise, all of you have been able to take something positive and worth-enhancing from our interactions.

Daily Worth is such a wonderful, empowering community for all of us, and I thank you all!

Cheer her on. How have you overcome a long-standing, negative money pattern?


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