Believing in a Better Lifestyle

By Crystal Woods

How many of you have ever thought about the link between believing in yourself, and getting a good income? You would think that your income is based entirely on your skills, wouldn’t you. Well, we know how true that one is. So what does play a part in deciding what you are worth in money terms per year?

There’s no denying that there are a lot of factors involved in setting a salary, for example, but did you know that in Australia there are about 10 times more applicants for a $25,000 job than there are for one at $50,000? One reason, I believe, is that a lot of people just don’t believe that they’re worth that much, and so, even if they get the courage up to ask for the job description, they talk themselves against ever applying for it. I recently saw this where I work, when a position at just over $30,000 got a literal flood of enquiries – it was well over 50. You know how many actually put the application in? Only 6. Seriously. It wasn’t as though the job description was excessively difficult either. The main thing that put people off was that they had to be prepared to get in a car and travel around the region occasionally. How hard is that? Especially considering a large part of the local population commute for 1 1/2 hours to the nearest city for work…

On a personal level, I used to be in one of those $25,000 jobs. With a Uni degree, and Honours, I thought I was lucky to get it considering the high level of unemployment locally. I sold the company on how much I had to offer. They took me up on it. Then they pushed the envelope, and got even more. Bargain rates! I filled 3 job descriptions, all on my own, and I was still on $25K. After the promised salary and position title review ended up leaving me in exactly the same position, I started feeling I wasn’t really being appreciated. You probably know the feeling yourself. That was when I started to think about how much I felt I was worth. I thought about what salary I wanted, and came up against some pretty strong beliefs about how I didn’t really deserve more, and I should be grateful for what I had.

Pardon the language, but “stuff that” thought I.

I spent the next few months intensively working on what I believed about myself. I started to make positive affirmations about how much I was worth, and how I deserved to have a decent salary, and I didn’t deserve to spend every minute stressed out over how I’d pay the bills. I repeated positive statements about myself to the mirror. I wrote down what I wanted. I did exercises to push the boundaries further.

Then, out of the blue, I got a phone call offering me a job at $43,500, and apologising because it was probably going to be fairly simple work for me.

That’s when I found out about the statistics on how there’s a shortage of people applying for top positions.

Now, I agree this is not a scientific study, but it seems like a pretty clear link to me. Especially considering I had a similar (although less deliberate) process happening when I got the $25K job to start with. I’ve since used it to get a better job again, and I’m in the next-to-top tax bracket now. Oh yes, and I recently got an opportunity to go for a relieving job another TWO levels up, after I decided to rehash my method for a course I’m developing.

Do you have anything over at the end of the pay period? If not, here’s a quick exercise to try. Take your current salary. Triple it, and imagine yourself being offered a position at that level. Chances are, you’ll start to find all kinds of things coming up emotionally for you – the personal arguments you use to talk yourself out of receiving that much money.

Not convinced?

Get a tape recorder, and leave it playing while you do a role play of you, asking your boss for a raise. Make it a decent one, say $5,000 or so. When you play it back, you’ll probably find that there is at least one sentence that you came up with, as yourself, that argued against you getting the raise. “I understand there’s not much money at the moment…” is a common one.

Start spending a bit of time thinking about what you are really worth. Forget about the idea of being “selfish” and take a good look at what you have to offer. Work on your beliefs about yourself. As you do, and once it’s solidly built into your self-image, you’ll start to notice little things coming your way that do improve your lifestyle. Signposts, if you will, that you’re on the right track.
Maybe a small win in the lottery, or a scratchy. Maybe finding a note on the street, or being given too much change. You’ll know what it is when it happens, if you’re still on track. Use them to keep yourself motivated to go that next step further. The sky really IS the limit.

Best of luck,

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