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Work on Your Relationship to Money Before You Negotiate Your Salary

Written By Jessica Williams | Sep 20, 2018

Negotiating your salary can be an overwhelming proposition for anyone looking to increase their compensation, but it can be especially daunting for creatives who put their heart and soul into their work. You may feel as if you’re negotiating the worth of your art. Specifically, it can feel hard because as a society, we place a lot of value and emphasis on money but we rarely talk about how it makes us feel and act.

Money is just a thing, like clothing, food, and shelter, but we unconsciously and unfairly use it as a measurement of our worth, value, and success…especially in our careers. Before you negotiate your salary, whether for a new job offer or a raise, examine your relationship to money and it will almost certainly help you get more of what you want. By the way, this is also important if you’re considering raising your rates as a contractor or freelancer.

Here are 6 ways to start examining your relationship to money before you negotiate your salary or raise your rates.

1. Write down your beliefs about money that hold you back. 

We all have unconscious thoughts, stories, and beliefs about the world around us. Sometimes these beliefs are empowering, but other times they limit our potential.

When it comes to money, many people believe that their self worth is dependent on their income, so they are terrified of negotiating their compensation or raising their rates. They don’t want to be told they aren’t “worth it.”

To get you started, here are five other common limiting beliefs people have about money:
1. I have to work hard to make any money.
2. I’m not good with money.
3. I’m not qualified or worthy enough to make more money than I make now.
4. You can’t make money doing what you love.
5. If I make a lot of money, I’ll finally be happy and at peace.

Out of all the beliefs you wrote down, what five beliefs hold the most emotional charge for you? Circle them.

What other beliefs do you have about money that hold you back? Write those down, too.

Money is just a thing, like clothing, food, and shelter, but we unconsciously and unfairly use it as a measurement of our worth

2. Ask yourself, “Who would I be without this belief?”

Now let’s imagine that you lost the ability to think these thoughts. Someone reached inside your mind and just took them away. Poof!

Who would you be without that thought?

How would you act?

What would you do differently?

How would you treat yourself and others?

Would you change anything you’re currently doing right now?

Would you feel differently?

3. Look for examples where that belief is not true. 

Now, let’s look for the evidence that your negative and limiting belief is not true. Can you find at least three concrete, real examples of where the opposite might be true?

For example, if your limiting belief is, “I’m not worthy of asking for the kind of salary I think I should be making,” how might the opposite be true?

Here are three example reasons you might be worthy of making that kind of money…
1. You have 10 years of experience.
2. You know other people with your skill level who make that kind of money.
3. You are really good at your job.

For all of your limiting beliefs, turn the belief around to its opposite, and write down at least three examples why the opposite could be true.

4. Replace this limiting belief with a new and better belief. 

Take a look back over your notes. What new and better belief could you adopt in place of your old, limiting belief? For example, you might write… “I am worthy of asking for a raise” or “I can make money doing what I love.”

5. Look for the evidence that this new belief is true. 

Unfortunately, those limiting beliefs are tricky and they like to hold on tight, so your work doesn’t stop here. Continue to look for evidence that your new and better belief is true. Eventually, through practice and focus, you can rewire your brain to actually believe these new and better thoughts about money.

If you want more help working on this topic, then I invite you to download this free “How to Negotiate Your Salary Checklist” and read “Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth” by Nancy Levine.

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