Did you know that how much you earn is often directly related to your own self-worth and how much you actually value yourself?
This may sound surprising but it really is true.
If we always seem to be struggling just to get by, and if this been going on for a very long time, then we really need to look at how much do we actually value ourselves and our time and our energy.
A long time ago I learnt the harsh reality of this through a very challenging and frightening experience.
The amazing effect of a true commitment
It was back in the early 1990s and just a few years after I had started my first real business venture. We supplied tropical plants to offices and banks, hotels and restaurants in Ireland.
I managed to grow the business very well, but I was always struggling financially. It was a constant rollercoaster where I had money, and then very quickly it would all be gone. So to be honest I was really disheartened to be in this situation all the time.
So one day I made a very big determination — or rather I made a 100% commitment or vow to the universe. I promised that I would completely transform my financial situation very quickly so that I would be able to free up my own personal time so that I could make a difference in society by doing various types of voluntary work.
Now, it’s quite amazing what happens when you make a commitment to something with your whole being. Within a couple of weeks I encountered what appeared to be complete and utter financial disaster.
My small business owed its suppliers far more than I had expected, and the amount of money that was coming in the next month was far less than I had expected. I really was incredibly worried because there simply seemed to be no way out.
Now I have always hated letting people down, and not being able to pay suppliers on time was a really big thing for me. Money was so scarce; I didn’t even know how I was going to survive for the next week.
But you know what? Sometimes things need to get really tough for us in life, before we can make a really big change. Now, it’s no coincidence that this started happening to me.
It was a direct and immediate response to the commitment I had made to transforming my financial circumstances once and for all.
The reason why I had made such a big commitment was so that I could free up my time and start doing some voluntary work — so that I could start giving back to society.
Self-worth is the heart of the matter
Anyway, this frightening experience forced me to look at what turned out to be the heart of the matter. And this was my own self-worth.
You see, I always felt very guilty about asking my customers to pay on time. Also, I charged far less than most of my competitors did. So I realised, that if my business was to survive I had to double our prices to every single one of our clients. I actually expected to lose more than half of them. But even if that happened, I would still be in a far better off situation.
Now amazingly, every single one of my clients agreed to the massive price increase. In fact many of them told me that they felt our rates were far too low! The simply wonderful effect was to instantly double our profits.
But you know what? Everything boiled down to me not valuing my time, my expertise, or my energy. This is why I charged such ridiculously low prices, and had such fear and guilt over asking for payment on time.
I also had some other experiences around this same time that was constantly pointing at the need to improve my own self worth. I actually had a far too casual attitude towards money. In fact I felt a bit guilty about earning money.
But what is money? Money is simply an exchange we make for our time and expertise. If we don’t value our own time or our expertise, then this affects us in so many different ways.
The right attitude towards money
In fact I had such a bad attitude towards money and the value of my own time that I was buying all these CDs every week; albums that I never really listened to. Every week I would go out and buy two or three more CDs — which was crazy!
So what happened as a result? I went over to the UK for a weekend to attend a seminar and when I returned home my CD player and all my CDs had been stolen.
So what did I do? I went out and bought a new CD player and replaced all the CDs.
Now I was living in a rented house at the time, and wasn’t insured; so this all came out of my own pocket, or rather the pocket of my business.
Then a few weeks later I went over to the UK again, and yet again when I came home all my replacement CDs and my even newer CD player had all been stolen once again.
So this led me to really start questioning why would such an event happen to me twice? What was the underlying reason for this repeated event? You see when something happens more than once there is always a very good reason why it happens.
So, as well as the other experiences that I was going through, I started to see a very clear pattern emerging. I started to realise how my attitude towards money and how I valued myself really had to change and had to change very quickly.
Also, a lot of people used to ask me for favours all the time, but would never return any favours. In fact I was being run ragged doing things for people most evenings without any regard for my own personal needs.
One of my neighbours start to notice this and told me that I just had to stop helping everyone and that I should really take better care of myself and my own personal needs.
Anyway, it was very clear with all these events that I really needed to start cherishing my own life a lot more. I needed to really value my time and my energy and start saying no to people, unless I was fundamentally helping their life in some meaningful way.
And most of the time this was certainly was not the case — people were just asked me for favours because they knew I would always say yes!
Now, I do realise that this is a very common experience for many people. It’s so easy to denigrate ourselves and not truly value our lives and the difference we make in our environment.
Learning to say no is treasuring ourselves
But you know what? Learning to say no to people (unless of course they really do need our help in some way that makes a real difference to their life). Learning to say no can be one of the most wonderful things we can ever learn in life.
This is because when we start accepting ourselves, and then go on to start treasuring ourselves, we become empowered.
So long as we are not valuing our time and energy we remain disempowered and this can have very negative effects; not only on our finances, but in every area of our life.
How much we value our self and our time and energy and all the unique qualities that we possess, can have a profound affect on our earning potential.
Now, I know a lot of people who believe themselves to be very spiritual. And often spiritual people believe that money is evil and that they don’t need money and that everything will be fine without any money.
But, this is really nonsense! Money is a measure of the time and the value or contribution we have made to society.
It is very difficult to make a really significant difference in the world if you are struggling financially all of the time. If you spend all your time struggling just to survive, there is very little left of you to make a difference in the world around you.
I’m firmly convinced that we live in a world that is rich and abundant, and we deserve to have all our needs met. And when we have all that we need, then we have more time and energy and financial resources to contribute to our society.
How we think and how we feel determines everything that happens to us in life. If we wish to feel worthless or seeped in guilt or that were not important, then that is our choice. The result will be a life of lack, a life of struggle, a life of disillusionment and disempowerment. And when we allow such negative thoughts and feelings to dominate and erode our life then our life remains very small and we are unhappy.
On the other hand, when we start to treasure our lives we automatically start treasuring those around us much more too. When we value our time and energy and our experience, then we can earn more, have all our needs met, and we have the time and energy to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
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