We all arrange our lives to match our perception of money. There is an upper money ceiling that prevents you from busting through your money “comfort zone,” and a lower limit that prevents you from financially crashing. Until you have a realistic understanding of how your life functions at the higher level–and recognize the ideas that limit your money–your income will plateau.
We rarely see the money decisions we make as a turning point, because the choice to limit yourself is subconscious. Until you make earning more a conscious choice–understand how your thoughts interact with your declaration of worth–you’re going to feel “stuck” and not understand why you can’t make progress.
Raise Your Money Ceiling
If you want to make money beyond your current comfort zone, you need to do three things:
- Identify the ceiling you’ve place on yourself
- Be clear about the money you REALLY want to make your life work
- Work on “filling” the mental and emotional gap between the two points
Identify your ceiling. Think about an amount of money that you feel absolutely comfortable generating as income on a monthly basis. You should have zero physical reaction to this number. Now, double that number . . . how did that feel? Did you start to react a little? If that number was still in your comfort zone, try putting a zero on the end of it . . . how about now? Another zero? You want to shoot for a number that is more than you currently bring in, but that doesn’t completely freak you out. That number will expand as you “grow” into a new upper limit.
Be clear about the effect created by making the money you want to make. This is the part that everybody skips, but it’s the reason why people don’t get what they want: you need to be crystal clear about how cash actually flows through the happy, comfortable life you would live with your “ideal” income.
To get clear, break down your monthly income number into business expenses, taxes, savings and lifestyle. I find that when most people do this exercise, they realize they actually want to make MORE than their current ceiling—and that is the first step to realizing you deserve more! The more specific you can be identifying the things you need to make your life work, the easier time you’ll have justifying your value.
Sometimes people get stuck just “doing okay” because they aren’t actually suffering financially. Current income covers immediate needs. This is why you have to devote time to building the specifics around the vision of what your life would look like when you make MORE money. If you don’t know exactly how the additional money will be used to make your life work, you’ll probably plateau until you DO understand.
The Third Step As A Daily Practice
The final step of “filling the gap” between where you are and where you want to be financially combines practical planning tasks with managing your mindset. Personally, when I have struggled with making more money, I try to focus on some kind of “thought work” every day. Here are some things I’ll do—maybe 1-2 tasks per day as I am sitting around–to help develop my sense of “deservingness” around getting to the next level:
Confirm your business income plan – How do you generate $_____ per month? What expenses will increase as a result? When planning income, also factor in slow months and vacations. Until I can “see” how the numbers change as a result of making more money, it doesn’t feel real to me.
Review your reasons – You need to be crystal clear about the non-monetary reasons you know you deserve to make more money. For me, it’s usually about self care—when I forget to focus on that, things fall apart! But as soon as I remind myself that money is a tool to care for myself, things start to fall into place again.
Journal – Write about the feedback from clients that have nothing to do with technical service you provide and everything to do with just being you. Your unique way of being in the world is worth more than you realize. Or write about how your life will be different with more money coming in.
Meditate – Listen to guided meditations. I enjoy listening to meditations that work with my energy, like those of Abraham Hicks, Doreen Virtue or Orin & DaBen. John Assaraf and Wayne Dyer have some good ones too. When I am in a negative loop, this is the single-best way I know to break it!
Manage environment – the more I prioritize myself, the less time I have for anyone who isn’t part of my “tribe”. I recently cancelled a meeting with a mortgage broker; when he asked me to coffee; I thought he enjoyed my take on personal finance and just wanted to connect. However, after scheduling, he emailed a price list to advertise in his newsletter! Five years ago, I might have gone to the meeting anyway to avoid conflict (he said he really DID enjoy my approach when I called him on it), but this time, I just told him I knew it would be a waste of both of our time and was firm in my refusal. There is no neutral energy.
Actions To Take
- Play around with your ceiling. If you’re not having a physical reaction, then observe when the “how” around earning that higher level of money gets fuzzy for you (another way to identify your upper limit).
- Make your money goal concrete. Whatever your income goal, go back and map out where that cash flow goes in the new reality, so that you’re completely clear about the role of new money in your life. It’s never going to just all sit there in a bank account, piling up! There will always be money flowing out.
- Set aside 30 minutes for thought work. Spend 30 minutes every day getting excited about your income goal, making it more personal, relevant, and celebrating progress.
A lot of people resist making money thought work a daily practice. The key to making it fun is focusing on the energy instead of the means . . . you might become frustrated if you focus on the gap of where you are versus where you want to be, but if you focus on how good you’ll feel when you reach your goals, you’ll actually enjoy taking the time!
P.S. If you want to do more around eliminating money blocks and raising your money ceiling, you should check out my free ebook, Money Chakras, which help you eliminate money blocks from an energy standpoint. You can download that here.