Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Barbara Stanny - Overcoming Underearning

This was a good book.  The main topic doesn't really apply to me.  I already don't spend more than I have to, I'm pretty thrifty.  It's true I often end up working for free!  That's kind of to be expected in my unique situation-- almost forty and never had a job-- but I don't consider it a problem, since I'm not headed for any serious "work" right now anyway. 

What I got out of this book that was VERY useful, was from one of its brilliant sub-themes-- on the topic of self-esteem and trying too hard to please people.

Here's my notes:

Breaking through your barriers requires the recognition that you really are a capable person with something valuable to offer, and you understand beyond doubt that you deserve to be happy, successful and well paid because you're worth it.

Women who take on more than their share of responsibility often carry too much weight. And many take on this responsibility because they don't feel good about themselves. So the habit of service to others and neglect of self becomes a default setting. But once self-esteem is enhanced through asking for more money, and more of the good that life has to offer, women find themselves so fulfilled that they don't need to fill the emptiness with food or other addictions.

You need to value who you are enough to put your own needs at the top of the list.

"The man who tries to please everyone, ends up whittling himself away."

Every time you go to do something different, every time you deviate from the norm, every time you break a habit or end a pattern, your brain cries, "Stop, this doesn't feel right! Don't do it." Do not listen!
The number one requirement for success in anything is, You've got to be willing to be uncomfortable.
Discomfort is an automatic response to anything out of the ordinary. The ability to tolerate discomfort is absolutely essential to go to the next level in any area of your life. Anxiety, fear, worry, nervousness, resistance... all these are normal reactions to new situations. It need not mean something's wrong, just that something is different.

"Embrace what doesn't come naturally. Only then will you stop limiting yourself."

The Defining Truth:
No one is doing this to me. I am doing it to myself. Therefore, I have the ability to change it.

One of the major reasons people get stuck is because they're clinging to the very thing that's holding them in place. Nothing propels us into our Discomfort Zone quicker than letting go. And it's usually that which we're most afraid to let go of that is the very thing we need to release.

"We must be willing to relinquish the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

Success is a social activity. You can't do it alone, you just can't. There ARE people who will joyfully greet the person you are becoming.

"They started to fall off like flies," she told me. "People took it personally. Others understood, but it was obvious our relationship had changed. There were great people... I love them, but I knew I needed to find others operating at the level I wanted to be at. That was absolutely necessary if I was going to move forward."

You can no longer abandon your self to make everyone else happy. If you're even slightly codependent--neglecting your own needs to concentrate on, control, or care take others-- you're probably reading this in total horror. But... I can't tell you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: try to please everybody.

She stopped listening. "I started using that phrase, 'Thank you for sharing,' and I'd think to myself, 'I don't agree. But I love you anyway.' I've had to let go of needing everyone to be in Jolee's pep club... I might lose some friends along the way. But the workshop gave me permission to not be angry and do what I want whether they like it or not."

No matter how bold you may be, it's easy to lose your footing when you're caught off guard by a naysayer during a weak moment.

Watch what you talk about. Language is powerful. There is a direct correlation between the words that you use and the life that you have. I saw this principle in action right after I wrote my last book, when the economy went sour. I noticed I was having very different conversations with the six-figure women I had kept in touch with than I was having with most others. Underearners were constantly complaining about the lousy economy, quickly dismissing the mere idea of making more money. But the high earners, even those who had been hit by hard times, were surprisingly upbeat about the opportunities that were out there. Their words became self-fulfilling prophecies. Their outcomes directly reflected their different perspectives.

Watch what you say. Talk about what you're committed to, not what you're worried about. Stop apologizing or belittling yourself in any way.
This is not about positive thinking. It's about the power that words have over your attitude and behavior. Life follows what you say. What you share, you strengthen. What you focus on expands. It's never the other way around. Never!

Journal exercise...
The next day, and for the following week, consciously choose to only talk about possibilities, not problems; about what you aspire to achieve, rather than everything that is going wrong. Talk as if you're a powerful person, not a victim. How does this make you feel?

When you do this exercise, you'll likely feel strange, awkward, arrogant and phony, especially if you've been hanging out with negative folks. That's exactly how change feels. Remember, the number one requirement for success is the willingness to be uncomfortable. Pretty soon, what now feels weird will begin to seem normal.

We'll never attract people who respect us until we learn to respect ourselves-- by taking time to take care of ourselves.

"What have I done lately for me? I took three weeks off work. I read novels, took naps, meditated. I had never taken time for me. I had to learn to sit and be quiet, listen to what was inside me. I found I could near a choir of voices saying, 'You can do this if you have a vision.' I found a whole reservoir within me that said, 'Get up and go.' Then it was 'All right, now one foot in front of the other.' I took jobs I wanted, turned down the ones that drained me. I weaned off old friends, I'm finding new ones. And I am having so much fun."

The word 'community' derives from Latin words cum munere, which literally mean to give among each other. Giving to yourself and receiving from others are equally critical components for overcoming underearning.

Hang out with the kind of people you want to be like, not who you've been.

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