Me: “My fee is XXX. I am sorry. I know my fee is really high.”
Barbara: “Stop right there. You just did it. You should have stopped after you told me your fee.”
Barbara Huson, author of seven influential financial health books, stopped me in my tracks.
We were having a conversation about how uncomfortable we are sharing our value, our truth and our wins.
She had just finished explaining to me how women in particular have been taught to hold back their pride and put themselves down as a way to survive.
While I had been nodding my head in agreement during our whole conversation, my body was clearly not on board.
I cognitively know and believe that women should step into their power and declare what they are worth and deserve, but I too have trouble actually doing it.
What was keeping me from it?
Barbara explained that “it is simply fear of pain. We are so much more interested in avoiding pain in the current moment that we will sacrifice what is good for us in the long-term.”
I was so uncomfortable saying my fee (which is perfectly reasonable and appropriate for my level of experience) that I decided to ‘undo’ it by saying essentially I am not worth it.
Barbara, in her upcoming book, Rewire For Wealth, talks about how we are neurobiologically wired to keep ourselves comfortable. This wiring keeps us in safe and underperforming positions. It is our fear of discomfort that keeps us from claiming our wealth and ultimately our power. Her book provides tips on how to rewire your brain so you can feel comfortable with stepping into abundance.
When Barbara and I spoke she reflected on the many women she’s worked with who gave away their power (and their money) during their divorce proceedings. She and I see it all the time. A woman walks into mediation and thinks, “I don’t want to look greedy” or “I do not need that much. I am just grateful he is not making this harder on me” or even worse “I don’t think I deserve that much since I didn’t work and stayed home with the kids.” All of these statements have one thing in common Barbara says. They all point to a woman choosing to not face her fear head on.
What’s the fear?
Her fear is that she will anger her partner or the lawyer. Her fear is that she will be appearing demanding-something women are often taught to avoid. Her fear is that she will actually see how much she gave up her power.
But, the great news is that once we look at our fear we can address it.
As Barbara shared with me, “power comes from facing our fear.”
For over 17 years I have been helping people face their fears. I have worked with people who are afraid of dogs, flying, elevators and defecating in their pants. I have seen profound shifts in how people view themselves when they face fears.
Facing your fear is hard. Looking at what is not working is scary.
But, it is also a roadmap. If you know what scares you, but take Barbara’s approach of facing it then you know you will find a way through.
This way will likely be bumpy and full of mistakes, but the only way through is through.
Here’s how to start:
Write down your fears in a list.
Write them all out. It can feel overwhelming at first, but it is also powerful to get them out of your head.
Now rate each fear from (0-10).
Take some time to think about the intensity of each of these fears.
Starting with fears under 5 write down one task you can do this week that will help you face this fear.
It should be small and measurable. Try this for each fear on your list.
Facing our fears is hard, but has the most wonderful result. You won’t feel bullied by your thoughts and limitations anymore.