I’ve heard it many times…
“I’m not earning what I’m worth.”
Or, “I’m not getting paid what I deserve.”
Or, “I deserve better than this.”
I’ve said stuff like this many, many times.
In fact, I’ve said it so many times that I actually got sick of hearing myself say it.
I started noticing that I was becoming “that guy.” You know that guy who’s just sort of a bummer to be around…?
Yeah, that was me.
I have probably said, “This is bullshit, I don’t deserve this.” dozens of times. Never…ever…not once…did it actually get me closer to what I wanted.
So I started thinking. And I started to become honest with myself.
And this honestly led me to one of the most profound conclusions that I’ve encountered. It has shaped my life in a major way.
What I realized is that no amount of talking about your self worth is going to get you what you’re worth.
Simply by saying, “I am not getting what I deserve,” you are enforcing the fact that you don’t have what you deserve.
It’s really that simple.
But if you want more, and you actually believe that you deserve better, then what are you going to do?
What would you do right now if you actually believed that you deserve better…?
You would go get it.
You would do whatever it takes to get what you truly believe you deserve, while most people remain disgruntled that they don’t have what they’re worth.
The truth is – and this might be hard for you to swallow…
…the truth is that you are currently getting exactly what you’re worth.
I know, I know…you deserve more because you’re a human being. You deserve fresh air, clean water, good food, a roof over your head, abundant finances, amazing relationships, and a meaningful life.
Yes – you do deserve these things.
Which is why you can get them.
But the fact that you don’t have them right now means that on some level you subconsciously believe that you don’t deserve them.
“Deserving-ness” is a phenomenon that comes from the inside. People often think that if they’re not getting what they know they’re worth, then it must be because of someone or something holding them back.
Maybe it’s a romantic partner. Maybe it’s a boss. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s debt. Maybe it’s their health. Maybe it’s their karma.
Whatever it is, people think they are being held back by the outside world.
And guess what?
If you hold onto that belief for exactly one year’s time, then you will spend 365 days not having what you deserve.
It’s really that simple and doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
You are not your circumstances. Your circumstances don’t own you. They help you.
Your circumstances – “good” or “bad” – are opportunities. “Good” or “bad” it’s all the same.
Your circumstances are not what is holding you back. Your spirit can overcome your circumstances if you resolve to do so.
If you don’t believe me, then just do an experiment.
Spend a year complaining that you don’t have what you want. Or that you deserve better than what you have.
At the end of that year, write down how your life has changed and if you were able to get closer to what you deserve.
If you got closer, great. I was wrong.
But if you did not get closer, then try the opposite experiment: for one year, take intelligent actions that you believe will get you closer to what you want.
Maybe it’s making 10 cold calls a day. Maybe it’s going to four social functions per month. Or maybe it’s committing to running a quarter or half mile every day.
Whatever it is that you “deserve” more of, then come up with something – anything – that you believe will get you closer to that reality. And then do that.
Again, at the end of one year, ask yourself if you’re closer to getting what you deserve.
It doesn’t have to be any more complex than that.
For me, personally, once I realized that I was spending too much time complaining about what I “deserved,” I knew I had to try a different strategy.
So instead of complaining, I decided to take action.
Whenever I got a new client, I started charging 2x or 3x more than I normally would.
And guess what happened?
It was a huge failure.
I did this for about a month and the only thing that happened was I now had zero clients and my bank account started to shrivel up into nothing.
I was surprised.
So guess what I did?
I started complaining again!
“See…this is bullshit. Here I am trying to get paid what I’m worth and it’s not working…”
“I deserve better than this.”
In no time at all I found myself in the same situation I had been in earlier: I was stuck in a never ending loop of failure and blame. Every time I sent out a proposal and it was ignored or rejected, I started blaming the clients for being stupid, wasting my time, or not having the decency to get back to me.
After several months of this, I realized that it simply was not getting me what I wanted.
That if I honestly believed that I was worth more, then this was certainly not the way to express that.
So here’s what I did.
First of all, I did my very best to eliminate these worthless phrases out of my speech. I stopped using words like deserve or worth. I also stopped blaming things outside of myself. I even stopped blaming myself.
Instead, I tried another approach.
And this approach changed everything.
The way I got myself out of the soul-sucking do-loop of blame and failure was simply by accepting myself for where I was.
At the time, I was literally working all day and most of the night. I was probably earning about $5 dollars an hour if you did the math…maybe even less.
On the rare occasion that I did get a project, I maybe earned $100 dollars over the course of a week’s worth of work.
Obviously, this is easily something to get sad about. It feels really crappy to work all day and earn so such little money.
It’s very easy to get mad about too. “I don’t deserve this. This is bullshit. I just can’t get ahead. God must hate me. It’s because the rich people stole all the money and crashed the economy.”
Seriously the list of excuses goes on and on.
But it’s way too easy to make excuses.
Instead, I learned how to get smarter than my brain.
And I did this by accepting where I was in life.
I accepted my current self worth. And this put me into an entirely different mindset.
I started replacing my unproductive thoughts and phrases with things like, “You know what…I might only be worth $5 dollars an hour right now. But that’s ok. That’s where I am right now and that’s ok.”
I recognized that what I was worth was not objectively true. It was only a measure of what I subconsciously thought I was worth.
And here’s a piece of golden advice for you: you cannot trick your subconscious mind.
You can’t. It’s impossible.
Instead, be completely honest with yourself and where you are. And then focus on improving your situation.
I started seeing immediate results once I adopted this mentality. I told myself, “D/C – you might only think you’re worth $5 dollars an hour right now. But that is ok. One day you will be worth $50 an hour. You will get what you deserve as long as you keep working towards it.”
Amazing things happened to me. I landed a random client out of thin air. And even though I didn’t immediately start making tons of money, I stayed focused.
I promised myself that I was going to be an amazing $5 dollar an hour worker. I promised myself that I would not dwell on the fact that I wasn’t where I was.
Instead what I did was work my ass off for that $5 an hour. Every time the client requested a revision, my self worth immediately took a hit. But I took a deep breath and remembered that I promised myself I would not dwell on my situation. I kept reminding myself that if I stay focused on my goal, that I would soon start to get closer to it.
After only about 10 days, this client had already decided to hire me for a much bigger project and even arranged to have me work with another one of his colleagues.
I ended up earning way more money than I had hoped for. I also started getting other contracts that I didn’t think I was going to get.
It was strange looking back on it. Magical, even.
The moment I changed my mind from, “I don’t have.” to “I will get.” everything else magically started to change on its own.
That’s my story, anyway.
Now I believe that as long as you work hard and stay humble, you can accomplish anything you want.
And I also believe that the only thing that’s actually standing in your way is your own mind.
Looking back into my past experiences, I have known many of people who all had what I thought were “damn good reasons” to complain. Life treated them unfairly.
But never did any of these people ever get what they want.
So if you think you have a reason to complain, then just keep complaining. But ask yourself honestly if it has helped you get what you want.
I would wager that the answer is always, “No.”
I’ll leave you with a good quote:
“Being broke. It happens.
Being unhappy. It happens.
Staying broke and staying unhappy…well that’s up to you.
Because when Monday turns to Tuesday turns to Wednesday, you have just wasted three days.” -D/C Russ
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about this topic.
Good luck, comrade.