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8 Techniques to Lose the Fear of Talking About Money and Salary

Neither at home or school do we encourage important discussions around how to handle personal finances. Today, it is more taboo than talking about sex.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
  • Get used to having conversations about money.
  • Introduce money and wealth in conversations with friends.
  • At work, avoid tying the raise to necessity.
  • Establish at the beginning of the work how often the salary will be discussed, and schedule it.

Why is money still a taboo that not all people dare to talk about? Especially in the culture of Latin America there is great difficulty to refer openly to money in general, including salary, or how much you want to earn, or what you should charge for your fees and services. They make detours, it is disguised within another context of conversation, and even the topic is avoided.

This cultural trait is due to entrenched beliefs that have become limiting paradigms for people. In North American culture, for example, the salary and benefits package is something public, it is discussed, everyone knows what to expect, as well as the prices of the products and the fees for intangible services that are clearly set from the beginning. .

It is all due to the lack of financial education from childhood.

In fact, the fear of money has a name: cromethophobia, the irrational phobia of being related to silver. In this case, the intervention of a mental health professional is necessary.

Abundance and wealth are not the same

While they generally complement each other, there is a distinction between being abundant versus wealth creators. Wealth is broader: it is generative, while abundance is quite general, unspecific, for example, when someone says "I want abundance for myself and for others" : from a "desire" point of view this is excellent; however, it is vague as to what abundance means (having a lot of something). Instead, wealth is contributory; it is understood as "having a lot of that which can change your life substantially".

The cultural inability instilled in the family and at school to handle personal finances does not encourage a culture where talking about money is natural. It is a taboo subject, and, today, it is more taboo than talking about sex.

For example, in the Emotional Education Law (which we are promoting in Argentina; it is a project created by educator Lucas Malaisi), the teaching of personal finance from kindergarten onwards is included as one of the dimensions to be addressed in order to have intelligence to decide and also generate in this field.

Phrases that weaken the relationship with money

The famous family phrase "We don't talk about money here!" o “It is in bad taste to talk about money on the table” is then transferred to the world of work, where companies hide the salaries expected to pay candidates for a position, and people, in turn, do not dare to ask which It is the salary they will receive. Much less is said about the projected increases, nor are the numbers transparent in the vast majority of organizations.

With reference to salary, specifically, it is something that produces fear. Fear is an emotion that manifests itself in different ways: minimizing ("I don't work for money", "it's my passion" ); exaggerating ("even if they didn't pay me anything, I'd still work here" ); feeling resentment ("I deserve more than such another person" ); guilt ("I am not prepared to deserve such a salary ), and so many more.

10 limiting beliefs about money


Although the list is more extensive than those included here - sometimes reinforced "innocently" by popular sayings, for example - these are 10 of the general beliefs that limit the possibility of money coming into your life.

It is necessary to bear in mind that there may be many more beliefs that prevent your access to this source of energy exchange that is used in the world.

The good news is that, just as there are people who were made from poverty and today have large empires, businesses and very prosperous projects, it is possible to change these beliefs at their roots, if you commit yourself conscientiously. It can be a slow and gradual process, where you will work one by one, before moving on to the next: it is not possible to deactivate a whole chain of beliefs at once, from one day to the next. You may want to seek help from a coach or a psychologist to overcome this issue which, in many cases, turns into pathology.

How to change? A belief is exchanged for another belief of the opposite and positive sign. As always, success depends exclusively on you (not external) and your commitment and conviction to want to change. The process is slow and gradual.

Here are ten of the most popular limiting beliefs about money:

1) Money is bad / dirty. This phrase is heard ad nauseam from children, especially when money is scarce or you come from poor or vulnerable families. It works on a wrong logic, since money, in itself, is neither bad nor dirty; what can distort its use is what the people themselves do.

2) If you have money, you must have done something wrong. It is associated with dishonesty and dishonesty; and it has been unconsciously reinforced with that lethal phrase of "poor, but honest."

3) Money is only for rich people. Although it is true that money is a magnet, because the more you have, the more it reaches you, there are millions and millions of examples in the world of people who started from the most absolute poverty and are among the richest in the world. Even people without any training or knowledge have created empires. Look up their biographies, study them, learn about how they did it, and you will see that it did not happen overnight.

4) Money only brings problems. Another very reiterated belief, since it presupposes that the more you have, the more inconvenience you will attract into your life. It is a victimization of those who choose not to risk or take the abundance that is always present, although your limiting beliefs do not allow you to see or enjoy it.

5) You don't deserve that much money. Here a very strong emotional component comes into play, which is the sense of worthiness. If you have lived through many economic deprivations in life, and your parents have been poor, you may have to consider that you are already an adult and you have the responsibility of your life. Or are you going to continue living -also in this aspect- a life of limitations, replicating what they did? If you have suffered it, it means that you did not like it; you may have gotten used to it. The change is internal and begins with you, not external.

6) My parents had a hard time making money; that's why me too. Another victim, who all they want is to put outside what should be inside: your personal responsibility.

7) There is not enough for everyone. One of the great problems of the world (and it includes you) is that the world is very abundant: what fails is the distribution of wealth. If you wait for someone to come and give you your share, you will remain poor all your life. It is preferable that you generate it yourself, with your effort, and that you conquer it step by step.

A concrete example: someone in extreme poverty feels that he is exhausted from that situation, decides to think and create something great. You start to get it up and running and earn a small income; and he multiplies it until his project is big. As you will see, he "opens" and "takes" the opportunity with his willpower and persistence from an individual situation that he chose to change forever.

8) I am poor, and so I will die. In terms of personal transformation, this is called "decreeing." It is as if someone superior, who is really yourself, issues an opinion that your life will always be like this. Guess what you will get in return?

9) If I have money, I'm a bad person. Just as there are extremely corrupt rich people, and equally undesirable poor people; the same happens in reverse. In all types of people in the world there are good attitudes and of others. So, you must choose which side to be on and how you want to allow abundance to enter your life. Wealth is something that you can generate yourself; it is infinite, like, for example, love. The more you give, the more you feel, the more you receive.

10) Money does not make happiness. This is another of the great excuses that poor people choose to victimize themselves, and blame the government, the system, their family, their rich ancestors who did not inherit it, and so on. Happiness is an internal conquest that has nothing to do with money: it is an individual process; that is why there are rich people who are extremely happy and full; and extremely unhappy poor. And quite the opposite. Do not believe these paradigms: dare to challenge and change them, if that is what you want.

8 techniques to lose the fear of talking about money

Image: Micheile Henderson via Unsplash

1) Get used to having conversations about money

Talking about salary, benefits, performance bonuses, and asking for offers in writing, and even suggesting improvements based on productivity, are practices of many companies that are evolving towards new business models. The same with clients when you offer your products and services, you need this conversation to be natural and not forced, and to have certain review deadlines so that both parties are as satisfied as possible.

2) Introduce money and wealth into conversations with friends

Just as intimate topics are discussed, many people relegate the talk about what they earn or their investments or money management to very few people. Starting to speak it more openly will even allow you to get to know other perspectives other than your mental model, which will allow you to contrast salary situations. The suggestion is to do it with a select group to keep it in an intimate circle, and internally inquire how you feel from the emotions while you do it.

3) At work, avoid linking the increase in salary to need

This is a very common mistake. Many people think that the salary should cover a person's need, and it is not. For example, expressing “ I need a raise because I can't afford it” indicates that you are reaffirming or declaring your pattern of lack, rather than generating wealth.

The salary is the one that the company and the accepted employee have arranged. It is part of the contract between both parties. When someone is going to ask for a salary increase saying "I cannot afford to pay the rent on my house", it is not really a valid reason for any type of organization, since it is governed by other types of parameters.

The tool that can help, if you feel that you are behind in salary, is to express it with something like this: “I want to have a conversation with you about my salary. I would like to know what I can improve even more in my performance, productivity and performance for the company, to access a salary increase. Could we talk about this? " It is completely different.

4) Establish at the beginning of work how often the salary will be discussed, and schedule it

As it is a conversation that we call “difficult”, it is important to pre-agree to prepare the ground.

5) Find the right moment and create the environment

For example, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, I know cases of employees who went to complain about their salary - without being essential or required professions, in fact, they were with activities temporarily canceled. Something totally out of the context that was lived at that time.

To discuss salary with your superiors or the human resources area, it is important to anticipate, prepare the conversation internally, know what you have to offer (or have been achieved in concrete, not in the abstract, regarding surpassing work achievements, measurable figures, contributions to the work team), to then talk about the salary issue.

6) For companies: transparent salary policies

In companies, I recommend that the salary policy be transparent, published, and that all employees know the dynamics of increases, negotiations, special situations that may or may not be considered. This will make the situation much clearer for both the company and the team.

7) Avoid comparison: focus on the value you add

Both in performance as an employee, and when you offer services and products, beware of excessive comparison with others as an argument to raise your issues, or set your fees. It is a very frequent behavior and rooted in the Latino culture. What happens is that, quite simply, the comparison almost always gets lost. The intention is that you focus on the added value that you give to your market or employer.

8) Watch out for the Dunning-Kruger effect

Psychology has proven that people who are less prepared tend to overestimate their achievements, and it seems to them that they give much more than they really give with their work; while the most prepared suffer from something similar to the Imposter Syndrome - that is, they have the bar too high with themselves, and feel that perhaps they do not deserve so much. Psychology calls this the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Finally, and with reference to merit, it is a whole issue when talking about salary; That is why there are some companies that have begun to implement experiences where the employee is the one who sets the parameter of what seems correct.

In my career as a business coach I have the experience of working with some companies where everyone knows the numbers openly. When this policy is carried out correctly, it allows them to become much more involved in the business, increases motivation and awareness of the business, and gets the team to “put on the shirt”.