We bought a 1954 home that we took down to the studs and remodeled. My husband, John and I discussed an amount that we would spend on our home remodel. Because I used to sell real estate, I did not want to own the most expensive home in our new neighborhood. I created a firm boundary in my mind about the budget for the remodel.
First, let me give you a little backstory: John and I owned three condos and one townhome that we bought as investments so that my business could operate from Portland (two hours north of where we lived) from 1998 to 2012.
Since we sold the town home in July 2012, I have yearned for a home with a yard. John enjoyed condo living so we did our work together to create a way to compromise so we would both get our needs met in a new home. Our first step was for each of us to make a separate list of 10 things each of us wanted in a home. Then we merged them, prioritized their order and came up with 13 qualities we wanted in our home.
Last May, we found a home that had all 13 qualities yet the yard was a third of an acre, and the house was a few hundred square feet larger than we wanted. The bottom line is be careful what you ask for because sometimes the Universe will give you more than what you wanted;)
My Upper Limit in Spending
Back to the money block. We hired a contractor and agreed on the bid knowing that bids can run 15 to 25 percent higher. Once the project started, unexpected expenses cropped up. A sewer that was non compliant and cost $10k to comply (note: we had an inspection with a sewer scope and this was not found). Each time an invoice came in, my stress level went off the charts and a part of me that is the skeptic went into overdrive to fact find and question the charges. I’m admitting this is not my best side. I kept thinking that it was the stress of the scope of the project not noticing that I had created a money block.
I am a type six on the Enneagram, the Loyal Skeptic. Sixes like certainty and of course there is no certainty especially not during a remodel. Sixes are skeptics yet we are also loyal friends and partners. My stress had nothing to do with the contractor and everything to do with my type and this money block. As a woman who teaches people to remove money blocks, I was blindsided by my own money block!
Each of us has a set point or a gauge of what we can earn, spend and how much success we can have in our lives. When we get close to that set point, we can sabotage ourselves or cause ourselves a lot of suffering. Often this set point or belief was programmed during early childhood.
We tend to arrange our life to match the money set point that is a result of our thinking and perception of money. This is what we call your “upper limit” that prevents you from asking, earning or receiving more money than you think you can earn or deserve.
We’ve all heard about lottery winners who lose all the millions they won a few years later. This is a classic example of the upper limit issue. I see women in Smart Women Make Money that believe they are flawed or they are not good enough or they don’t have what it takes to make money. None of these are true – they have an “upper limit” problem. Each of us has a set point – like a thermostat that is our comfort zone for how much money, happiness and success we can have in our life.
Gay Hendricks refers to this as an “upper limit” problem in his book The Big Leap. “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure,” said Hendricks.
How to Work With Your Financial Set Point
1) Commit to watching your mode of operation with money. Become aware of the stress surrounding money – earning and spending. Do you have a certain amount that you think you can earn? Do you have a hard time spending money on yourself? The first step in behavior change is awareness, then understanding and then taking action. When I realized I was causing myself stress, I began to relax because there was nothing I could do – I was arguing with the reality of the situation.
2) Identify your financial upper limit and stretch it. Ask yourself how much money you’re comfortable generating as income on a monthly basis. This would be a number that is comfortable for you. Now go up to a stretch goal number – this number will make you slightly nervous. Now take it up one more time, how do you feel now? The idea is to slowly move this number up so it is slightly above what you think you can earn or make.
3) How do you sabotage yourself when you are make more money? Do you spend as much as you earn? If you grew up with the belief that you will lose family and friends if you make too much money, you are most likely going to spend the money you earn as fast as it comes in. Notice what is behind the behavior. I see this belief often in my class.
4) Cut out the middleman (waiting until you make enough money) and start to appreciate what you have now. Bring in the feelings now in the moment to appreciate what you have. Focus on feeling good about what you have in your life right now. Try out a new thought – “I enjoy the money I have” or “I am grateful for the work that provides me with this money.”
5) Create your own financial set point for success. Most successful people take leaps above what they think they can earn. It is a continuous process of resetting their own set point. Make it a game or a challenge, see how much you can earn or create ways to make more money. Be open to all opportunities that come your way.
6) Each time you have a financial success or see money coming in from your business online, thank the Universe. Say out loud a big thank you. When you see money on the street and pick it up – be in appreciation. You will be surprised how shifting your energy expands your capacity to be grateful and the Universe rewards gratitude.
Do you have a money set point or upper limit? How is it affecting you?
Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear from you. If you know someone who would benefit from this article, please share it.