10 easy ways how to work out if you’re an underearner

Here are 10 easy ways how to work out if you’re an underearner – Do you do any of them?

Have you ever wondered whether you’re an underearner and why your not as wealthy as you believe you should be?

Because if you have – perhaps it’s your fault and nobody else’s!

I know some readers might take offence at that, “But how can I get out of my situation?” you might be thinking, and so if that’s you then read on and let me explain further.

Recommended reading

This may help if you’re new to the idea of how Imposter Syndrome, a Fear of Failure and being an Underearner are linked together.

underearning gravity for your mind and goals

What is “Underearning?”

Without being too esoteric – our beliefs act like gravity for our minds.

And just like how gravity ensures that either –

  • once an object’s in motion it continues moving, or
  • when an object’s at rest it stays that way unless it receives a strong enough push,

We’re also each a constant state of either attracting various things into our lives – or repelling them.

And that attraction or repulsion is based upon what beliefs we hold as true.

Now by that I’m not saying that “The Law of Attraction” is some super-duper ‘way to go’ methodology, (don’t get me started on that!).

No, simply that what we focus upon is what we get by ‘attracting’ those circumstances into our lives.

Unfortunately, whilst scientific laws are by definition empirical, ie, they do what they say they will for everyone, every time – our lives simply aren’t like that.

This is why two people can believe different things about the same situation – and each end up with different results.

One may find their finances improving and the other person’s finances becoming worse.

And that’s how it works with being an underearner too. You’ve developed habits that your mind’s continuing to help you follow – ones which conspire to keep you stuck financially.

So you might think you’re going off in one direction, on some specific career trajectory – but the habits already installed in your mind are guiding you to a different result entirely.

So you might say “I want to earn more, get a better job,” etc, and start off with good intentions, however, if there are ANY doubts or negative beliefs in that grey matter of yours, then you’re going to find your success either doesn’t stick or more often, doesn’t even materialise.

When working with my clients I’ve found that certain themes often come up, disguised as beliefs that my clients “know” to be true.

Unlike the law of gravity, beliefs aren’t true, fixed or immutable.

A belief is just an opinion your mind’s decided it’s going to run with as it’s easier for it (not you) that way.

Change your beliefs and you’ll change the direction of your life.

Charles Stevenson
beliefs an underearner underearning true false

Do you believe any of these ‘truths’?

Now’s the time to come clean. No hiding. It’s just you and me here.

Check out the beliefs below and ask yourself if you hold any of them as ‘true’?

A few of those beliefs come wrapped up in such thoughts as:

  • But if I charge more my prospects won’t buy from me.
  • Who me? I’ve never been that good at doing more than X so I can’t move up.
  • But if I starting earning more I’d have to be all (your pet excuse)
  • Earn more? But I’d not know how to handle that extra money.
  • The last time I had more money it all got frittered away. I’m no good with money.
  • It’s only fair to offer some clients low / discounted / free rates.
  • Well at least I’m in a better place financially than … (fill in the blank for the latest problem location on the planet).
  • I don’t have the time to deal with this right now. I’m too busy.
  • But I’ve been this way for years, so how can I change now.
  • But it’s not my fault. Everyone in my industry, career, family, etc spends all of what they earn.

There are many more beliefs than those but they each have one main effect – to keep you stuck in a state of perpetual underearning.

One that you will justify to yourself as being “the right thing to do”.

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“Not Me. I earn A LOT of Money!”

Ah, the rich person’s knee-jerk response!

If you’re someone doing the keyboard back-pat & thinking that you’re earning too much for this to be an issue, well, sorry but that’s self-serving BS you’re giving yourself.

Let me explain briefly.

Take the person who’s on a lowish salary, say 30k to keep it simple & they live a reasonably frugal life, so they’re not running a credit card tab every month & not in hock on HP, PCP, second charges, etc.

Then let’s contrast them with Mr & Mrs High-Achievers.

Yes, they may have a strong double-income, but when we take into account the various ‘trinkets’ they’re paying for, the cars, leisure clubs, school fees, loans, etc, they’re often surprised as to how little they have as headroom.

“So aren’t you just saying we need to skimp & save?”


You’re missing the point of what being an Underearner or Underachieving is all about.

If you’ll allow me to use a race-car metaphor – I’m not saying throttle-back on achieving more – I’m saying remove the de-restrictor in the fuel system so you can achieve more with the power you’ve already got.

“So what can I do about it?”

Step one is simple – Simply accept the possibility that YOU may well be holding yourself back from achieving or earning more than is actually possible.

Then grab a piece of paper & write down at the top of the paper, “If I earned more I’d…” & write at least ten beliefs about that.

Step two is if they’re good, positive comments. Then ask yourself, “Is this happening for me?”

If it’s not, then ask yourself, for each one, “This isn’t happening for me because…” & write down whatever comes to mind.

Step three is to indicate which of those first ten beliefs were negative or limiting.

Then as above then ask yourself, for each one, “This isn’t happening for me because…” & write down whatever comes to mind.

Step four is to develop fresh beliefs, countervailing arguments.

Write each one facing in the opposite direction to those negative beliefs.

Write them so they feel more powerful and can over-ride your previous thought patterns.

I'd Like to Know More

Recommended reading

This may help if you’re new to the idea of how Imposter Syndrome, a Fear of Failure and being an Underearner are linked together.


I’m willing to go out on a limb here and suggest that there are areas in your life where you’re an underearner or underachiever and so the exercise above will allow you to begin to uncover – and then change those thoughts.

Many clients have made powerful and liberating discoveries this way – so I invite you to give work through the exercise above.

If you’d like some help on that then feel free to jot down the beliefs you uncover (or you can email me if you’d prefer to get in touch that way) & I’ll offer a few suggestions as to ways you could switch those thoughts around.

Comment below how you get or if you’ve got any questions or observations.

An invitation

I work with clients to help them break free from the three linked issues of Imposter SyndromeUnderearning and the Fear of Failure and if you’d find it helpful I invite you to book a time in my online diary to discuss how I may be able to help you too.

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