How safe you feel going to do a thing, and your thoughts and feelings behind doing that thing, is determined by your past experience of doing that thing, or similar.
How did it go last time? Because this is what you’re expecting this time. And your expectation – what you’re expecting to happen and how you’re expecting it to go – will determine the outcome.
Let’s break it down.
Your past experience of doing the thing, and how you felt (in your body) during that experience, is stored in your body – and not just in your mind (memories) – but in your nervous system. And it’s stored as a *remembrance* in your body as tool to help keep you safe the next time it happens. To “prepare” you.
How your body and nervous system responded last time determines how your body and nervous system will respond next time.
Your past experience has become a truth for you – it becomes a pattern for how things will go moving forwards.
Your expectations and beliefs around how the thing is going to go is determined by how safe you felt the last time it happened, and how you’re now expecting the thing to go based on what happened before.
Your expectations and beliefs of how the thing will go determines your mindset – your thoughts and feelings – about the thing you’re wanting to do/are going to do.
Your mindset, based on how safe you feel and your expectations, determine your energy behind the thing.
Your energy behind the thing determines how it’s going to go.
Your energy determine the outcome.
An experience where this was true for me, as a business owner and freelancer, and which I think you’re likely to relate to if you are too, is raising my prices.
Based on how the experience of asking for more money – whether I was employed or self-employed – was in the past determined how safe I felt asking for more money, raising my prices, in the present.
My experience an employed person asking for more money was one where I was constantly told that if I wanted to earn more I had to do a different job to the one I was currently doing – I was told to do a different job to the one I was employed to do, a job for which I was employed to do based on my skillset, experience and ‘genius’. To give context, I was an EA and Office Manager for a door-to-door sales company, where everyone but myself was self-employed, and my job was to effectively the run the office (on £16k a year). I was Recruiter, EA to the Managing Director, Administrator and Office Manager, to name just a few of the roles I was carrying-out, and I won numerous administration and recruitment awards whilst in this role. Without me doing my job, processing their commissions every week, the self-employed sales reps and Managing Director would not have been paid. Without me doing my job, recruiting, they wouldn’t have been “promoted” or grown their teams. Without me doing my job, organising appointments, processing sales, managing the office, the company wouldn’t have ran as it did. My role was the take as much off of their plate as possible so that they could focus solely on making sales, on earning commission for themselves and the company. But I was told, unless I also wanted to “get out on the field” (in other words, selling door-door) I would not be paid more. What I was told was that my role had little value in comparison to the sales agents or to the MD. What I was told was that my experience, genius, skillset was not valuable, and that it didn’t matter how well I performed or how many awards I won, I would not be paid more. Is it any wonder I have struggled to feel safe with the value I provide to my clients?
And the first experience I had raising my fees as a self-employed VA, where I wrote my clients a personal letter explaining that my fees would be increasing and why, one of my clients told me I had deeply upset him, that I should rethink my business practices, that I had purposely sent this letter via email after hours to worry and upset him. Another client researched the inflation rate of the previous year and told me what my fee increase he would be and what he was willing to pay me. Would you tell your lawyer what their fee is? Or your accountant? Is it any wonder I have struggled to feel safe with raising my fees?
Due to my past experiences asking for more money, I felt incredibly unsafe with even the thought of raising my fees. I had an expectation, based on my thoughts and feelings and past experience of doing the thing, of how it would go. My body had a remembrance, one of guilt and shame and fear.
I had to teach my body that it was safe, I had to retrain my mind to believe it was safe. I had to feel safety in my body, to settle my nervous system around the (what should be simple) action of raising my fees – of raising my prices as an entrepreneur who is constantly learning and evolving and growing, adding more and more value to the work I do supporting my clients.
It’s this feeling of safety that determines your energy behind raising your fees. This is why you’re often advised to raise your fees to a price which feels good – which feels safe – to you. You’re told to raise your fees to an amount you can “get behind”, that you feel confident in, that you feel good about. That feeling good, feeling safe, is determined by your nervous system, which is determined by the thoughts and beliefs and feelings you have around the action. And your thoughts and beliefs and feelings around the action determines the outcome.
I love you! x