Identifying Your Money Ceiling and Shifting Your Mindset

Money Files

When you think about how much money you have the ability to ask for or create, what is that number?

We all have thoughts about money and one thing I help my clients discover is how much money seems “unreasonable” or “unattainable” when it comes to their ability to earn more.  I call this concept their money ceiling.

Your money ceiling is the highest amount of money that you feel comfortable thinking about making. 

In this episode, I want to help you identify your own money ceiling and question your own limiting beliefs about how much you’re comfortable earning. I want to offer you the opportunity to explore your money ceiling, and then really ask yourself “What would it look like to earn more? And what is my capacity for earning more money?”

I’m sharing 10 simple steps you can implement to get out of your own way and increase your earning potential.

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • What is a money ceiling [03:24]
  • How exploring different money scenarios can help you identify your money ceiling [09:44]
  • About the mindset work I do with clients to shift their money ceilings [13:21]
  • How to think about money as a positive tool that creates impact [15:12]
  • Why you should find a community where you can talk openly about money [15:43]
  • How finding positive examples around you of people who make more money can shift your mindset [16:45]
  • The importance of regularly looking around you for the positive impact money can have [23:33]

Tune in to this episode to learn how to identify—and break through—your money ceiling.

In the episode…

Your money ceiling boils down to your thoughts about how much you think you can or should earn. Whether you’re in a corporate job or running your own business, we all have money ceilings. And they vary from person to person based on how much money you’ve made in the past (and currently make), and how you’ve heard others talk about money. 

Part of changing your relationship also requires that you investigate your thoughts about your earning potential. With so many people being paid on different pay scales and being influenced by different financial experiences it can be fun to explore “what if…” What happens when you shift your mindset to think about making $20,000 or even $40,000 more than you make now? What would happen if you make more money than you’ve ever even dreamed of making?

With a little bit of reflection and practice, you can unlearn the limitations your brain has about how much money you think you can earn.

Here’s how you can transform your relationship with money and explore your own your money ceilings:

First things first: Explore different money scenarios.

Take out a piece of paper and write down your salary or your yearly revenue if you own a business. Now increase your salary or revenue by $20,000. How does that make you feel? Good? Uneasy? Now increase it in $20,000 increments until you hit a number that makes you uncomfortable. This number is your money ceiling.

Step 1: Identify what making more money allows you to create in the world.

Now take some time to think about and write down some examples of what making more money allows you to create in the world. A lot of people have thoughts about money being evil. This exercise moves you away from that mindset and towards seeing money as a positive tool. What would you do if you made more money? Write it down.

Step 2: Find communities where people are talking about money.

Find a community where people are regularly talking about money, and join it. It can be a mastermind of other entrepreneurs or a Facebook group on money mindset. It can be my live group coaching call, Mimosas + Money Matters. Whatever works for you. This is a great opportunity to connect with and see other people who are comfortable talking about income and financial struggles as well as successes.

Step 3: Find positive examples of people around you making a lot of money and doing good in the world.

Who around you is doing something positive with their money? Maybe they’re donating monthly to a charity or sponsoring a family for the holidays. I want you to understand that money can be good. Write down a few names of people that you know spread positivity with their money.

Step 4: Find jobs online that pay your money ceiling amount.

Now that you’ve identified your money ceiling and started to think differently about money, look for jobs that pay that amount. This shows you that the money is there, people are making that much money, and that money is available to you as well. This helps shift your mindset from one of scarcity to abundance around making money.

Step 5: Seek out and connect with mentors.

If there is someone in your field who you admire or someone who approaches their finances in a way that you desire, connect with them and see if they’ll be your mentor. Ask them how they think about money, how they’ve negotiated their salary in the past, what drives them to want to make more money. This vulnerability allows you to connect with someone and build a trusted advisor as well as create abundance for yourself.

Step 6: Be open to talking to your friends and peers about money.

This is a little different than the last step. It’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know about money, but here I want you to invite money into conversations with your friends and peers. This can feel vulnerable, too, but can help you push each other outside your comfort zones. You can help and empower each other to get past your money ceilings and offer advice on practices that have helped you.

Step 7: Share your number with a friend.

Pick a friend that you trust and share your money ceiling number with them. Explain what it is, and see where the conversation goes. It could lead to words of encouragement, potential job opportunities, or helpful advice. Also, saying that number out loud without fear reinforces in your brain that your goal is attainable.

Step 8: Post the number in your bathroom.

Write your money ceiling number down on a Post-It note and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Look at it every single day. By looking at this number regularly, you remove its power over you. It’s just a number, and it doesn’t have to be scary. Think about what you would be doing and creating if you made that much money. Imagine the impact it would have on your quality of life. Imagine the impact you could have on others.

Step 9: Think of ways you could create that much money.

Next, I want you to brainstorm a list of ways you could create that much money. Maybe it’s a raise at your current job, or maybe it’s a new job that makes that much, or maybe it’s adding a side hustle into the mix. Allow your brain the space and time needed to get creative. Don’t worry about how just yet; focus on being open to all the ways in which you could create this much money.

Step 10: Look for the positive impact of money around you this week.

Money is a tool, and you can use it to affect positive change in your life and in the lives of others. So much of eliminating your money ceiling is about shifting your mindset to see money as good and not evil. Make a note of examples of the positive impact of money that you see around you this week. In your community every day, people are using their money for good.

Here are the takeaways that I want you to remember from this episode:

  • Your money ceiling is rooted in a scarcity mindset, and you can shift your mindset to one of abundance and eliminate that ceiling.
  • Being in communities where people talk about money, finding mentors, and opening up to friends about money can help you shift your perspective and get valuable advice and knowledge about how others approach their finances. 
  • It’s important to notice all the ways that money is used for good, so that you can get away from any thoughts of money being evil.
  • Money is a tool, and you get to decide how to use it!

Are you ready to experience less stress with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s change your relationship with money.

Transcript for Ep 29: Identifying Your Money Ceiling and Shifting Your Mindset

Hi and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances. 

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. My name’s Keina and hopefully you’ve been listening to me for a while and you found me somewhere out there on the internet. And now we’re best friends that love to talk about money. I hope that if you’re listening to my voice that there’s been something that I’ve said, or if you’re new here, there’s something that I say that really, truly impacts your relationship with money. 

I had a consult a couple of weeks ago and she put something in the comments of her application to work with me, and I was like, that’s what I do. And I want to do that for you. But she said that her dreams were on the other side of “this,” and “this” being working with me as a coach. And so I think about that for you and how that might be true. So I usually say this at the end of every episode, but I want to offer it to you right now. Like, if you have found me, you found me for a reason and there’s something that you want to shift with your finances, and I really want to invite you to become a client. 

I have several clients that I’ve interviewed on my podcast and they are some of my favorite episodes because of the fact that they get to share stories with you from our work together. But most importantly, they’re sharing with you the impact of our work together. And I know that right now you probably have a fear of like, will this work for me? I’m not sure? How is this different? And that’s just fear getting in the way of the actual results you want to create in your life. 

I am the coach that will help you make a budget, but for me, it’s not just about budgeting. It’s really about changing your relationship with money, and it’s helping you find this financial curiosity that you probably don’t have right now. And it’s helping you extend grace to yourself. It’s allowing you to be kind to yourself. And the work that I’m going to do with you is also about helping you learn to trust yourself, learn to trust that you can manage your finances well, that you can feel really confident about your financial decision. 

So if you’ve been on the fence, and maybe you just got on the fence today, and you’re like, okay, I found Keina, and I think she’s my coach. I am your coach and apply to work with me, go to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment, grab a time on my calendar, and just commit. Commit to investing with yourself and realizing that like this really is the most important work that you can do right now. I often tell people that yes, you will at times feel like, Keina, you’re spraying me with a fire hydrant, but I’m going to be there with a towel to dry you off and to help you make sense of the work because I know how imperative it is for you to change your relationship with money, and I want you to have your own back. 

So that’s my little spiel up front, and I’m going to dive into what I want to talk to you about today. And so one of the things I want to talk about and when we talk about changing our relationship with money is I want to talk about something that I call money ceilings and think about that ceiling in your house. Maybe you have eight foot ceilings, nine foot, ten foot, whatever kind of ceilings you have in your home. It increases, you know, like the height of the room. If you look up, and you see really tall ceilings. And in some places you go into, you see these short ceilings. 

So when I talk about money ceilings, some of us have some really short ceilings and you’re probably like, Keina, what is the ceiling? And when I talk about a money ceiling, I am talking about your thoughts as they relate to how much money you can earn, whether that’s you earning money at work because you work in corporate, or earning money in your business and you create and generate your own revenue. And I as a coach think that we all have money ceilings. They’re all very different. But it’s something that I want you to be aware of because it’s also something that doesn’t have to exist in its current state. 

So for me, when I started my work, actually in my business, I think this was the first time I kind of noticed this concept that I call a money ceiling, and how I noticed it was… I had, and if you listen to my podcast, you probably heard me talk about this before, but I was having a conversation with one of my mentors, and I was sharing with her that I only needed to replace my salary. So I was transitioning from being in education and having a job where I had a consistent paycheck twice a month, and now I was going to work for myself. And so I just wanted to replace my salary. And at the time I was making, I want to say, about $115,000 a year. 

And she asked me one of the most pivotal questions that I’ve, like still to this day I think about. And she asked me what would happen if I made more. I was like, um, I don’t know. I never really thought about it. But when I thought back to kind of how I related to money and what’s been true with my finances because I was in education, it was very clear like how much I was going to make from one year to the next because there was a salary scale, and my salary could go up in increments of, you know, maybe $3,000 to $5000. But I wasn’t going to make these big, significant jobs. 

So my capacity in terms of thinking about how much I could earn wasn’t really that high because of the limitations my brain had placed on how much I believed I could earn, given the field that I was in and given what I already know to be true. So some of that was like in my head. I was thinking, well, these are facts, like, I can’t earn more money than, you know, what’s on the salary scale because our salary is just kind of set in stone. 

But what was also true was that there were some other thoughts that surfaced. And I had this thought that, like, money is like evil or bad. Like, what would that mean if I made more? Like, what would it mean if I made $300,000 or $600,000 or $700,000? Also, like hearing those numbers, my brain didn’t really wasn’t able really to connect with those numbers. They almost sounded like fictitious because I didn’t know anyone else who was making that much money, that I wouldn’t equate to like… I didn’t know anybody in my circle necessarily that was making that much money, right. Like you see people on TV and they talk about making that much money, you know, celebrities or movie stars that may be making significant amounts of money. But that wasn’t really someone who was connected to me and in my circle. 

Some other thoughts that came up was like, I’ve never made more than that before. I’m not sure that’s possible. I don’t know how. But I started to notice, oh, I have this money ceiling, and my capacity to have and my fear of money is like it’s attached to a number. And so all of us have a certain number that I would say, emits this level of it, it no longer emits possibility. We start to feel fearful. It starts to feel something that’s like not doable. And so today I want to just offer that you get to explore your own money ceilings and decide like, where am I in terms of what I believe my capacity is in terms of earning more money? 

And the reason I want you to explore this is because we also all have a different ceiling. So like I told you, I was making like $115,000. I can’t tell you the exact number, but I would say, like at the time that I started my business, like the ability to make $150,000 still felt like something that was doable for me. But if you had told me, like, you’re going to make $250,000, I would have looked at you with pause because that didn’t feel like it was a truth or it didn’t feel possible at the time. 

And so for other people that could be starting, you might be starting somewhere where it’s like, I’m making $60,000 and, Keina, you’re talking about making $100,000. I can’t imagine making that much. And I know for some people that’s true. But I want to offer through this episode that you’re going to be able to identify your money ceiling, but then also be able to be aware of how that might impact some of your decision making. Because at the end of the day, that’s what I want to get to is I want to get to your like, how does this impact your behavior? How does this impact what you do, what you don’t do, what conversations you will or won’t have? 

And if we can impact your behaviors like the money is going to follow, we don’t have to worry about where that money is coming from. But this is like a this is fundamentally a part of the work that you also need to do. And it’s not just about like, are you sticking to what you said you would spend on groceries? Like, that’s great. But I also want to increase your capacity to have. So let’s just talk about how you can get started identifying your own money ceilings. 

First thing I want you to do is I want you to think about and explore some different number of scenarios. And if you are somewhere not in your car right now, I would invite you to actually pull out a piece of paper and do this. So I want you to take your current salary, whatever it is, and I want you to increase your salary in increments of $20,000. So let’s say your salary is $80,000. I want you to write that down. And now I want you to write $100,000 and just check in with yourself. Like, what are your thoughts about that? Okay. That seems doable. I got it. 

So now once you write down the next number, write down $120,000 and just monitor again, like, what are your thoughts about that amount of money? Does that feel doable to you? Is it starting to feel a little shaky? And now write down 140,000, 160,000, 180, 200. So you’re going to continue to go in increments of $20,000. And the goal is to get to the number that kind of makes you go, whoa. I don’t know about that. Right. And that’s where I would identify… That’s what I would identify as your money ceiling, like where you start to no longer have this like certainty that you’re able to create that amount of money. 

And you can do the same thing if you’re a business owner and you’re thinking about your revenue, you can write your revenue goal down. Like maybe your revenue goal is $60,000 and you’re going to increase it by $20,000. So you go from 60 to 80 to 100. And just start to notice where your brain starts to say, whoa, all right. Where your brain starts to question whether or not you are capable or if that’s possible for you to create that amount of money. 

And I said earlier, like, I wanted you to write this down because I truly want you to write it down. I think there’s something that’s significant for your brain to actually be able to look at the numbers on your paper and beyond just thinking about the numbers in your head because you’re going to… By actually putting pen to paper, I think you’re going to notice your thoughts. You’re also going to notice like what feelings come up for you. And this will also give you an opportunity to be really curious about your own money story. 

Because as you’re writing down numbers, you can even write down the thought that comes up for you at that time. And then you can also think like, why do you think you had that thought? Where did that thought come from? If it’s a thought that doesn’t serve you, you can also ask yourself like what else could be true? Especially like if you say, for instance, you get to $180,000 and you’re like, that’s too much money. So you could be really curious to think about where did that thought come from? What else could be true about that amount of money? 

And this is the work that I’ve done with myself, that I’ve done with clients to help them identify their money ceilings. Because on the other side of identifying your money ceiling, you can start to go to work to change that narrative that you have about making more money, whether, like I said, whether it’s in the corporate world or whether it’s making more money in your business. So this episode isn’t about like the how of making the money, because I don’t need you to know how. I just want you to be able to identify for yourself that there is a number that scares you. 

And I’ve done this with my client… I think I talk about Brent all the time. Hi, Brent, if you’re listening. And I think that this was really, I saw this so clearly in our work together because we negotiated his salary. And I remember when we were working together as we were talking about numbers and we had done the the financial visioning and we had had put in place the budget that he knew that he desired to have. And so I knew how much money he needed to make. 

But there was also this fear about the amount of money that I was telling him to go and ask for. And he had thoughts like, well, they’re not going to pay me that much. And overall, just thinking about also his thoughts about the industry in which he’s in because he was in the nonprofit world. So, yes, there are these tough conversations that we are uncomfortable. I wouldn’t I don’t even know that they’re tough, but they’re very uncomfortable conversations when we go to talk to our managers about making more money. 

But then there’s also a place where you have to think about like, imagine if I was just working for myself, like, would this still be true? Do I actually have the fundamental belief that I can make more money, that I’m worthy of this amount of money? And for some of us, the answer is going to be no, because we have these money ceilings, and there’s these blocks keeping us from actually thinking about earning more money. 

So if you are listening to this, I would assume that you also want to be able to shift your money ceiling. So I have some tips for you to shift your money ceilings. So first thing that I want you to do is I want you to look for what creating more money allows you to create in the world. I think a lot of us need to do this work because we have thoughts about money being bad, money being evil. So I want you to think about like, what does creating more money allow me to create in the world? Because if we actually think about money as a tool, a positive tool, think about how you could use that positive tool to create impact. So what would you do with the money? Write that down. 

The next thing that I would suggest you could do is like actually tap into communities where people are talking about money. I host a live group coaching call called Mimosas and Money Matters, and that’s a community where people are coming together talking about money. But it doesn’t just have to be with me. You, if you’re a business owner, maybe you’re talking about, you’re in a mastermind and you guys are talking about money. I know for me, I am in a mastermind, and I am surrounded by women who are making multiple six figures. And so it’s a great place that I have to actually see other people around me making lots of money. But it’s also a space where I can talk about money. I’ve also created community around me where I’m comfortable talking about money with my friends and thinking about what’s going on for us financially in different seasons. But it creates, it creates comfort with being able to handle shifts with income or shifts with our finances and things of that nature. 

The next thing I would suggest is find positive examples of people around you who make more money and are doing good in the world. So this goes back to that thought that like money is good or money is evil. But I want you to actually know that money can be good. And so just think about like people around you, like who around you is doing something positive with their money, right? Like, maybe, you know, people that are donating. Maybe, you know people that are sponsoring families or there are people, you know, when there’s a tragedy that happens, they write checks, whatever that looks like. But like name and write down some people who are doing good in the world with the money that they have possession of. 

Next thing that you could do is actually do a Google search and find jobs that pay that amount of money that was your money stealing. So say, for instance, you tapped out at $100,000 and that just felt like, whoa, I can’t make $100,000. Just Google jobs that pay $100,000. Because I just want you to know that, like, the money is around you, like people are making that money and that money’s available to you. All right? It’s not like, sorry, you can’t have any. It’s only reserved for these people. It is reserved for you. The only difference in between those people and you is that you probably live in this zone of fear and scarcity, and they just don’t have that scarcity that you have. They have a different a different number that maybe brings some fear and scarcity, but just Google search and look for jobs that pay whatever your money ceiling is. Just look for jobs that pay that amount of money. 

And then next, I would say connect with and find other mentors. I think that this is so, so important. I recently connected one of my clients actually to one of a friend of mine, and I shared specifically like, hey, I want you to talk about how you’ve negotiated your salary through like the time that I’ve known you. We’ve known each other for over, like, 10, 15 years. And, like, I want you to push my client to think about how they can navigate in the world and how they’re really, truly under-earning. So maybe you have someone like me who can connect you with a mentor, but really just think about like if you have people that you admire in your space and you know that they are doing things financially that you aspire to do, like have conversations with them, think about how they’re navigating in the world and pick up some of their attributes. It doesn’t mean that you need to be doing exactly what they’re doing, but just ask them like, how do you think about money? Like what drives you? This is something that I’m working on. And so it may require that you’re vulnerable, but that vulnerability is going to create new results for you. 

Next is like be open to talking to friends and your peers about money so you can push each other’s thinking. And I told you earlier to tap into a community, which I’m kind of separating these things because sometimes it’s easier to talk to people that we don’t know, right? Because you’re like, oh, whatever, they won’t judge me, we’re all here for the same reason. And it can be a little bit harder to tap into this conversation with your friends and peers because you’re worried that people are going to judge you, and you know you’re going to be out at brunch, but then they’re thinking about that conversation you had about money the other day and like making judgments on you or whatever that may look like. 

But just be open to talking, like I said, to friends and peers about money so you guys can push each other. I am the friend and you can be the friend in your friend group that talks about money and you’re able to push each other. I have two friends that do some independent contracting work, and they’ll run numbers by me to be like Keina, what do you think? And I share my experience with pricing different things in my business. And so it’s just this space to be able to empower them and help them also to get over like money ceilings they may have in their own personal lives. 

Number seven is share your new number with a friend that you trust and ask for accountability. Like just open up a conversation and say like, yeah, I was doing… This girl, Keina, I was listening to her podcast and she was talking about money ceilings. And I realized that there’s a lot of fear when I think about making $115,000 annually, like my brain can’t even wrap my head around making $115,000 a year. And just see where that conversation leads, right. I know in my friend circle there’s going to be a lot of encouragement. My friends would probably send me some jobs. They would tell me how they negotiated in the past. They’d be getting me to change industries. But just see where that conversation can lead you. And just being able to say that number boldly is also going to show your brain like that’s what we’re working on next. We don’t need to fear this number because we’re capable of earning that amount of money. And once again, I said, a friend that you trust so you know who you can trust in your circle. Have that conversation with them. 

Next number eight. Post the number in your bathroom. Yup. Post-it note. Put it in your mirror. Look at it every single day and just push your brain to go to work to create a little bit of allowance for that number every day, right. Like, all right, 115. That’s really scary. I don’t know, Keina said I could do it. But just like, look at the number. Imagine what you would be doing if you were making that much. Like what does that allow you to create in the world? Think about your impact. 

And next number nine, I want you to dump a list of ways you could create whatever your money ceiling number is. So like if it’s $115,000, think about ways you could create $115,000. So maybe you got your day job. Then you decide to take on another job that makes the same amount of money. Just like get creative. Just allow your brain the space and the time to get to work on how you could create $115,000. If… and I’m just naming that number, whatever your number is. If you have… My revenue goal, for instance, is $400,000 this year. I know and can get to work with what that looks like. I also know over the span of my business, like my, I would say my next money ceiling in my business would be thinking about how I could generate $1,000,000 business. My brain is like how? I mean, I know the math of it, but my brain still has to wrap itself around that. So I can dump out a list of ways that I could create that. And that just creates that space in that allowance for my brain to figure that out. I don’t need to know the how, but I do just want to be open to the way in which that could come. I want my brain to know that we can solve for it. We don’t have to solve for it here in this moment, but it’s just about creating that allowance for yourself. 

And then the last one is to look for like the positive impact of money around you this week. Okay. Because I want you to remember that money is a tool and you can use this tool any way that you desire. The first thing that I said when I was creating this list for you was for you to look for what creating more money allows you to create in the world, right. But this one, I actually want you to look this week, look at the positive impact that money is having in the world around you. And I want you to remember that money is a tool. You may not find it on social media, right? Like maybe that’s not where you want to look for that, but just look for it around your community and listen in for this. Be really, really intentional about listening for this. Maybe you are in an organization that’s donating to people. Maybe you see someone pay for someone’s groceries, whatever it is, but just really look for the positive impact of money around you this week. 

So that is all I have to share about money ceilings. And I want you to be able to identify your money ceiling because it’s really going to overall help you be able to shift your thoughts and get out of spaces where you start talking about, “that’s a lot of money,” or “nobody’s going to pay me that much,” or “I can never ask for that much.” I want you to get into a space of possibility where you do see yourself as someone who makes blank amount of money, and that blank is that number amount that you put in and discovered when you actually wrote out your salary or you wrote out your revenue. 

But I hope this podcast has been impactful and you’ve learned something. If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts and you have taken away any tidbit or you just feel like, oh my goodness, Keina and I are best friends… I love you too. But go on to Apple, leave a review. I love hearing from you. If you follow me on social media, feel free to leave me a message. But most importantly, if you’re ready to change your relationship with money, I want to offer the opportunity for you to apply to work with me in my five month coaching partnership. And you can go to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment. Have a great week. Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment and let’s get started.

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