Asking for a pay raise. What are the emotions associated with that? Here’s a new method to overcome them.

Seeking more money is in everyone’s collective interest. This money can come in the form of a yearly pay raise, a bonus scheme, a closing contract, etc. All these have an impact on our well-being. We all work hard to earn the money that we were promised. However, there are situations in when our pay increases or bonuses are not included in our contracts or in which the promises that our bosses made are fictional. Many of my clients (as well as myself) have had to go through the emotional torture of “ASKING for WHAT you DESERVE”.

With that in mind, I would like to explain the emotional process that is associated with asking for a pay raise or promotion and how we can overcome some of the resultant issues.

In a situation in which we must ask our bosses for money because we genuinely deserve it, the first emotion that arises is FEAR. For some, the very idea of going to someone and asking for something can result in feelings associated with fear. STRESS and REJECTION are the next feelings related to that situation. Also, an event like this can trigger a hidden memory from the past. When you were a child, you might have experienced rejection when asking for something. With that in mind, your psychological memory associated with this event from the past might start provoking repressed emotions that you must address.

If you feel that you DESERVE a pay raise and if you struggle with the associated emotions, you must remind yourself that your internal voice is sending you information; it is letting you know that you did something right and that you should be rewarded for it. This is a normal process of recognizing our self-value, which is a fantastic skill to have.

Unfortunately, afterward, the emotional toll takes control of our self-value and the work that we did. We start experiencing doubts. Questions arise:

-Should I do this?

-Should I wait for a better time?

-It’s the end of the fiscal year. Should I try later?

-My boss is in a bad mood. Should I wait?

-What if he/she tells me no?

Familiar with that? The longer we want, the greater the number of doubts that arise.

As a solution to that problem, before you ask for a pay raise:

  1. Make a list of each emotion that you experience when you think about asking for more money (for example, fear, stress, rejection, anxiety, shyness, self-doubt, low value, sadness, respectfulness). All those matter in the process.
  2. Look at your list and add any other events to which you can relate this emotion. For example: “Rejection – Once, I asked my dad to buy me a new magazine and he said no.” “Shyness – As a child, I wanted to ask my friend to play with me, but I was too shy to do it.” Then, after each event, add, “But I am not that person anymore.” The more you include on that list, the more you release yourself from your past.
  3. Visualise yourself asking for the pay raise. What would you say? What might your boss say? How would you react? How would your boss react? What is another possible option if your first approach does not work? Then what? Create any situation you wish. When you use this method, you will encounter fewer unexpected scenarios and, emotionally, you will feel calmer.
  4. Create an affirmation and repeat it for at least seven days before the meeting.

“I am value, I am valuable, I am valued.”

This method can be used in every situation in which you must ask for something, including a promotion, a title change, a pay increase, new contracts, etc.

Please remember that asking for something is an emotional process and can trigger a lot of unwanted feelings. This does not mean that you will necessarily fail. It simply indicates that you must work on your self-valuation skills and overcome what is showing up as an emotional challenge.

If you wish to know more about Process Coaching, please contact me.


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