A friend of mine shared via Facebook an organization that has completely blown my mind.
I absolutely had to read more about this organization. What exactly are they about?
Well, this is what they define as an “underearner”:
“UA is a Twelve Step Fellowship of men and women who have come together to help themselves and one another recover from underearning.
Underearning is many things, not all of which are about money. While the most visible consequence is the inability to provide for one’s needs, including future needs, underearning is also about the inability to fully acknowledge and express our capabilities and competencies. It is about underachieving, or under-being, no matter how much money we make.”
The “symptoms” of underearning are (copied from their website):
1. Time Indifference – We put off what must be done and do not use our time to support our own vision and further our own goals.
2. Idea Deflection –We compulsively reject ideas that could expand our lives or careers, and increase our profitability.
3. Compulsive Need to Prove – Although we have demonstrated competence in our jobs or business, we are driven by a need to re-prove our worth and value.
4. Clinging to Useless Possessions – We hold onto possessions that no longer serve our needs, such as threadbare clothing or broken appliances.
5. Exertion/Exhaustion – We habitually overwork, become exhausted, then under-work or cease work completely.
6. Giving Away Our Time – We compulsively volunteer for various causes, or give away our services without charge, when there is no clear benefit.
7. Undervaluing and Under-pricing – We undervalue our abilities and services and fear asking for increases in compensation or for what the market will bear.
8. Isolation – We choose to work alone when it might serve us much better to have co-workers, associates, or employees.
9. Physical Ailments – Sometimes, out of fear of being larger or exposed, we experience physical ailments.
10. Misplaced Guilt or Shame – We feel uneasy when asking for or being given what we need or what we are owed.
11. Not Following Up – We do not follow up on opportunities, leads, or jobs that could be profitable. We begin many projects and tasks but often do not complete them.
12. Stability Boredom – We create unnecessary conflict with co-workers, supervisors and clients, generating problems that result in financial distress.
I was completely blown away by the fact that this organization existed at all. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself and/or turn your professional life around as the multi-million dollar self-help and motivational industry can attest to.
However, are we really in need of a 12-step program that likens underachieving to a disease?
I would argue that professional success originates from how you run your life. If you strive to live a good life, be a good person and do the things needed to succeed – you will. In the past, these ideals were instilled in us through our social interactions – whether through school, church, or work. My guess is that there aren’t many 18 year olds in this group and that the demographic consists of working age adults well within their careers. Sitting in a group consisting of other underachievers is not, in my opinion, a best practice.
In fact, many would argue that the best way to turn yourself around in business success would be to distance yourself from these people.
How many sales managers advise new salespeople not to hang out with the negative slackers on the Salesforce (not that they should be there in the first place)?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself whether that’s professionally or personally, but don’t fall into the trap believing that your failure to succeed has anything whatsoever to do with anything other than being anybody’s fault but your own. Don’t blame society. Don’t blame your teachers. Don’t blame your parents. Blame yourself. Most importantly, if you have this “problem,”,please don’t go hang out and collectively whine to a roomful of other people who share it.
Being unsuccessful is not a disease. It’s a culmination of poor decisions. If you want to change and don’t know how, there’s an unlimited amount of material and programs you can use to do so. If you need some personal help, find someone who is successful and ask them to help you. Don’t ask other unsuccessful people for their help.
If you’re in the middle of your career and you’re still a procrastinator, afraid of change with the need to prove yourself, are unwilling to let go, overwork yourself to the point of burnout, who volunteers their time rather than gets paid for it (and I’m not talking about charitable volunteering), who undervalues yourself, isn’t a team player, is not assertive, doesn’t follow up and creates conflict then you are probably, and rightfully so, unemployed.
Stop blaming the world, take ownership of your situation and change your life.