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Fear To Ask About Your Fee Doing Business and Innovation

Article written by our team member and psychologist: Dipl.- Psych. Celia Avila-Rauch – Windrose Global Advisors and author of the book “Dark and Light Side of the Fear in Leadership” available in English and Spanish.


When we are talking about Work – Life – Balance, we are referring the capacity of interactions in the social and interpersonal relationships, and tasks, which relates to emotional and social intelligence skills. Why we need to face about emotions, communication, and empathy? It is because we need to know when our feelings must give up.

How to get over the fear of asking for money, we are afraid to be criticized or rejected for our task. These are real fears that freelancers and entrepreneurs must face. The reality is you should learn how to sell your accomplishment and knowledge. Most of the people struggle with feeling if they are adequate to charge for their work. If I am not good enough for my job, how can I survive? we need to look to our believes or wrongs believes about money and get paid.

Fear that you do not deserve more money, mean that you do not believe that  your contribution is any more valuable compared to others, this is the impostor syndrome” or fear being exposed as not nearly as talented, intelligent or deserving as others might think you are.

Fear of rejection, we need to know, that if NO is there, will we fight for the yes, that means we need self-confidence.

Fear of negotiation, salary and performance are together, it is about Self- determination and Self-Respect. You are taking your responsibility, not letting decided others about your performance. You need to be open to a dialogue but is about business.

Fear of losing the contract or the chance to work for the client.

If your common sense turns into a fear of failure, and you develop such fears of getting paid, you should analyse your mistaken beliefs about money, or about financial remuneration, and ask yourself about your personal skills and self-esteem.

We should observe what patterns of avoidance and individual deficits we have developed, making a Observation of myself and others, that implies the realistic perception of my own and others needs, fears and emotions, also Evaluation of self and others that implies social and cognitive judgment of interpersonal processes of my and other’s needs, fears and behaviours.

 "No one reached the summit accompanied by fear" Publio Siro.

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What about Fear of Money? How Do I overcome my fear of receive money for my achievements? Dealing with your money anxiety is like dealing with other fears. Sometimes your fear stems from negative beliefs that you keep repeating in your mind. Why do you want money? According to Bari Tessler (2019) the important thing is staying true to your values while you create and prioritize your financial goals. Fear makes us feel alive.

We are judged by the way in which we relate, think, or move, this way of judging can help predict who is going to fail or who is going to succeed. The world of work is evaluating personal qualities such as empathy, initiative, personal values, and emotional skills. People need to connect to the others, empathize and communicate. (Goleman 1995). Human being is social and use the language to communicate, to express his feelings, believes and values. When we think of our values, we think of what is important to our lives. Each of us hold a lot of values with varying degrees of importance (Schwartz 2006). According to Schwartz (1992), basic values are derived from three universal requirements of the human conditions: needs of individuals as biological organism, requisites of coordinated social interaction, and survival and welfare needs of groups. Communication is not only the basis of human thought, it is how each of us develop an individual pattern of believes, attitudes, and values- the personal attributes that bring us to understand, misunderstand, accept or reject others who are like or unlike ourselves. But not only the words play an important rule: nonverbal communication is a much a part of human exchanges as is the use of speech and language and of course listening as a basic part of the human communication process.

everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a 
tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” 
A. Einstein

Keywords: Motivation, Communication, Frustration, Self- determination, Self-Management, Social Skills.

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When we are speaking about fear to get your money for our achievements, we are referring to motivation and personality traits. When we are motivated, we associate pleasure with a task, there is a desire, an action and above all satisfaction. Even if the task is difficult or the process to reach a result is complicated, the fact of being motivated helps us to be prepared for action, performance, resilience, and not to think about failure.

But what happens when these tasks depend on an external assessment, when it depends on the client, and our fears of failure, of being exposed, of criticism, of conflict invade us? This would be one of the contradictions of the academic and industry world. In the academic world, intellect is valued but not measured by financial compensation, while industry establishes its value by means of financial remuneration. Intellect is valued, but knowledge is required to be financially rewarded.

What about sportsmen and women, they compete to be first, but not everyone can be first, their efforts have a result, but their motivation is his personality traits but also carries a financial reward behind it. They initiate an activity for its own sake to satisfy in itself, but they recognize and know the value of their effort.

How would we qualify the meaning of money? It is associated with knowing how to value oneself as a professional and leaving aside the shame when it comes to establishing a cost. Knowing how to understand that money is not something dirty or negative, but that it is taking you seriously and taking your responsibilities seriously. Receiving money for your services or your intellect is a way of taking responsibility for our tasks, and as a person. When we perform a task, or a job we are devoting time and effort to it. This must be considered firstly by the person, and secondly by the person who has hired the service. We are not at school, but in the world of work, in the world of adults, in a competitive world, and in which we will decide how to negotiate according to our personality. But negotiation implies good self-esteem and self-respect. It is about learning how balanced our relationship with money is and above all how our self-esteem is.

We must bear in mind that our brain when it feels in a situation of threat or loss of control tends to get defensive. There we must ask ourselves: What do you want to protect us from? Or what does it want to tell us… but we should not associate it with asking for our performance being a threat in a project, but a warning that something is not working properly and we should face it, take action. We should face up to it and not avoid it. The clearer our self-esteem, and our objectives, the easier it will be to negotiate and not to resign. Dialogue with a good attitude and objective assessment of the situation and the quality of the negotiation will say more about your value. It is important to value what has been achieved, the problems that have been solved and the impact that the solutions have had. If the client is not willing to pay, it means that we have not been able to negotiate well, or that this is obviously not our client.

Managing emotions is a challenge, but the challenge of managing emotions intelligently is a challenge. Everyone knows how to get angry, but getting angry at the right time, in the right place, with the right person and to the right degree, is extremely difficult. But it can be learned.

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“Regular’ means adjusting. So, regulating emotions is about making efforts to channel them so that subsequent behaviour is as adaptive as possible, so that the chances of survival and well-being are ultimately increased. Our brain is plastic William James (1884) human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of thei minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. Our emotional intelligence is a prodcut of the amount of communication between the rational and emotional centers of our brain.

Deci and Ryan (2016) the describe the intrinsic and the extrinsic motivation and the propose that three main intrinsic needs are involved in self-determination. The three psychological needs motivate the self to initiate behaviour and traits that are essential for psychological health and well-being of an individual. These needs are to be universal, innate and psychological and  include the need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

There are many types of motivation. In case of Fear to get your fee, ist related to extrinsic motivation. When you give up your values, this is the kind of behaviour where people feel motivated to demonstrate ability to maintain self-worth, but they do not feel that they have a voice to express themselves.

Optimizing emotion and relationship management focuses on the core mechanisms for human experience and behaviour on the one hand  and on the use of personal ressources and skills on the other.


The biggest obstacle to increased personal competence is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from increasing your self-awareness. Leaning into your discomfort, is the only way to change. Rather than avoiding a feeling, your goal should be to move toward it, into it, and eventually through it. When your ignore or minimize an emotion, no matter how small or insignifivant, you miss the opportunity to do something productive with it.

Disagreement bring all of your feelings about your partner rushing to the surface, and therefore it can be real  challenge to maintain any sort of perspective on your behaviour and emotions. We should focus our energy to understand our emotions. Showing respect for your partners opinion whether they are right or wrong – is the key to compromise.  Use your emotional intelligence skills to discuss and repair arguments.

According to Daniel Goleman the four emotional Skills tend to pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competences. Personal competences is a result of your self-awareness and self-managemt skills. It is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behaviour and tendencies. Social competences is a result of your social awareness and relationship management skills. It is core ability to understand other people’s behaviour and motives and manage your relationships.

Personal competence is knowing yourself and doing the most of you can with what you have. Is not about being perfect of havnig complete control of your emotions. Rather, it is about allowing your feelings to inform you and to guide your behaviour. This is the ke to our success, when you know want to offer and how you want your customer to be. Not when you leave the control to others.

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How to overcome Fear?

  1. To be aware about our Emotions:

Emotions are functional states of the whole organism that involve both physiological and psychological processes. Bloch (1997) When a powerful feeling invades us occupies almost all the space of our mind and consumes a good part of our time.

Emotional intelligence skills are a balance between feelings and reason. It is a learning process during the whole life, and it is not determinate from the genetic or in the infancy (Morgado 2010) and this process help us to adjust to the environment, and this successfully adjustment depends on the management of emotions, cognitions and assertiveness. That will give us the key to manage the role of social conflicts and prevention of bullying, to solve the problems in a heathy and realistic way, and this will be a benefit for the business in the long-term sense.

John Mayer, Peter Salovey define emotional intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively manage emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (1997) they define emotional intelligence as the ability to reason with, and about, emotions. “The function of emotions is adaptive, motivating, informative and social”

Emotional brain: the amygdala is an organ with an important function in emotional response. It is found in the limbic system, which plays an especially important role in physiological functions and emotions.

Once an emotional response has been activated, it cannot be stopped by cognition alone. Emotion is stronger than cognition. Emotion floods cognition and neutralises it. Cognition is unable to modify the emotion, but the emotion can modify cognition. The best way to change the emotion is not through cognition or reasoning, but through an emotion that is contrary to and incompatible with the former.

Our acts and thoughts can modify the neurochemical composition of our brain.

Thus, the management of the emotions consists of putting intelligence between the stimulus and the response. So, emotion management is a combination of self-control skills and empathy. The maxim of classical Greece was “know yourself and act”, a basic rule that allows self-control. But we must distinguish between self-control and repression. Repression prevents the recognition of the pre-existing emotion and its expression. A certain level of self-control always exists and has been modulated by culture.

  1. To cope with frustration, not anticipation:

Frustration is a feeling of failure, of disappointment that appears when faced with an unfulfilled desire or unmet need. The more we want to achieve, the greater the degree of frustration we experience. Frustration can turn us into resentful people. Someone who is frustrated will also become extremely sensitive to reminders of failure and will feel great anguish when they find themselves in a similar situation.

Frustration tolerance describes the individual ability to deal with disappointments appropriately. Frustration tolerance can be taught and learned especially in early socialization. By far the most predominant emotion among demanding parties is anger. Solutions to problems come when we focus on choosing effective actions, rather than looking at who is to blame. Taking responsibility is not associated with taking blame. We must accept frustration by identifying our disastrous thinking, by convincing ourselves that injustice and inequality are realities of everyday life. We must focus on improving the situation as much as we can, but we must also be realistic although that is almost not possible.

  1. To learn how to be Empathetic:

Our emotional world is especially empowered by empathy, that genuine capacity that we humans must feel emotions, to get into each other’s skin. Empathy is involved in emotional and social adjustment. Empathy has two fundamental aspects: cognitive and emotional. Cognitive empathy would be the ability to put we in another person’s place: to understand it. Affective empathy or sympathy is the ability to tune in to the other person’s feelings or concerns. The empathy is not found in a certain part of the brain, but in all and the responsible ones are the mirror neurons. Empathy is part of social intelligence, social consciousness, and social aptitude.

  1. Personal Values:

Human being is social and use the language to communicate, to express his feelings, believes and values. When we think of our values, we think of what is important to our lives. Be authentic is extremely important, you should have a balance in your style that matches your own personality and values. Self-respect, and then you can negotiate with your client at the same level. You need to give feedback and prepare to receive it. Do not get personal, and do not take the information personal. Active listening is important. Everybody is different, and it is not about mood, it is about to find a solution for both.

  1. Communication skills:

Communication is not only the basis of human thoughts, it is how each of us develop an individual pattern of beliefs, attitudes, and values. The English philosopher John Locke saw that human beings are social by nature and use language as a basis of their group life. Communication is a process from a sender to a receiver.

  1. Resilience:

The term Resilience is known from physics, “which means the ability of a system to deal with change” Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among the positive attitude, optimism, the ability to manage emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

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Everybody can change his own vision and perception of the reality. Every person can develop and evolve. People have different resources and opportunities, and different ways of facing reality, but we can all modify the most dysfunctional part of our personality and attitude if we want to. If we begin to accept our potential and leave the most irrational fear as a barometer of our unfounded concern, we can free ourselves from useless burdens that prevent our good functioning and development. At that point we will begin to put our personal resources and self-confidence to work. Not the objective of perfection. To be afraid to receive money for my achievements requires to examine the interplay between the personality vulnerability dimensions of self‐criticism and dependency and experienced satisfaction or frustration of the basic psychological needs i

Fear is programmed in our DNA. In front of a danger situation our limbic system is giving us an emergency signal, automatically will cancel other signals in our brain and we are prepared to react. The amygdala has an emotional reaction (defence or escape), is activated the autonomous nervous system and hormones (Adrenaline, Cortisol, ACTH..) then in the Hippocampus is also activated, everything will be slowly, we are collecting information to react in the adequate form, sometimes is too late. The Hippocampus activate the “logical mind” and we are in the rational way.

What do we call fear? Is fear a habit, a way of life, an important part of our existence. can we live without fear? If we were not afraid, would we be more aggressive? Would we be more frustrated? Or happier? What role does Fear play in itself? It is about accepting uncertainty, it is about accepting change, is it about giving without getting? On what scale does Fear fit? What is your opponent? What is behind the structures of Fear? When do we speak of danger and when do we refer to fear? But what kind of fear, the fear of survival or the emotional fear.  “Warrior vs. Worrier”, “pre-occupy” vs. occupy. Courage is the ability to overcome fear. Animals and humans must protect themselves from danger.

In life there are Fears that accompany us the whole life, they are part of our path, and they act as a barometer, they guide us or block us, everything depends on our state of mind. The sensation of fear gives us the information that we must prepare ourselves for a danger, that we must be alert, but the problem begins when we have the sensation that we lose control. That effect, that feeling is what describes fear. We all seek the guarantee of security, of avoiding losing control, but the reality is that losing control does not depend 100% on us, and that leads to uncertainty and our vicious circle begins. We should trust in ourselves. We know exactly what we need, and we should listen to us, instead to be afraid about the consequences, if the client is not prepared to pay.

The ability to work effctively with others, is more critical in today’s fluid world team tha it has ever been. Lencioni (2016) explained that real teamwork requires tangible, specific behaviors: vulnerability – based trust, healthy conflict, active commitment, peer-to -peer acoountability, and a focus on results. There are two types of people, who have lack of humility: Ego driven type (overtly arrogant, who make everything about them) and the lack self-confident type (they are generous and positive with others) What both of these types have in common is insecurity. To get what we need It is an indicator of good self-Esteem .

Emotions impact in our work lives and can influence the crucial moment to act objectively and professionally in a project. But when the frustration and threat increases, the security repertoire will be emptied and when the rules of survival have no effect the person will feel threatened. His system will become destabilized, his attention will be diverted to his somatic fears. The consequence of the symptoms will maintain their disorder. Intense emotions tend to appear particularly in conflict situations. In conflict, the management of emotions is critical, and appropriate intervention allows the situation to be effectively redirected. To do so, we must refer to three concepts: impulsivity, compulsion, and automatism.

When the behaviour is impulsive there is motivation, idea, guideline, and lucid conscience. But there is a lack of deliberation, and we go straight to the act. The action is involuntary, violent, sudden, imperious, explosive, out of control. However, compulsion is about reflective action that is accompanied by an inner struggle.

Psychological homeostasis can be understood as a cognitive tool, but in the reality, it would be a norm that guarantees the survival of the individual. A rule established by the survival of a dysfunctional personality and stereotyped behaviours restricts the emotional development of the person.

In emotional intelligence we always talk about abilities, and the temperament is genetically determined, although we can modify something during our life, influenced by the environment and personal experiences. Learning to manage emotions, using them properly, reduces helplessness, increases self-esteem and general well-being of the person. Fear is one of the primary emotions. Self- confidence encompasses the traits of high Self-Esteem, assertiveness, emotional stability, and self-assurance. Individuals who are self-confident do not doubt themselves or their abilities and decision; they also can project his self-confidence onto others, building their trust and commitment. Integrity is demonstrated in individuals who are truthful, trustworthy, principle, consistent, dependable, loyal and no deceptive.

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Hauke, G.  (2001) an important step in the value work is strengthening the connection between be-goals and do-goals. We need to know to manage our own feelings and thoughts. We need to accept criticism and other opinions, but we should know, who we are, what we could accomplish, it is not about to make mistakes. The focus is an important key. Your focus will lead your work and on where you are going, rather than on what you try to avoid.

The human behaviour is always oriented toward an aim. Motivation is an internal impulse that arise from situation of dissatisfaction or lack, that move us to the search and the achievement of goals that have value to us. Maslow (1991) Abraham Maslow develop a needs hierarchy as desire for personal fulfilment, to develop one’s potential, to become everything that one is capable to becoming. The model of Maslow is an example of how human motivation is likely to develop under ideal conditions.  Human needs form the “steps of a pyramid”

  1. basic physical needs
  2. safety
  3. social needs
  4. social recognition
  5. self-realization – self – determination

The theories of motivation are based on drives and needs. They talk about motive as a socially acquired need activated by a desire for fulfilment. The difference about drive is that drive is an innate, biological determinant of behavior, activated by deprivation. Drives come with the body, and has this innate cognitive process: curiosity, sense-making, meaning, competency and self-understanding. Instead motivation is a broad concept which includes preferences for outcomes, strength of effort and persistence.

Equity, expectancy, and goal – setting theories of motivations allow us to make choice. These perspectives, however, imply a rational, logical, reasoned approach to the decision’s that shape our behaviour, although our decisions are made more by feelings than by thoughts.

We must face of our virtues and our competences. Leaving aside our shame and vulnerability. Facing reality and demanding what we think is fair even if the client does not agree. We need to negotiate and be aware of what irrational fear is conveying to us.

Join our Emotional Intelligence Workshops for Business and Innovation.

Join our Emotional Intelligence Workshops for Business and Innovation.


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