Written in 2007, Barbara Stanny’s book,  Overcoming Underearning, has been getting a lot of attention lately.

So has the nascent organization, Underearners Anonymous.

Stanny’s plan of action to combat this recently identified malady features a 5-step program that will lead to ‘a richer life.’   The UA version uses the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous model to help people uncover and conquer the blocks to living a full and prosperous life.

So why do we need yet another ‘step’ program and what exactly is ‘underearning?’

Turns out that the crux of the problem is that many of us simply don’t know how to take care of ourselves.

We give away our time.  We let fear or feelings of inferiority run us away from opportunities. We refuse to identify our big dreams because… well, why bother? … they’ll never materialize anyway.

Furthermore, we make ourselves small or hideout entirely, make trouble where there was none, drive ourselves (and others) crazy trying to prove what we should already know. That we are largely competent, accomplished, talented and quite nice people.

We simply get in our own way.  So noted. 

Now what?

Well, whether we turn to Stanny’s remedy or go the powerful 12-step route, we can start by viewing ‘underearning’ as having to do with far more than a  money-making problem.  That it has to do with an ‘under-living’ problem.  A way of neglecting ourselves, self-sabotaging and, generally, living below the radar of our own enormous potential. And by admitting we might be among a surprising number of people who  secretly suffer from these symptoms.

By examining this issue, even those who – on the surface – have status, earn nice salaries, enjoy lots of successful looking stuff and seem to have nothing to complain about can weed out the undercurrents of ‘underearning’ and begin to live an even richer life.

Piques my interest.  Yours?

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