In talk 50 of the Beginners Talks at Underearners Anonymous, the founder of the program, Andrew says:
* Underearning is a disease of hiding. In terms of visibility, fear fades with prayer. Fear fades with action. Fear fades with repetition.
* For many years, I went through attempts to have a better life. At age 16, I had my first go round with magical thinking. I was thinking about being a photographer, a professional guitarist, and I couldn’t commit to preparing myself. I couldn’t commit to doing the work. Success and failure have one word in common — process.
* I had no idea how sick I was. I had no idea how much of an addict I was. Most people I know in recovery are multiply-addicted people. Three or four fellowships is the norm.
* I remember going to a Broadway play and I said to the guitar player and said, ‘I would like to sub for you.’ Who would go into a Broadway pit and say they would like to sub unless they could do it? But I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the sanity to know what was required to do that. Why did I go? Because I was sick and I didn’t care. One of the things about underearners is that we don’t really care about serving the community. We don’t equip ourselves to want to do a good job. Why? Because we’re sick. I just wanted to be in the cave. This is a disease of experiential isolation, where I choose to hide in a substandard life because I am under the illusion that I am being safe.
For many years, I would go from one vision to another. Whether it was studying guitar or studying acting or writing or comedy, I didn’t know that I was under the bondage of self. This manifested itself a total cutoff of energy for anything my soul wanted to do.
The disease of underearning will not tolerate visibility, risk, criticism, praise.
I had a desire to do voiceovers. I got hired for my first voiceover and I looked in the control room and one of the guys was shaking his head, as they often do, and I couldn’t tolerate being visible. I got my first check and never did a voiceover again.
Over and over again for 20 years, the energy for the vision was cut off like electricity for a house. The energy goes and you don’t know why and you don’t care why because I was deep in this addiction.
I would always try to spin relatives. I would BS. But all I wanted to do was hide. The disease would always cut off the energy for my vision…and the visions I had were always blurry.
I was powerless over this cutoff of energy, just like an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol.
I learned to come up with excuses. All I wanted to do was go home and I didn’t know why I was terrified of visibility.
We have five character defects — fear, self-seeking, selfishness, inconsideration and dishonesty. We have three healthy instincts — social, sexual and survival. Those five defects will trample on those three instincts over and over again.
My character defects were part of my childhood. I could not control them but I was responsible for them.
I worked the 12 Steps. I was able to get the fog out of my head so that I was able to commit to time accountability with my action partner.