Do employees in your workplace want to earn a ridiculous salary? Are they willing to climb any mountain to create the financial freedom they desire – regardless of who they trample in their career? Or, are they weary of capitalistic ideals and the apparent superficiality of salary-seekers? In my experience, an individual’s underlying attitude toward money and wealth can affect the way they view the salary they seek, and feel they deserve. Specifically, a fear of being filthy rich can actually prevent many employees from seeking certain jobs, to avoid seeming downright money-hungry.

Most people, these days, have a very binary view of wealth. People either lose themselves in the greed and the need … or they vehemently repel from that mindset and prevent themselves from inviting money into their lives. This aversion to large-sum salaries – and the wealth they generate – often stems from a pervasive societal lie: that pursuing a career simply to become filthy rich is an indictment on one’s character. Belief in this unspoken lie leaves a percentage of the workforce intimidated by large salary increases.

The biggest fallacy about wealth is: to be wealthy you have to be ruthless, competitive and selfish; you have to cut down all professional competitors; you have to take more than you give. However, in my view, the only reason we buy into this lie is because it makes us not as powerful as we can be. It’s a cosy untruth that can give us a reason not to create all we can, to seek greater vocational challenge or to ask for more.

This ‘cosy lie’ is just one of several myths that prevent employees from choosing significant salary growth. These myths include:

Generosity is a hurdle to wealth. We’re told you can’t give everything away in life or you’ll end up with nothing. But children actually have a natural generosity of spirit; we’re trained in adulthood to buy into this lie. The truth is, when you live in a space of generosity of spirit, you function from an awareness that there is no such thing as lack; that there is always enough for everyone. That’s a key factor in earning more, and creating greater wealth.

You have to be ruthless to get what you want. You can include others in your creation of wealth. Let the world in. However, you will also have to be willing to be seen as ruthless – even if you’re not – because if you have a lot of money someone, somewhere is going to judge you as being heartless. If you are not willing to be judged for having financial ambition and seeking wealth, you will always remain within others acceptable limits.

It’s wrong to ask for more. We’re told we should be satisfied with what we’ve got. But if you take away satisfaction and replace it with gratitude, you can be thankful (and aware of) all you have … while also leaving yourself open to creating more. Remember, dissatisfaction is okay because it can motivate you to greater heights.

If you suspect that someone in your organization is fearful of becoming ‘filthy rich’, it can help to remind them that wealth can change the world. Through media portrayals and common myth, most people have come to believe they are inherently evil and that if they have money, they will end up causing harm to others and the planet. But the purpose of money is to create greater for the whole planet – and the greater the wealth, the greater the influence. Therefore, encourage employees to ask themselves: Are they willing to have a greater level of power and potency? What level of influence are they willing to have on the world?

When faced with employees who appear to be intimidated by wealth, encourage them to trust themselves to make inclusive choices, even with a much larger salary. Remind them: they are not ‘those people’. They are different … and what they create with their wealth will be different.