Getting Over Our Obsession With Deserving
Have you ever wondered why our culture so obsessed with the concept of “deserving?”
How many times have you heard something like this:
“You deserve a break.”
“I feel like I deserve a pumpkin-spice latte.”
“I don’t deserve that yet.”
“I deserve this upgrade.”
I was at a conference recently, and I can’t tell you how many times I heard that word, that notion of “deserving.”
The word “deserve” doesn’t sit well with me. Doesn’t the very word imply that there are conditions on deserving? Because if there’s “deserving,” then there’s also “not deserving.” At what point do you reach the notable “deserving” status? What do you have to do? How much do you have to do? How long does it last? And why do you have to do anything at all?
When I hear the word “deserving,” my kinesthetic is a negative one. I feel it in my chest, my stomach, and in my throat as I write the word, “deserving.”
Deserving implies we need to do things.
To get to that deserving place, we have to do things. And this is the part that stands out for me the most in doing client work. I’ve gone through this process on my own with the help of my coaches, as a result of the work I’ve done and staying accountable to myself so I can be present for my clients. I’m on a journey of self-growth right along with my clients as I guide them through their own process.
One of my breakthrough coaching clients had cleared the obvious negative emotions (these are usually fear, shame, sadness, or a similar variation), and was doing great. She was more in control of her life and was taking responsibility for her own happiness.
She was getting ready to take a vacation with her family and a negative belief crept up — “I don’t deserve to feel good.”
This was a deep limiting-belief that we needed to address, and we did.
Something happens in the room with my clients (it also happens when we meet virtually over video) — I’ll get a kinesthetic, and I share it and let them know what’s coming up for me. Milton Erickson said that when there’s a client and practitioner relationship, it’s really about the unconscious mind and unconscious mind working together.
When I get that kinesthetic, I always check with my clients to confirm whether it’s mine or theirs. When she said she wasn’t deserving, I felt like there was something deep and meaningful that could really create a shift and help her move even closer to where she wants to be.
We started doing some Time Line Therapy®, and we get there and discovered the learning. And it was so beautiful and powerful.
You don’t have to feel deserving. It just is.
Watching her address and work through that limiting belief was a powerful, emotional experience — one I’ll remember for a long time.
It was so powerful in fact, I had to write about it!
Deserving presupposes that there are things that we can do to make us undeserving — and there’s no such thing.
I remember back to a time when I felt undeserving in my marriage. Carl Jung used to say that we all marry our unconscious minds, and we project onto them all of the things we have going on unconsciously.
I recall being with my husband and feeling so scared that I was going to lose him because I didn’t feel like I deserved him. And I did all kinds of things at the beginning of our relationship to prove how worthy I was of him. I was proving how I was the best cook and I made sure that I ran myself ragged to be available even though my availability was limited with kids. I wanted to be the best person so that he’d see it and we’d stay together forever.
One day he said to me, “Who says that you have to do anything for me to love you?”
I want to cry when I say this. I also remember being ill. I was working very hard and we were living together with four kids between us, three of which were at home with us, and one moved out, and I wasn’t taking care of anything. I felt so unworthy because I was just living there, tending to my health while my husband did everything.
The entire time, there was this guilt inside. We often think that we have to earn the right to live in this place of joy and happiness, believing that we have to do something to feel deserving when, in reality, that’s BS!
The problem may be that you don’t believe it — yet. And if you don’t believe it, then you’re not going to experience it.
So how do you do begin to believe and experience your “deserving?”
You can learn how to do this for yourself. This is why I write these articles and share this information on the podcast.
You may be in an unresourceful place right now and you’re taking unresourceful action. But I know that if you’re doing that, you’re doing it in the hopes that on the other side, you’ll feel better.
I also know from experience that doing unresourceful things doesn’t pay off in the long run. It’s a tough road in terms of getting congruent and being at cause. Being at cause simply means you’re taking responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions.
I wish I could tell you that there’s a worksheet, or exercise you can do to make these feelings disappear; there’s no such thing. This is about focus, because you have a critical faculty — the part of you that creates that wedge between the conscious mind and unconscious minds. And we know the unconscious mind is here to serve you by taking direction from the conscious mind. But the conscious mind sits twiddling it’s thumbs until we bypass that critical faculty wedge.
And that critical faculty gets bypassed when you start repeating information over and over again. This is why hypnosis works so well.
Time Line Therapy uses a form of hypnosis, just a very light trance which lets us get into your unconscious mind and use your imagination. You may already know that your unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real, imagine, and remembered.
Can you imagine feeling worthy simply because you exist? Deserving just because you’re alive — and nothing else?
Can you give yourself the grace for doing the best you can with the resources you have?
If you’re reading this, it’s because there’s an opening in your unconscious mind to receive information and for you to begin doing this change work.
You’re alive. You’re conscious. You are. Period.
It’s time to stop focusing on whether or not you “deserve” to feel or not feel something. Use the resources at your disposal to become the primary mover and shaker in your life, and to feel better and more in control than you’ve ever felt.
If you want to learn more about my personal practices to set myself up for a great day — every day, have a listen to episode #34 of the Mind Revolution Podcast: Yes, you deserve good things.
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I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.