The Poison of “I Deserve”

I see a lot of coaches, motivational speakers, and spiritual leaders who use the term “I deserve” to get people to create change. It’s a strong statement that works to create movement. Let me explain why acting from this standpoint is poison.

You’re Already Worthy

“I deserve” makes it seem like things only come to people who are worthy. It’s a way to stand up and say, “I earned this, so I am going to let myself have it” or maybe “I am going to do this for myself.” You’re already worthy. We all are. You don’t have to do anything to become worthy. We’re all divine creatures who are part of a bright and shiny whole. Sometimes we forget that. Remember is not the same as earning it. You don’t have to earn anything. You’re already worthy.

Everyone Else is Also Worthy

“I deserve” makes it sound like there are those who don’t deserve something. It creates division by making some worthy and some not. This is also an illusion. We’re all worthy. You are worthy of having love, and I am too. You’re worthy of being happy. Me, too. All good things, neutral things, and undesirable things are available to all of us.

There is no judgment about what comes our way or what doesn’t come our way. We’re all different people who make different choices. We have different circumstances, families, resources, and values. All these things lead to different outcomes. There is no judgment in any of that. It just is what it is.

We all have the life that we need to clear up our ancestral issues, personal issues, and to grow to the next level. When we are in shadow in a place that challenges us it’s not because we “deserve” it. It’s because that’s where we are on the wheel of life. As long as we keep moving, we will get to the next place. As long as we keep growing, we will get there with more knowledge, power and resources.

“I Deserve” Can Be a Trap

When we think we are “better than this,” it can lead us to saying no to the very thing that will lead us to what we want. This lens can narrow our options. For example, let’s say that I have a master’s degree in engineering and I get downsized out of a job. I am not finding work right away, and I get frustrated because I feel that I did my time. I went to school. Now I’ve got all this debt. My work performance was stellar. This is so unfair! Life owes me a job that pays at least what I was making before. Consequently, I feel angry that I played by the rules and am not getting what I deserve.

This is nonsense. My thoughts are completely delusional. This is not happening because I deserved it, yet if I keep standing in this framework, it could keep me stuck here. I could miss out on opportunities in other fields that are more suited to where I am now. I could go more deeply in debt because I am insisting on life being my way instead of allowing it to be as it is.

And what about if my past is full of criminal behavior? Does that mean I deserve to have a bleak future with no happiness, forgiveness, or success? Can’t today be different? “I deserve” is a sword that cuts both ways. Put that down!

Life’s Not Adversarial

When you think using terms that divide us, like “I deserve,” you set up an adversarial system. It can make you feel like an outsider who has to fight for things. When you do this, it can feel like there is a goal to reach, or an inside and an outside, and you have to battle to get inside. It can make you feel like you have to justify yourself. You don’t. Life’s not adversarial. You don’t have to earn things. You just have to choose them. So choose.

 The Way Out is to Choose

So what do you really want? Are you ready to choose that? If so, say it. Speak it into the world. Tell people. An idea in your head is not the same thing when it’s said out loud and brought into the world. Let others witness it. This makes it real. Choose it now. Today.

Are you willing to do what you have to do to have that? Manifesting is not just about claiming it. You have to do something to make it happen. Otherwise it’s just a wish. If you want to be an X, enroll in a class. Apply for the position. Sign up for the event. Write that draft. Or take some step to make it happen. Don’t wait for someone to give it to you. Reach out, know you are worthy, and go for it.

Will you be who you have to become to have this? This is a big one. If you feel your birthright is to be X, but you’re not willing to do what it takes to become that person, it’s not going to happen. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because you aren’t living in that identity. It’s like fitting into a uniform. Your body has to work within that structure. So, if your identity doesn’t jive with who you want to be, step it up. Grow!

Forget About What You Deserve

Deserve schmiserve! There is only choose or don’t choose. And guess what? We may have to choose a thing over and over again. The first “yes” isn’t always the final one. Take for example a marriage. Saying yes doesn’t get you through to “til death do you part.” You have to choose each other through the wedding, in-laws, holidays, children, illness, moves, weight changes, betrayals, career changes, aging, and whatever else comes your way. Life is not a one and done type of thing.

So choose. Choose who you are in this moment. Choose what you want. Say yes to what works. Say no to what doesn’t. When it rains, enjoy the rain. If it’s sunny walk in the sunshine. It’s not happening because you deserve it. It’s just happening. That’s life. Enjoy it.

 

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