Being deserving means having an expectation of goodness in your life. It is the goodness of people, relationships, and situations that we all want and deserve in our lifetime. We are all deserving of:
- a safe place to live and work
- relationships and people who love us
- colleagues and employers who respect and support us
The idea of being deserving isn’t a new one. But for someone who is not used to feeling deserving or worthy, it can be a difficult concept.
As a black woman, I grew up with conflicting messages from my family telling me that I was capable and deserving of whatever my heart desired. But then I went into the world only to be told directly and indirectly how undeserving I was. Whether I was undeserving of the same respectful treatment my colleagues were given, of being seated at a restaurant, or of the promotion that I’d worked hard for, I was constantly told and reminded how undeserving I was.
For many people, there is a tension between what we come to believe we deserve and what others tell us we deserve. Whether it’s an outsider or ourselves limiting our expectations, though, it makes it more challenging to live a fulfilled life. Perhaps the limitations you experience in life are a result of a deeper belief that you don’t deserve more. Though it doesn’t feel good, it is familiar to stay in a situation that you’re used to.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are steps you can take toward having the life you want and deserve.
First, ask yourself, “Do I deserve good things in my life?” If the answer is no, why not? Why can’t you have the relationship, job, or life that you want? Take the time to write your answers. You may surprise yourself with the thoughts that are unconsciously swirling around your head. Many times, these buried thoughts come from long-ago experiences that hurt us and continue to influence us today. If you don’t uncover them, you can’t change them!
Now that you know where your feelings of being undeserving come from, you have some investigating to do. Are the comments that were made to you 20 years true today? Were they true then? Don’t give yourself an automatic answer; take the time to expose the validity, or lack thereof, of these thoughts.
A true investigation requires more than just your perspective. Gather three people who are honest, who love and encourage you. Ask for their opinion and thoughts about the messages you received when you were younger. Picking the right three people is key. They shouldn’t be people who will agree with you no matter what; otherwise, you won’t believe them. Nor should they be the people who initially conveyed these messages! They need to be people who will be honest with you while loving and supporting you.
Once your investigation is complete, you need to review this new information. Ask yourself again, “Am I deserving?” and “What am I deserving of?” Are your answers any different than the original ones?
What do you want to do with this new information? Do you want to hold onto it and ponder it? Or are you ready to take action and make changes in your life?
If you are ready to make a change, repeat the following daily: “I am worthy and deserving of goodness.”
Imagine the difference on your psyche and in your interactions with others if you move from saying “I’m worthless” day after day to saying “I am worthy and deserving of goodness.” Repeat “I am worthy and deserving of goodness” each time you go outside. Whether you’re leaving for work in the morning, taking a lunch break, or going to the store, say it. In doing so, you will challenge your thinking and your beliefs about your worth. It will lead you to the interactions, relationships, and situations that you are truly deserving of!
What or who makes you feel deserving? Let us know in the comments section below.
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