Episode 92: Being Deserving (Entitlement & Unworthiness)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Being Deserving (Entitlement & Unworthiness)

The idea of being deserving is a topic that comes up often in my coaching calls. From what I’ve observed, using the thought framework of whether or not we’re deserving of what we want is completely unhelpful and overcomplicated, so I’m offering you a new way to approach whatever it is you desire most.

My hot take this week is that there are two very different energies fueling a deserving state of mind: entitlement and unworthiness. The truth is neither helps you feel empowered in going after exactly what you want, so if being deserving isn’t the solution, what is?

Join me on this episode to hear the two different ways most people struggle with the idea of being deserving, and how to start auditing your relationship with deserving energy. I’m sharing examples of how both entitlement and unworthiness manifest in your life, and my top tips for creating an empowering experience for yourself as you go after what you want. 

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The two different ways people struggle with being deserving.
  • Why we must examine our relationship with what we think we’re deserving of.
  • Examples of how the belief that you’re deserving might be rooted in entitlement.
  • How to reframe the way you think about what you believe you’re entitled to.
  • Why believing you’re undeserving is rooted in a sense of unworthiness.
  • The types of actions that are fueled by a sense of unworthiness.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 92. Today, we’re talking all about being deserving. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, hello, how are you? I don’t know about you, but I am fantastic. I just had the most productive weekend creating some back-end stuff for both of the group programs that I’m running this year: My Obsessed Retreat, and then Lawyers Only, which enrollment just opened for. I’ve already got the founding members rolling in. It is so exciting to see. I got to spend my weekend really doing that.

I’ve been traveling so much lately that I intentionally made the decision to work over the weekend and got so, so much done. So, I don’t know if that resonates with you, but those times when you just really put your head down and you get to work, that always makes me feel so fired up.

I love being intentional and working even when it feels a little uncomfortable to work. Nothing wrong with that. You’ve just got to gag-and-go through it, and then pay off on the other side is just so good. So, that’s sort of what I’ve been up to lately.

I want to talk about a topic that I’m pretty passionate about. This comes up a lot on my coaching calls with clients. I have maybe what I would consider a hot take on the topic of deserving things, of being deserving. So, I wanted to record an episode about it.

There are really two different contexts that I want to talk about “deserving.” I see people struggle with this in two very different ways. The first, is when you’re thinking about the positive things that you think you deserve.

And then the second concept of deserving that I want to talk about, is what you think you don’t deserve; where you judge yourself, you tell yourself that you’re not deserving of something, and then you deny yourself of that thing.

Now, I hear a lot of my clients use this word, the word “deserve.” That they deserve one thing, that they don’t deserve something else, they really use this word a lot. And I think just the whole relationship with what you deserve and what you don’t needs to be examined. I really think it’s a thought framework that is pretty unhelpful and really doesn’t serve people.

I wasn’t really taught this concept of deserving or not deserving things growing up. So, I’m always curious and sort of double click on where my clients say things that I don’t say to myself, or when they think thoughts that I don’t think, that’s always an area for me to look a little bit closer and examine what’s going on for them. Where did they learn this? How does this show up in their lives? How does it impact their life?

And if I’m seeing a negative result come from a thought pattern, I always want to take a closer look at that because I’m not experiencing that negative result in my life. So, I can sort of compare and contrast. I’m not suggesting that how I think about things is the “one right way” to think about things.

But when someone is experiencing a negative result because of the way that they’re thinking, and I’m not experiencing a negative result because of the way I’m thinking, it’s always an opportunity for me to dig a little bit deeper and figure out what’s causing them to think that to begin with, and can we uproot that? Can we eliminate that thought that doesn’t serve them and replace it with something else?

So, let’s start off with talking about what you think you deserve. I mean this in the sense of behavior that you think you deserve to receive, results that you think you deserve to have in your life, treatment that you get from other people that you believe that you deserve.

I’ll give a couple of different examples of this in a second, but what I really want you to pay attention to is that this type of “deserving” thinking is really rooted in entitlement. You feel entitled to receive something. Okay?

An example of this would be that you asked for a raise, you didn’t receive the raise, and you’re feeling really outraged and frustrated and angry. You’re telling yourself that you deserve a raise. And because the circumstances that you didn’t get a raise that you asked for, and then you’re thinking the thought, “I deserve a raise,” you’re going to feel a really negative emotion, like the emotions that I just explained.

And then, from that negative emotion what action are you likely to take? You’re probably going to complain. You’re probably going to stew and really dwell on the fact that your employer denied your request for a raise. You’re going to maybe look for other jobs, complain to your coworkers, complain to your friends and family members.

Maybe withdraw a bit from work; kind of give half the effort, or less of an effort, than you were giving before. Really, you show up not as a team player, right? Not putting your best foot forward when it comes to your job.

You create a result of A- not deserving a raise. But you feel really terrible in the process, and you create a more negative work experience for yourself as you show up that way, while you’re feeling that way, because you’re thinking that you deserve a raise.

Really what you’re ultimately saying, and I think this tweak is really important, because deserving feels very righteous and proper, I think, where “entitled” has a little bit more of a negative connotation than “deserving.”

I think entitled is actually the more accurate descriptor when the situation is charged with all of those negative emotions; you’re really feeling entitled to a raise and you’re making it a problem that you didn’t get one.

Here’s another example of “deserving” that has that flavor of entitlement to it. So, let’s say you’re recently engaged, and you expect your friends to throw you a destination bachelorette party. Or maybe you’re not engaged and you’re turning 40, and you want your husband to plan a surprise party for you, or just a regular party, but you want him to do all of the work for it.

You ask your friends to do the destination bachelorette, or for the birthday party or whatever, and people either tell you they can’t afford to do that, or they don’t have the bandwidth or the capacity to plan it in that way, or they don’t plan it the way that you want it planned.

When you get a result that you don’t like, you get treatment that you don’t like, maybe it’s not what you would do for them, if you’re expecting yourself from other people, which is definitely a trap and leads to a lot of negative emotion.

But if you’re on the receiving end of this treatment, and you have this result, you might tell yourself that you deserve to have that 40th birthday party of your dreams. That you deserve to have that destination bachelorette party. That you deserve whatever it is that you want.

And really, if you’re in that mindset and all of that negativity is coming up for you – feeling slighted, feeling cheated, feeling disrespected, feeling not valued by the people in your life, maybe unloved – it’s coming from this place of entitlement.

You think that you deserve or are entitled to specific treatment, and then when you don’t get it you perceive it to be a problem. And chances are you’ll resent your friends, you’ll be angry with them, frustrated, very disappointed. That’s going to impact your relationship, whether it’s with your friends, or like I said a moment ago, your spouse.

You might get passive aggressive, you might argue with them, you might lash out, you might complain about them to other people. All of that action that you end up taking really doesn’t serve you. You’re also going to be looking for the worst and whatever it is that you do receive.

So, let’s say someone plans a small dinner and you wanted this lavish party, you’re going to be looking at it through the lens of ‘I’m entitled to more,’ and it’s going to taint your entire experience, of the experience that you do end up receiving and participating in.

What’s the solution here? You really need to change the way that you think about deserving or entitlement; what you think you’re entitled to. I really love people to get out of this deserving frame of mind, and to switch it to think, “Oh, I just want this. This is something that I want.”

When you’re in that space, when it becomes more about something you want, and less about something that you think you deserve, you typically have better access to stepping in to viewing it as a situation where you can provide that thing to yourself.

So, if what you want is a lavish 40th birthday party, I would then move into, “How am I in control of making that happen? What’s within my power? What can I do myself, very specifically, without needing to rely on anyone else? What is it that I can do to make that happen for me? What is it that I can do to give myself what it is that I want?”

Guess what? You get to plan your own damn party. You can be as outlandish and as lavish as you’d like. I love planning my own parties. If you plan your own party, you know what happens? You get everything you want, which is so much fun. And you take the responsibility off of other people. You don’t make them read your mind, which they’re not going to be good at anyways.

So, you freed them up to show up in such a better way. In a way that’s more comfortable for them. You get everything that you want, and you’re not focused on what they haven’t done for you and what you didn’t get.

We’ll use the raise example, as another instance of this. What’s the reframe? Well, if you want more money and then you ask yourself: What is within your control? You can, of course, ask for the raise. I always like to check in here and say, “Did I ask in the most empowered and powerful way I could?”

I went to ask for a raise when I was in my 20s, and I felt very deserving of a raise, I felt very entitled to receive a raise. But I asked in a really disempowered way; I came at it from a place of entitlement. And when I did that I totally set myself up to fail because I didn’t make a compelling argument about how I was delivering more value than the original hourly rate that I had been given.

So, I didn’t state my case for why it made sense from a business perspective to pay me more. I didn’t explain the value add to the organization. And because I didn’t do that, I just came at it from that deserving/entitled place, I didn’t get what I wanted.

If you’re in the mindset of ‘I want this, what’s within my control and my ability in order to provide this to myself?’ First, you’re going to start with making the most compelling case possible. But from there, let’s say your employer tells you ‘no,’ you can choose to add more value and then resubmit your request. Or you can choose to look for other jobs and go elsewhere.

So, it’s on you to make sure that you get that salary for yourself, if that’s what you want. There are a lot of different things that you can do to make it likely that you will receive it, but you don’t want to come at it from that deserving/entitled energy.

I love reframing it by thinking simply of what I want, not making it something as heavy as what you deserve. I also love thinking about I’m worth this, whatever it is. And again asking myself, “How can I give that to myself?” Or, a much more decided way to think about this is. “I am getting…” blank. And then you answer, “How am I going to make sure I get…?” blank, whatever blank is for you in this situation.

So, take a second and do a little check in, take an audit. Where in your life are you feeling deserving? Where are you telling yourself that you’re deserving something? Where do you feel like you’re entitled to something? Whether that’s a particular behavior from someone else, a particular result, or a particular treatment that you think you should be receiving and you’re not.

Then ask yourself, once you identify the area in your life where you’re in this deserving state of mind, and be honest, is it serving you? How do you feel? What are the one-word emotions that you experience when you think that you deserve this?

And then, how do you show up when you’re feeling those feelings? Chances are they’re going to be really negative emotions. So, how do you show up when you’re feeling them? What’s the action you take? What are the things you do? What are the things that you don’t do?

Then, what result is that ultimately produce? Does it produce more conflict? Does it produce you not getting what you want to get? Chances are that’s going to be the case, because we don’t create a positive result from a negative thought, ever.

And then, ask yourself what would change if you focused on just the simple fact that you want this thing for yourself, whatever that is? You ask yourself, “What is within my control in order to get it?” Because that’s the thing with this deserving/entitlement, or this entitled/deserving, is that you put the onus on other people to give you something, rather than taking full responsibility for getting that thing for yourself. For creating that for yourself.

That’s a really disempowered place to live, to exist in. So, I want to empower you to take control back over how you feel, over what you do, over what you have in your life, over what you get, the results that you create, by focusing on what you want and how you’re going to create that for yourself, rather than relying on anyone else to give it to you.

Okay, that’s the first type of deserving that I want to cover today. The second type of deserving is when you think that you don’t deserve something. I just had someone submit, I do this Ask Me Anything questions on Instagram every single weekend, and people get to submit anonymous questions to me, sort of like a Dear Abby. But in this case, it’s an Ask Olivia.

All the submissions are anonymous, so people get to be very open and vulnerable about what it is that they share with me, about the questions that they ask, about the issues that they present, and want me to coach them on. I simply respond and provide them with the coaching that I think is relevant to whatever they submitted.

Someone over the weekend submitted this question about feeling like they don’t deserve a Rolex. They really want to buy a Rolex for themselves. It’s something they’ve wanted and thought about for a long time, and they don’t feel like they deserve it. They think that it’s silly to want that. They’re really judging themselves for having that desire.

Maybe a Rolex isn’t your thing. Maybe you want to buy a luxury handbag or a really expensive car. Obviously, “really expensive” is always a thought, it’s never a fact. But maybe you think it’s expensive and it feels unwise or irresponsible or impractical, so you’re judging yourself for it.

Maybe you want to take a vacation, and work’s busy, and you’re telling yourself that you don’t deserve a vacation. I believe I talked about this on a recent episode on the podcast. But I came up against this myself when I was thinking about moving into furnished condos. Because it was so much more expensive than my normal mortgage payment in the house that I own back in Michigan.

It felt really foolish, really irresponsible and impractical for me to upgrade my lifestyle that much. I kept coming back to the idea that it’s not something that I needed to do, which is true, I didn’t need to do it. I could have continued to live in my house the way that it was. But it did brush up on this idea that I don’t deserve to live in these beautiful spaces. I was really floored to even catch myself thinking that way.

Because it’s not a way that I would consciously choose to think. But it did feel, my resistance felt like it had a tinge of doubt that I deserved a particular experience. So, if you’re questioning whether it is you deserve something…

Maybe you think you don’t deserve to make a certain amount of money. Maybe you think you don’t deserve to be thin. Maybe think that you don’t deserve to have a work life that’s easy, instead of really hard and stressful. I know a lot of my clients feel like hard is just in the fix, just built into the system, and that there’s no way to live a better life than that.

That’s one of the limiting beliefs that we begin to challenge when we work together. But whatever it is… Maybe you think you don’t deserve a loving relationship, and that shows up in the way that you date, or in your relationship that you’re in right now. Maybe there’s conflict because it’s fueled by this thought that you don’t deserve to be loved, or something better than what you have.

So, whatever it is that you think you aren’t deserving of, that you don’t deserve, ask yourself, “How do I feel when I think that I don’t deserve something?” And then, “What is it that I do when I feel that emotion?” And then, “What result does it produce?”

Again, negative thoughts beget negative results. So, this type of deserving state of mind, telling yourself that you don’t deserve things, I believe that, unlike entitlement, is rooted in a sense of unworthiness. You don’t feel worthy of having the thing so you tell yourself that you don’t deserve it.

I want you to play around to see what feelings come up for you, because I could also see flavors of unworthiness looking like feeling guilty, when you think you don’t deserve something. Feeling ashamed, when you think you don’t deserve something. Feeling selfish, or irresponsible, or foolish, or impractical, or maybe self-absorbed, or conceited.

Find the feeling that really resonates with you, and then ask yourself, “What is it that you do when you’re feeling these emotions?” Chances are you deny yourself of the thing that you want. The thing you’re telling yourself that you don’t deserve, in all these different ways.

Maybe it’s just as simple as you don’t buy it for yourself. You don’t buy the Rolex. You don’t buy the expensive car. You don’t buy the handbag. You don’t take the vacation. You just keep plowing through and working. Maybe you don’t move, you stay in the house that you think is the practical place to stay. Maybe you continue to tolerate a work situation that really doesn’t align with what you want for your life. Maybe you continue to tolerate a bad relationship.

Of course, “bad” is a thought. It’s a judgment. It’s subjective. You get to decide that you’re in a relationship that isn’t good. But you might be tolerating it because you think you don’t deserve more.

The other action that you take when you think you don’t deserve something, and you’re feeling these negative feelings, is that you wait around for someone else to give you permission. I just talked about this recently in a different episode.

But if you’re waiting around for someone to give you permission, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Because, as adults, people don’t come around and just give us permission to do things. We’re the ones who have to give ourselves permission. So, if you’re waiting for that permission you’re not going to create the result of having what it is that you want.

You’ll keep tolerating, keep putting up with the status quo. You’ll keep denying and depriving yourself. You’ll never get what you ultimately want to have. So, if this is you, just like we did with the other kind of deserving state of mind, I want you to really just opt out of this idea that you deserve stuff, or that you don’t deserve stuff. That that’s just all made up. It’s not true whether you deserve something or not, it’s just a thought that you think, it’s as simple as that.

It’s just a sentence, and you can discard it at any time. Like, right now, for example. You can just opt out of buying into the idea that you do or don’t deserve things. Again, we’re going to bring it back to this idea of “want.” Rather than thinking that you do or don’t deserve something, what if you just gave yourself permission to want the Rolex?

You don’t have to have a “good reason” for it, you can just want a Rolex because you want a Rolex. Or you can just want to drive a Porsche, because you want to drive a Porsche. If you have a better, deeper reason, that’s awesome. But you don’t need a “deeper reason.” “Deep,” again, is going to be subjective. So, what’s “deep” to one person might not be “deep” to another person; and none of that matters.

You get to just want to have things, and that is a perfectly good enough reason for you to have those things, for you to get those things for yourself, to provide those things in your life.

So, if you want the Rolex, buy the Rolex. If you want the Porsche, get the Porsche. If you want to take the vacation, take the vacation. If you want to be in a body that looks different than the body that you currently have, you get to create that for yourself; whether it’s through natural remedies, whether it’s through cosmetic surgery.

Whatever it is that you want, you get to do that for yourself. If you want to end a relationship because you want something better, something more, something more appropriately tailored for what it is that you’re looking for, you get to do that for yourself.

If you want to move, move. If you want to make more money, make more money; whether that requires you to change careers, change jobs, charge more. Whatever it is, you get to do that simply because you want to. That is reason enough. We don’t have to overcomplicate things with this concept of being deserving of something.

So, check in with yourself, where are you telling yourself that you don’t deserve something? How do you want to replace that? What do you want to think instead? What if it’s okay to just want what you want? No explanation. No apology necessary. You just get to want it.

And then, just like with the other state of mind, focusing on what is within your control. What can you do, what power do you have to provide the thing you want to yourself? Spend all of your time there. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission and just create that result for yourself. Go after it yourself.

Whether you’ve struggled and been stuck in a deserving state of mind, whether from that place of entitlement, or from that place of unworthiness, switching this thought process to focusing on what you want, and what is within your power to give to yourself, is going to be such an empowering experience for you. I can’t wait to hear about how this goes for you as you start to make this mental shift yourself.

Definitely report back to me. Reach out to me on social media, on LinkedIn or on Instagram. I’d love to hear what breakthroughs you have with this as you start to dial down all of that deserving energy, feeling deserving, being in that deserving state of mind. Because what you are able to access and do for yourself, when you get out of entitlement and out of unworthiness, it’s so incredible. I can’t wait to see you do that for yourself.

Alright, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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