“I deserve a promotion.”
“I deserve a break.”
“I deserve respect.”
It is easy to be misled that we deserve something when we actually have the responsibility to earn it. All political antics and broken system issues aside, people earn a promotion through ethical consistent effort that drives favorable performance. Breaks are earned once adequate work has been performed. Respect cannot be demanded; it must be earned.
To avoid entitlement mentality, we must change our mindset from deserving something better to creating something better. When you think about it, how much control do you have over getting something you think you deserve over something you have the responsibility and capability to create? There is more power in making a choice to change than waiting for change to happen.
There is also more freedom. Demanding something from another person is a way to control and manipulate. If the relationship is intimate, it is very difficult to say no to demands, especially if the entitled individual provides conditional love. By asking someone to fill a true need versus demanding it, there is freedom to choose without negatively impacting the relationship.
Where there is freedom to choose to meet needs, there is also gratitude. Can you think of any demanding person in life that expresses sincere and generous gratitude? “Individuals in a transactional relationship have no sense of thankfulness.”
In his book, The Entitlement Cure–Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way, Dr. John Townsend suggests ways to shift from deserving to being responsible for earning.
- Needs and desires are not selfish. We have basic needs to survive and others to thrive. Desire is what drives us to fill those needs. We don’t have to eliminate needs and desires. We just need to take responsibility for meeting them, with supplemental help where appropriate, instead of demanding they be met by someone else all the time.
- Always take the first step to be the agent of change. If you’re in a bad relationship, don’t expect the other person to change for you. Address the root cause(s) of pain in the relationship and either resolve to mutually correct the issues or end it.
- Identify where you really need help and ask for it. We cannot become angry and resentful of other people who don’t offer to help us if we never express a need. We must take responsibility and ask for help (and hopefully be able to offer the same in return).
- Develop an abundance mentality. Many times, deserving versus earning is rooted in a feeling of deprivation. Once we focus on what we have, in abundance, we can take responsibility to earn what we need instead of expecting it from others.
Before moving on to the next hard thing, literally, it would be beneficial to review what’s been covered in this entitlement series based on Dr. John Townsend’s work. Changing entitlement thinking involves: Recognizing Entitlement, choosing The Hard Way, suppressing the urge to Deny, Blame, Make Excuses, asking oneself Is It a Need or an Entitled Desire?, how to Help Someone, developing Motivation, exercising Discipline, and taking a hard look at The Man in the Mirror. Along with the ability to distinguish between deserving and responsibility, the next step to avoid an entitlement mentality is to do the “next hard thing.”
©Room2GrowGarden.com, May 15, 2018
J. Townsend, The Entitlement Cure Finding Success In Doing Hard Things The Right Way, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015. pp. 140-153.