Get What You (Think You) Deserve
I had recently quit my 9-5 job, made a complete 180 into the unknown territory of working for myself, and I was wrapping up the final stages of divorce.
It was Spring of 2018 and I had no idea where my life was about to go. I couldn’t see the whole picture and that scared me. Could I even support myself in this new journey? I doubted myself a lot because I would see others doing what I wanted to do, and I would get intimidated by comparison. Did I actually have any idea what I was doing? Why did people trust me?
Even as time went on, I was filled with negative thoughts. I stayed in complacency for far too long because I didn’t know any other way. I guess I’ll date this person – they don’t have everything that I want in a partner, but I don’t see myself meeting anyone who has everything I want, so this person is good enough. I didn’t try a lot of things because I didn’t think I was good enough. I’ll stay small and stick with what I know will work - I’ve outgrown it, but I don’t know how to make the next leap.
I didn’t know what to do -- but I did know where to turn. I began to surround myself with like-minded people who could advise me. I began to read books by people who had done the things I wanted to do. I began listening to podcasts that could help me grow.
As a result of all of these, I unknowingly made a small change that would have a big impact. I started asking myself questions. More importantly: I started asking myself my own questions. “Why do you think you can’t get that?” “Well, why do you think that?” I realized I didn’t really have a “why” that was valid – my reasons were fueled from doubt and fear and erroneous ideas that I would tell myself. I dug deeper. Most of these thoughts were fueled by voices that weren’t my own. Voices of people (including my past self) who didn’t want me to succeed or did believe that I could.
That changed right then and there – from that point on, I decided to believe that I deserved my dreams. Want to guess what happened?
Do any of my thoughts sound familiar to you? Do you tell yourself “reasons” why you don’t deserve to get something you want? If you’re like I was, perhaps you don’t even know you are actively giving life to reasons that simply don’t exist. These thoughts trick us – they may seem really little, but in fact, they take a huge toll on us emotionally and mentally. These thoughts are called “stories.” Stories may look something like this:
“They don’t like me.”
“I’m not good enough.” (Or “I’m not [x] enough.”)
“I don’t belong here.”
“I’m not capable of achieving this.”
“Everyone else is so much better than I am.”
“I’m really comfortable where I am.”
“I’m too far gone.”
I’ve caught myself many times in the past making up entire scenarios in my head that didn’t even remotely exist because I was telling myself these little stories over and over. Be very aware of your thoughts. How often do any of these thoughts (or ones like it) cross your mind each day?
Once you identify the stories you tell yourself, the next step is to identify the triggers that curate these stories. Triggers can look like:
Being in an uncomfortable place with new people.
Working on something that you’re not very good at yet.
Trying something new.
Feeling really far away from success.
Seeing others do something you want to do and comparing yourself.
Being unsure how something is going to pan out.
Sometimes, even just being aware of your triggers can bring you out of these stories your mind makes up. Identify the story you are telling yourself and then pause for a moment to think about what might be triggering it.
Let’s back it up: Imagine a scenario. You meet up with your best friend who is going through a rough patch of unhappiness but doesn’t know what to do. They tell you about a potential solution, but they are nervous to attempt it. What would you tell that friend? More importantly, what would you not tell that friend?
You wouldn’t tell your best friend they aren’t good enough.
You wouldn’t tell them that nobody likes them.
Or that they’re not cut out for this.
Or that they don’t belong.
That they don’t deserve it.
Now, let me ask you this – if you wouldn’t tell those things to your best friend…why are you telling them to yourself?
We have to love ourselves, y’all! We have to give ourselves some grace and accept (and embrace!) our human-ness. We don’t have all of the answers. And we aren’t the best at everything. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to get what we want.
You are good enough.
You are capable of this.
You do deserve this.
But you have to believe it. You are not going to get what you deserve. You are going to get what you think you deserve. Once you change your mindset to believe that you deserve your dreams, only then will you begin to see change. Trust me.
What stories do you tell yourself in your mind?
What are some things that trigger you into thinking this way? (When do you find yourself thinking these thoughts?)
What is one thing (or more!) that you truly think you deserve?
What can you do to repeatedly tell yourself this? (Write it on a post-it on the mirror, daily affirmations, etc.)
What are some small steps you are willing to do right now to get closer to what you think you deserve?
Read that last question again – this new mindset comes with responsibility – action must ensue! Once you start believing in yourself and your dreams, you will be put to work. You will be tested.
“We are tested before our manifestations come through to see if we will continue to settle where we’ve settled in the past.”
This is not meant to scare you – it’s meant to ignite you! You’ll see the same exact things that tried to knock you down in the past try to knock you down again – but this time, they won’t get you. You’ll be stronger. Firm in your mindset that you truly believe you will get what you think you deserve.