“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.” Criss Jami, Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality.
Is life really unfair?
I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve thought about this.
• Why am I not getting the break I deserve even if I’m always doing the right thing?
• How did my lazy colleague get promoted faster than I did?
• Why am I not getting paid for what I am worth?
These are just some of the questions I’ve asked myself which I’ve never found the answers to and I’m sure you have more questions in you as well when it comes to the things you deserve and what you feel you are entitled to.
I’ve battled with this sense of entitlement for the past four years. Throughout my 15-year career, I’ve never worked for a company which gave its employees responsibilities way above their pay grade without being promoted before so it was just natural for me to demand a raise given the duties I’ve been given.
I felt I deserved better than what I’m getting considering that I’ve been on the same role for more than a year. At times, I even felt I was being taken advantage of but someone I consider my mentor made me see things from a different perspective.
He told me that companies are investors too. They would like to see if they’re getting their money’s worth with a product before they actually invest more money into it. He said I had to prove that I’m worth it first before I ask for something better.
We all feel a sense of entitlement not only in our careers, but also in life itself. We feel we deserve something bigger and better than what we have already been blessed with but do we really?
Are we really entitled to have more than what we have today?
A sense of entitlement can be bad for us and if we’re not careful, it can lead us into a life of negativity and disappointment so here are 5 ways that will help you overcome this feeling:
1. Be Grateful
Every time you feel bad because you feel like you deserve more than what you’re getting today, take a moment to look at your family, the house you go home to, and the job you have been blessed with and ask yourself, “are they not enough?”
Don’t you consider yourself lucky to have them?
Thankfulness has been really effective for me. Every time I find myself complaining about how my job sucks and how much I hate it, I always look at the long lines of people in job fairs or the crowded reception areas of the companies in our building and tell myself just how lucky I am to even have a job.
Whenever I find myself disappointed because I can’t buy a new gadget or get my car fixed because of financial problems, I look at the homeless people sleeping in the sidewalks and tell myself how lucky I am that my family gets to eat three meals a day and a home that provides us shelter.
It’s not bad to be ambitious but we also have to be contented with what we have been dealt with.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
A friend of mine recently got the break he’s been waiting for. He was hired by a company who paid him more than double the salary and even sent him to the US to train for a couple of months.
I am really happy for my good friend but I also can’t deny that I got jealous.
Between the two of us, I am the one who’s badly in need and struggling to make ends meet but I still can’t seem to get the break I felt I deserved.
That was how I felt at first but being on the field of personal development has really helped me a lot as a person and I battled this feeling of envy by going back to the things I’ve learned from Joel Osteen.
“Run your own race.”
These four words were enough to turn my mindset around and the same four words should turn yours too.
You will start feeling inadequate if you continue to compare yourself to others so stop comparing and curve your own path because you don’t get to dictate what other people deserve, much more than what you deserve.
If you think you deserve something, work for it because no one will hand it to you on a silver platter.
3. Accept that Life is Not Fair
Life is beautiful. Unfortunately, as beautiful as it may be, it is also not fair.
This is a fact that many of us struggle to deal with. We expect the world to reward us for kind deeds and expect something good will happen in return and when that doesn’t come, we complain and get frustrated.
We don’t get to choose our parents, be gifted with high IQ, or be born to a rich family. Bad things happen to good people. Corrupt government officials get elected to office.
The signs are all around us yet we still expect life to treat us better. That we will get what we think we rightfully deserve.
Instead of griping about how life screwed you over, find ways to make the most out of what life has dealt you with.
So life is unfair, what do you have to do about it?
4. Do Things Without Expecting Rewards
Most of our dissatisfaction stems from our desire to be rewarded for the good things we do. What we fail to realize is that life doesn’t work that way.
When I was in college, I failed one of my subjects and had to take summer classes for it. I was very disappointed because I studied hard. I’ve spent sleepless nights studying and reviewing for exams but in the end, I still failed. Did I think that was fair? Of course not! Did I deserve to fail? Absolutely not! Yet it still happened and looking back, I was very disappointed not just because of the inconvenience and embarrassment but more so because I felt I didn’t deserve to fail because I did everything I could.
The result of studying hard was supposed to be good grades but that didn’t happen.
This may be true for most of you as well. You work hard because you want to be rewarded with a raise or promotion. You treat people with respect because you want to be respected too.
This is ideal, no question about that but in reality, things doesn’t always turn out the way you expect them to.
5. Get Good Advice
Sometimes all we need is another person’s perspective for us to see what we have been blind to.
Talk to your spouse, a friend, or a mentor every time you feel you’re complaining too much about life. It’s easy to get lost in our own reality and be biased with our own beliefs. It’s only practical to get sound advice from people who will not sugarcoat and tell us to our face when we are wrong and disillusioned.
Sense of entitlement is a feeling associated with our egos and narcissism which makes other people’s advice more than necessary.