Scene: A throng of commuters hurry down the stairs of a CTA train station in Chicago. As they go past, a mother and her daughter, quaintly dressed in a school uniform and book bag, attempt to walk up the stairs. The little girl hesitates and the mother says with a tone of annoyance, “You don’t stop for anybody–keep moving and they will move out of your way.”
The mother who told her daughter to stop for no one and that people will move out of her daughter’s way was creating an entitlement dynamic. Should this little girl override her natural instincts to hesitate and begin to plow through any crowds with the belief that they will always move aside, she will be sadly mistaken when that time comes where no one will move out of her way. A similar form of entitlement thinking is encouraged by the above advertisement when it tells us to demand something other than which life provides us with, the lemons, in exchange for that which we don’t have, coconuts.
When we feel entitled, we feel the world owes us something and that it has no choice but to give it to us. This is very different from feeling as though you are worthy and deserving of a certain outcome or the best that life has to offer. One of the main ingredients that is missing from the entitlement story is humility, acceptance, and the realization that it is okay–more than okay to get out of life what you didn’t expect. Entitlement is a trap that only sets us up for discontentment in life when what we feel that we are entitled to does not come to fruition.This article does a great job in making the distinctions between entitlement and other forms of healthy expression. To take an entitlement quiz to see just how entitled you think you are in addition to everyday examples of entitlement thinking, click here.
Practical Tips–Shedding Entitlement Thinking:
- Recognize the gifts that life has bestowed upon you and note this favour in a gratitude journal
- The Power of the Pause (as frequently stated by Transformation Coach Vicki Hudson-Stapleton, formerly of the Cara Program): Take a giant step back and pause before you launch into thoughts about what life or those around you owes you
- Owes means woes–realize that unnecessary thoughts of expectations and what life owes you will lead to woes, comparisons, and anger
- Appreciate what life gives you and be willing to go above and beyond for love–without any thought of what the payback will be…and see how much you transform as a person
- Don’t fight against the reality of your situation–and what is–and see how you become transformed.
For more awesome and practical tips about life, personal growth, change, and moving beyond entitlement thinking, check out these great below posts from Marc and Angel Chernoff:
Where in your life do you hold the expectation that you are entitled? When you do feel that way, what is life showing you? Is life complying with the entitlement that you feel–or are you experiencing roadblocks? Comment below!
Here is some food for thought:
Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop?
Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.
“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”