Ep 56: Get what you want without feeling entitled

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You know you can’t always get what you want, the Rolling Stones told you that. But when entitlement sets in, it’s easy to focus on what you’re not getting.

Maybe you don’t think entitlement is a problem for you. That’s for celebrities or younger people, you might think.

I used to think that, too. But when I looked over some of my more stressful times, I realized that one common theme was always in play: Why can’t I get what I deserve?

If you are focused more on how to get what you deserve, instead of how you’re moving forward, you might be swimming in some entitlement waters.

Feeling entitled can take away your ability to stay resilient to stress because it removes your power to change your situation. Learn a few ways to get yourself out of those choppy waters.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

Check out the other episodes in my series this week on resilience.

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Full transcript 👇

Ep 56: Get what you want without feeling entitled

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Have you ever thought about whether or not you’re entitled?

When we hear that word, we picture someone who asks for more than they deserve, or who thinks they should be able to cut to the front of the line, so to speak.

“That doesn’t sound like me. I’m totally okay standing in line like everybody else.”

But entitlement can sneak in in some very crafty ways.

From my own experience, I can tell you that when I feel like I’m carrying too much, that’s when I feel entitled.

  • I’ve always been a hard worker. I meet my deadlines and I try to stay positive for myself and others.
  • People know me as the person who can help you push something on through.
  • I bring value. I know that.

But sometimes that backs up on me because then, when I don’t get what I want, I’m taken off guard.

“In what universe do I not deserve to get what I want? Don’t you see how hard I work?”

I may not say it out loud but this is definitely what I’m muttering under my breath.

What does all that have to do with resilience?

Well, remember resilience is about focusing on your strengths and being able to access resources and options even right in the face of challenges.

This is where you find the energy to move forward to help yourself.

Entitlement, though, gets you focused on what everyone else is not doing for you.

Instead of keeping your eye on what you can do to get what you want, you start looking around for all the ways that people aren’t helping you.

So you start using language like “I deserve more than this.”

There’s always this tension between what you don’t have and what you feel like you’re owed.

This is both an energy drain and a zap on your resilience.

Because if you are wallowing in those kinds of negative thoughts, you’re definitely not going to get what you feel like you deserve.

And you’re not focused on taking any action to just go get it.

You’re stuck in a victim mentality.

And there’s nothing resilient about a victim mentality.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to be more and do more.

You deserve to have the best shot at achieving your goals and dreams.

Every human does.

I’m talking about that constant undercurrent that says you should have more just because you’re good and you’ve been here a while.

You can see this in your family relationships.

Maybe you’re the one who’s always taking care of things and making sure everybody has what they need.

Maybe they don’t always return the effort. Or maybe they don’t even acknowledge it. At least not when you want them to.

It’s easy to feel like you deserve better treatment than that. And maybe you do.

But by focusing on what others are not doing to recognize your contributions, you can quickly lose sight of where you were headed in the first place.

And all that negativity and rumination about what you’re not getting can make your mood go south.

Does the company you work for really owe you anything more than paying you for the job that you do for them?

I don’t mean to sound cynical.

But at the end of the day, your company isn’t paying you for all the extra gifts that you bring to your work, just the basic job description.

So when you feel like you’re doing all this extra stuff and you’re not getting recognized, it’s easy to feel like you’re not getting what you deserve.

That can leave you feeling less engaged in your work. Instead of looking to the future, where all the goodies are, you’re stuck at where you are right now.

All that can start to sour you on your relationship with your company really fast.

If you don’t feel Iike you’re getting what you deserve, you have three options to stay out of entitlement land and keep you focused on what’s ahead.

One, you can simply ask for what you want.

Shocking, I know.

But most of us don’t do this. We prefer our passive-aggressive style of wringing our hands about what others aren’t doing for us.

So just ask them to do something for you.

This forces you to define what you really want and put words on it to articulate it. That in itself is a great exercise.

Second, find out what you need to do to get what you want.

You know as well as I do that if you really get what you want and what you deserve, it’s because you committed yourself to take action.

Honestly, there are very few situations where other people truly have all the power over you to keep you from getting what you want.

I feel like this is true in fast food drive-through restaurants. 😂

How many more levers can you pull to see this through? I know, you’re already carrying so much of the weight.

But to get what you want, you may have to carry a little more and forget about what everybody else is doing or not doing.

Lastly, if you’re not getting what you want, maybe it’s time to go somewhere else.

Opportunity exists in so many places anymore. You should always be assessing what’s working and what’s not.

Sometimes getting what you want lies in another place. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you failed.

It just means that you don’t have the resources you need in this place to get what you want.

That’s how resilience works.

Sometimes you have to look at what you have available to you right now and just be brave enough to make the decision that where you are now just may not be cutting it.

That really has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with you.

Feeling entitled takes power away from you and makes you a victim.

It’s hard to get what you want, and it’s hard to help other people succeed when you feel like you have no power over your situation.

Give yourself a few tools to help you get in the habit of accessing what you already have and focus on what you can do to get what you want.

You can catch the first episode of this series on resilience by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. You can also find all the other episodes there, too.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

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