I’m writing to you from my current favorite cafe in Ventura, a chai latte to my right, my backpack at my feet, and the sun shining on my face. It’s an absolutely beautiful morning, and I’m feeling at peace.
It’s come up a few times in these self-check-ins, but my inner world has been a lot to navigate lately, so I’m also being with that tenderness and honoring the choices I’m currently making to support myself. I’m hopeful you’re navigating with the same gentle eye on yourself.
I sit here in contemplation of the Dominant Dogma, internalized belief, and frequent self-healing mantra: “I deserve this.”
Let me tell you, this is such a two-sided belief!
On one hand, it can indicate a sense of entitlement or a belief that you are entitled to something- whether or not you have done the work to deserve it.
However, on the other hand, it can be used as positive affirmation or self-talk, indicating that you have earned or accomplished something that you can be very proud of, or that you innately belong and deserve a base level of self-esteem, care, or worthiness.
And so today on the Live Your Freedom Now podcast, I am walking into the nuance of the two sides of this very dominantly used narrative to help you wade through entitlement and move towards self-worth.
In this episode, I explore:
- The Dominant Dogma of “I deserve this”
- Why this particular internalized belief has two sides
- Where “I deserve this” intersects with entitlement and privilege
- The results of entitlement and privilege going unchecked
- When “I deserve this” is a path to building ego strength, self-esteem, and validating your innate belonging
- The 3 ways you can use the belief, “I deserve this” to grow in self-worth
- An invitation to use my new book as your practical guide to personal freedom, “Live Your Freedom Now”
- A reminder that I have space open, if you’d to work with me deeper in a one on one capacity
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts or watch it now on YouTube!
Watch the episode:
Hello, hello freethinker!
Before we dive in, I want to remind you that my new book, which corresponds with this podcast, is available in paperback and hardcover! This book is your field guide for discovering your true self, and you can purchase it on my website, megscolleen.com, or snag your copy on Amazon by searching Live Your Freedom Now.
Ok, let’s get started:
Today I am writing to you from my current favorite cafe in Ventura, a chai latte to my right, my backpack at my feet, and the sun shining on my face. It’s an absolutely beautiful morning, and I’m feeling at peace. It’s come up a few times in these self-check-ins, but my inner world has been a lot to navigate lately, so I’m also being with that tenderness and honoring the choices I’m currently making to support myself.
As I pause to notice my inner and outer worlds, I encourage you to do the same. Notice where you are, the textures around you, the colors, and the sounds. Notice any emotions that are present in your system.
In this practice, I encourage you not to judge or label any sensation or object. Instead, simply notice, witness, and allow all parts of yourself and your experience to the table. Allow them, and you, just as you are in this moment. This is a practice of personal freedom that you can utilize at any time.
In today’s episode, I am exploring the Dominant Dogma: I deserve this.
First, a reminder of what Dominant Dogma is: Dominant Dogma is a term I coined to encompass all the cultural narratives and beliefs which externally, and subsequently internally as adaptive strategies, tell you who you’re supposed to be, how to do it, and what you need to buy to live that out.
Now, today’s Dominant Dogma has two sides to it: on one hand it can indicate a sense of entitlement or a belief that one is entitled to something whether or not they have done the work to deserve that title, experience, object, etc. However, it can also be a positive affirmation or self-talk, indicating that one has earned or accomplished something that they are proud of.
In the case of today’s podcast, we’re going to start by focusing on looking at the phrase as a term of entitlement, then evaluate how it can be an important phrase to claim, especially if you are someone with a lower self-esteem and/or are currently growing your ego strength.
1:” I deserve this” as a term of entitlement
When this Dominant Dogma is internalized, it includes an innate belief that you deserve something, even if you have not shown that you are deserving or have no direct knowledge that communicates this to be true. A simple example: Believing that you deserve a free coffee because you dropped yours right after receiving it. Many of us have seen this scene play out (or perhaps you were that person, no judgment, it’s all welcome here as we explore this together), and have witnessed the tension that can occur as a barista tries to determine how to appease the entitled client without perhaps going against customer policies. It was not the barista’s fault that the coffee was dropped, yet, the entitled customer has a belief that “they deserve ” to have someone else handle their mistake, even if it was an accident.
Carrying internalized beliefs like this is especially prominent for individuals who hold different levels of privilege, and can often go under the radar of the one carrying the internalized entitlement, without careful consideration. The result of this Dominant Dogma going unchecked? There are both individual and cultural consequences.
Individually, a sense of entitlement can lead people to feel a false sense of superiority and entitlement to privileges, status, and resources. This can result in a lack of empathy and consideration for others, and a tendency to prioritize one’s own needs and desires over those of others (in the worst way!). It can also lead to a lack of motivation to work hard and achieve goals, as one may feel that they are already entitled to certain benefits or rewards.
Culturally, unchecked entitlement can lead to systemic injustices and inequalities such as what we often see in the United States regarding the rights of LGBTQIA folks, BIPOC folks, disabled folks, and other marginalized people groups. When certain groups believe they are entitled to certain resources, opportunities, or privileges based on their social status or identity, they may be more likely to lobby for policies that benefit them at the expense of others.
Additionally, on the individual and cultural front, unchecked entitlement can contribute to a culture of blame and victim-blaming, where individuals or groups who are perceived to be less deserving of privileges or resources are blamed for their own struggles or disadvantaged status.
This is not personal freedom, nor does it support collective freedom.
How do you know if you’re weilding the narrative, “I deserve this” from a place of entitlement? One tool that can help is called the ADDRESSING framework. The ADDRESSING framework was developed by Pamela Hays, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Antioch University in Seattle. She introduced the framework in her book “Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy” in 2008.
The acronym “ADDRESSING” stands for:
A: Age and generational influences
D: Disability status
D: Religion and spiritual beliefs
R: Race and ethnicity
E: Ethnicity and national origin
S: Socioeconomic status
S: Sexual orientation
I: Indigenous heritage
N: National origin
By examining each of these categories and how they intersect with one’s identity, the framework can help you recognize where you may hold privilege or be disadvantaged in society. For example, someone who is a white male who is gay may hold some privilege in society based on their race, but less privilege based on their sexual orientation. Someone who is black and middle-class may experience systemic disadvantage based on their ethnicity, but stability based on their socioeconomic status. This framework is not an end all be all to grasping and integrating your entitlement, this topic is incredibly complex, but using tools like this are a great place to start.
2:” I deserve this” as a term to build ego strength and self-esteem
On the flip side, for folks who are working to build their self-esteem, the term “I deserve this” can be incredibly empowering and needed!
In this context, the phrase “I deserve this” can serve as validation of one’s innate belonging, self-worth, and owning the hard work of one’s efforts and accomplishments. This can be particularly important for individuals who may struggle with feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, or low self-esteem.
So how can you wield this phrase in a supportive way that helps you, others, and the planet?
Three ways to use the phrase, “I deserve this” to claim your self-worth:
- Acknowledge Your Wins!
When you find yourself doubting your abilities or feeling like you don’t deserve success or recognition, remind yourself of all the hard work and effort you’ve put in. Take a moment to reflect on your wins, achievements and progress, no matter how small! Then, use the phrase “I deserve this” to acknowledge your hard work and celebrate!
- Practice Self-Compassion
We all make mistakes and experience setbacks from time to time. When this happens, it’s important to practice self-compassion. With this in mind, when you feel what Brene Brown calls a “shame spiral” coming on, take a pause and practice self-compassion by telling yourself, “I deserve to be kind and gentle with myself, even when I make mistakes.” You’re human, and yes you can and should take responsibility for your mistakes, and also, you are still worthy of love and respect.
- Set Boundaries & Prioritize Self-Care
Building on the last tip, sometimes, we can feel like we don’t deserve to take care of ourselves or prioritize our own needs and desires. This can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and a lack of fulfillment. To combat these experiences, use the phrase “I deserve this” to set boundaries and prioritize self-care. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to take a mental health day, tell yourself, “I deserve to prioritize my own well-being and take a break when I need it.” Again, you can and should notice where you hold responsibilities and how you can best show up for them amidst your human experience, and also, you are worthy of self-care and self-tending.
And that is where I am going to leave you today.
In two weeks, I will share a bit more about the Freedom Beyond the phrase “I deserve this” by offering the myth of Narcissus. Don’t think you need that episode? Stick it out with me, because as I just shared, while “I deserve this” can result in entitlement, we also need a dash of that narcissistic energy so we can take care of ourselves and remember our innate worth as living beings. It’s going to be an interesting mythical episode and I cannot wait to share it with you!
Additionally, I want to remind you that my new book, which corresponds with this podcast, is available in paperback and hardcover! This book is your field guide for discovering your true self, and you can purchase it on my website, megscolleen.com, or snag your copy on Amazon by searching Live Your Freedom Now.
I’m sending you all so much love, and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
Freedom is yours,
Mentions & More:
- Attachment Research sourced in this episode: “The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation.” by Baumeister, Roy F. & Leary, Mark R.
- My free ecotherapy meditation on my website
- My free grounding meditations on Insight Timer
- My 1:1 coaching series. Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/