Why does entitlement matter?
Let me ask you a simple question: Why do some people have a great wife/husband, an amazing job, financial freedom and an overall great life, while others don’t? Well, there is a lot that plays a role in how your life plays out, but many people think that all in all “you get what you deserve”. Who decides though what you deserve and what not? And what does ‘deserve’ even mean? Well, in my opinion deserving something means nothing different than feeling entitled to something. So in this text I will teach you the importance of entitlement and how you can increase your sense of entitlement.
Definition of entitlement
Entitlement is defined as “the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something”. Note how entitlement is therefore not something objective, but rather something extremely subjective. What humans feel like they have a right to, aka what they feel entitled to, can vary considerably between countries, cultures, genders, generations, social classes etc. All these different groups and subgroups have a differing sense of entitlement.
Your sense of entitlement determines who you become
So depending on the kind of group you were born into, you were raised with different values, different standards and a different sense of entitlement. You might for example feel like you deserve good health care or a good education or the right to love whoever you want. This is a level of entitlement that is quite normal in the western world nowadays, and you wouldn’t even think twice about it. Do you however feel like you deserve to be promoted to CEO of your company? Do you feel like you deserve to marry the most beautiful woman in town? Do you feel like you deserve to be rich and successful, even more than others? When confronted with these kind of questions, most people will suddenly not feel so entitled anymore. Most people have a very clear idea how high their level of entitlement is, maybe not consciously, but certainly unconsciously.
What’s interesting is that people tend to get exactly what they feel entitled to. They feel comfortable demanding these things because they feel like they have a right to do so. For them it is only natural that they should have what their sense of entitlement allows them to have and that they shall not have what they don’t feel entitled to. They “get what they deserve”, not more and not less.
Changing your sense of entitlement
Now, this is where it gets really interesting. Since we more or less tend to get what we feel entitled to, but the levels of entitlement vary greatly, shouldn’t it then be normal to try to increase your sense of entitlement? Shouldn’t everyone be trying to do so? Well, the thing is that most people are so stuck in their reality that they are not able to make adjustments to it or come up with new realities in which their sense of entitlement is higher.
This however is exactly what you need to do if you want to get more out of your life. You need to make a paradigm shift that allows you to leave behind your old ideas of what you ‘deserve’ and frees you from the misconception that there is any inherited limitation to how far you can take your life. If you feel like you deserve more than what you currently have, you are already on the right track.
So discontent with the status quo should be your starting point. But where do you go from there? How do you increase something as vague as ‘sense of entitlement’ in a methodic and structured way? Here are a couple of pointers for that:
1. Do things outside your comfort zone
If something is outside your comfort zone, you don’t feel entitled to achieving it. After all, why would you feel entitled to something that you never achieved before? The secret is to ignore the fact that you have never done that before and just go for it anyways. Challenge your old you. Put your personality on the line. Push your beliefs of what is possible, expand your comfort zone and by doing that, increase your level of entitlement.
2. Create reference experiences
Forcing yourself outside your comfort zone is so extremely important because it leads directly to the second point. Once you see that you can achieve things that you thought were beyond your reach, you set a precedent. You create reference experiences that your mind can go back to whenever you are in a situation where you don’t feel entitled to something. The more reference experiences you have of situations where get something you didn’t actually feel entitled to, the more likely it is that you go after and eventually get something else that you don’t feel entitled to at the moment. You will over time create a new reality for yourself where getting certain things (may it be high quality dating partners, success in your job or the long awaited salary raise) becomes just normal to you.
3. Surround yourself with more entitled people
Yes, we are all born into a certain social surrounding. But that doesn’t mean that we have to stay there. Instead, you should be looking for people with a higher sense of entitlement and start hanging out with them. You should try to incorporate their mindsets and the way they see the world as long as it helps you overcoming your own success barriers. Spending time with these more entitled people will also show you that they are just human beings like yourself and that there is absolutely no reason why you can’t achieve what they achieved. The only thing separating you from them is your lower level of entitlement and this is something that over time can be overcome.
So to sum up, entitlement is a very vague concept. It is nothing that is easily pinpointed as a determining factor of success. And yet, without a strong sense of entitlement there is no way for you to succeed, in anything. You have to believe that whatever you are trying to do is not only possible for someone, but it is possible to achieve for you! You before all others have to believe in you. Once you do that, there is really no limit to what you can accomplish. That is what makes a high sense of entitlement so crucial.