Learning the difference between worthiness and entitlement

In Blog by Celine Redfield1 Comment

worthinessOur stresses, anxieties, pains, and problems arise because we do not see the world, others, or even ourselves as worthy of love. ”
~Prem Prakash

When I work with clients sometimes there is a problem with distinguishing between feeling worthy and feeling entitled. This week we will discuss the difference between the two and how to live in believing that you are worthy without feeling entitled.

What is the difference between worthiness and entitlement? Basically the two come from a place of a different intention.

Entitlement is the belief that you “deserve” things in your life. It is basically an expectation of what outcomes will happen in your life. As I have talked about in other blogs, this gets you into trouble because it will leave you feeling unfulfilled and resentful. Being entitled tends to be rooted in a place of selfishness, expectation, and being spoiled. It comes from a place of fear and lack. It is the belief that external things can fix you and you can be instantly gratified.

Worthiness has to do with improving your self concept, believing that you can accomplish things, and allowing your true self to glow from within. Worthiness is about having well wishes for oneself, being humble, and believing in oneself. It is about growth, change, and expansion. Worthiness comes from within, cultivated by the individual. Starting as a seedling,  with time, love and nurturing, it becomes a tree.

Most people who have difficulty with self esteem and struggle with feeling unworthy of love, compassion and good things, so are you ready to work on your worthiness? Here are 5 ways of being to grow your feelings of worthiness:

1) Embrace yourself for who you are right now.

As the writer, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin stated: “We are all spiritual beings having a human experience”. Why not embrace who you are in this moment and love yourself for it. Instead of thinking that you can always do better, try to see that you are perfectly imperfect in this moment. Life is a practice. Sometimes we can go through life with grace and other times we run into walls. Wherever you are in this moment, love yourself for it. If you get that job or loose that 10 pounds, it will not change the essence of who you are. You are already complete. Try this affirmation, “I love, accept, and cherish the person that I am right now. I am whole and complete.” See what shifts and if  you feel differently afterward.

2) Practice Loving Kindness with yourself.

The practice of Loving Kindess or Metta from the Buddhist tradition teaches one how to have more compassion for self and others. Here is a loving kindness meditation for cultivating loving kindness for oneself: Download this Guided Meditation


3) Stop trying to fix yourself.

When we constantly think that there is something wrong with us, we reinforce the belief that we have been nurturing since we were young. Wouldn’t it be nice to let go of that shame and guilt and love ourselves for who we are? When we think that we can always be better, we do not acknowledge what we have overcome and accomplished. By being focused on the future or the past we get taken out of our present experience and miss the life that is currently unfolding.

Take the pledge today to practice noticing when you get down on yourself and label it as self judgement or some phrase that fits. Practice noticing it with out any attachment to it. This is a practice of being aware of how you talk to yourself. The first step in learning to be more loving towards yourself.

4) See yourself as belonging.

Many times you don’t feel worthy because you feel that you do not belong. This leaves one feeling isolated and alone. The reality of the situation is that is at least one other person (and most likely thousands) in the world that are feeling exactly this same thing as you at this very moment. When you can widen your focus and remember that there are others in the world that are also feeling almost the exact same way you can stop feeling alone and begin to feel a sense of belonging. All beings feel lonely at one time or another. It is actually a part of the human condition. If you did not sometimes feel this way, you would never understand what it would feel like to be connected to others.

5) Acknowledge your suffering and make friends with it.

Much of the time humans avoid pain and suffering, but what if you took the time to make friends with what challenges you? What if you viewed them as a sad child or puppy, would it make you be kinder to them? When you acknowledge, sit with, and walk through your suffering, you are able to tolerate uncomfortability. By making friends with your challenges and seeing them with eyes of compassion and mercy you are able to transform your challenges. If you begin this practice with yourself you will be able to release judgement and see life through a lens of compassion.

Try this exercise which is based on a practice from Thich Nhat Hanh.  Say hello to your challenge; invite it to sit down and have a cup of tea with you. What would it say? Treat it as if it were a friend that was having a challenge. Be loving and kind towards it. How does it shift? Does it release out of your body?

Let me know how these practices work for you. Please feel free to contact me 323.515.2278 or email me at: celine@innergrowththerapy.com

Have a lovely and blessed week!



Rather than climbing up a ladder seeking perfection, we are unfolding into wholeness. ~ Tara Brach
Photo: Banksy – peaceful hearts doctor – 3 by Eva Blue


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