In the last blog, we talked about taking stock of what we did and didn’t accomplish in the previous year. In this one, we’ll talk about what we want to create. The new year brings a barrage of goal-setting ideas. But setting goals on a foundation of scarcity is the reason why many of us don’t end up following through on or attracting what we want most. I’m talking about healthy entitlement.
Firstly, here’s a short list of what keeps people from having what they want:
They don’t feel like they have a right to it (conscious or subconscious)
Not clear on what they want (not clearly defined enough); saying what you don’t want doesn’t clearly define what you do
Fight/flight/freeze makes it impossible/difficult to take the necessary action
We’ll dive deeper in the next few emails on how you can address points 2 and 3, so that you can powerfully define what you want most, invite it in, and be ready to take action. Today, we’re going to address the foundational aspect of goal setting, which is establishing healthy entitlement. This is the critical groundwork that precedes goal setting because it allows us to believe and receive.
Healthy entitlement yields the permission we give to ourselves to actually have what we desire. It’s not about being “special”, it’s about our basic birthright. We all have a right to be seen, heard, understood, and have our needs met. Our beliefs around having those things stem from our early childhood experiences. If healthy entitlement wasn’t modeled consistently (e.g., your needs for physical, emotional, psychological care weren’t consistently met), you may have been conditioned to believe that it’s possible to get what you want in life. To avoid disappointment and hurt, we can even get into a pattern of stopping ourselves from wanting. This also plays into our attachment style and what relationships are like for us.
Healthy entitlement — our self-value — is fundamental to how we experience everything. I believe it develops in the lower reptilian brain. When there is an abundant response to meeting our needs, we inherently attract, receive, and feel safe having what we need because we understand that to be possible and natural. That imprint happens very early in life. For most of us, that wasn’t our experience, so if it wasn’t yours — don’t freak out! With awareness and the right approach, it can be easily repaired.
Not healing this nervous system wound can lead to being afraid of both getting what you want and not getting what you want, which is a hard place to live from. This is where somatic experiencing (SE) and self-soothing strategies can make a profound difference. If you’re interested in working on this, please reach out. I have been practicing SE for years and continue to see incredible results with clients.
You can begin to heal your nervous system by practicing some simple self-soothing strategies and mindfulness techniques (e.g., noticing the quiet, the colors, the textures of your environment; engaging with a pet; sipping a hot cup of tea and fully experiencing it on the sensory levels; talking to a supportive person).
How do we cultivate healthy entitlement? When we learn to shift our inner narrative and cultivate compassion for ourselves, our self-worth improves and we naturally demand more in the way of healthy entitlement. This can show up as setting healthy boundaries, making bold requests that honor your self-worth, being willing to receive the things we say we want, accepting help and support. Even something as simple as accepting a compliment can be a sign of strong self-worth.
In the next email, we’ll look at how you can remove the blocks that lead to indecision, so you can define and go after what
you truly want.