I deserve to live life fullyPosted by in Personal Development
“I don’t deserve it” is a common disempowering belief that runs deep in our unconscious and holds us back from living our own agenda, from living our life to the fullest.
The good news is that we can learn to believe that we do deserve to live a full and meaningful life, based on our own agenda (not our parent’s or someone else’s), doing what we really want to do. And at the end of this blog I share some practical tips to help you make it happen.
But first, I want to take a moment to explore what it means to deserve something? The dictionary talks in terms of being worthy of, entitled to or qualified for something.
For many years I held an underlying and undermining belief that I didn’t deserve to do my own work, to set up a business, my own coaching business! That would be unheard of.
Indeed, just last year when I decided to work full time on www.greenspacecoaching.com I realised that I’d been treating my coaching work a bit like a hobby, something I did alongside my ‘real work’- despite how passionate I was and continue to be for this work.
I particularly noticed this when people asked me what I did for a living. I would mention my ‘real’ job first and then say as a side ‘oh, and I also work as a life coach’ or indeed sometimes I would not mention my coaching work at all!
Am I good enough?
At the core of feeling you don’t deserve something lies the belief: I’m not good enough. Is any of the following ‘self talk’ familiar?
‘What I want to do is something other people do, not me, I don’t have the right to do it. Other people won’t like or agree with what I want to do (other people often being our family and in particular our parents).’
When we feel that we don’t deserve something, be it a job, a relationship, or indeed our rightful place in the world, we feel lost, without a clear sense of direction or vision for how we want to live our life. It’s not surprising. How can we have a clear vision for our life if we don’t feel we deserve one, if we can’t feel the value of our own life?
The root cause for ‘not deserving something’ often lies in a lack of support, encouragement or reassurance when we were growing up. This is not to blame our parents. They did the best they could for us and often they didn’t receive from their parents the very support and reassurance they needed to live their life more fully and independently. And so it is passed on from generation to generation.
The good news is: we don’t have to carry it forward. We can change and do something different. We can learn to believe that we do deserve to live our life fully, that we have all the resources we need to live a meaningful life, to live our own agenda (not our parent’s or someone else’s agenda), to do what we really want to do.
Here are a few practical tips of how you can step more into your own rightful place and power:
1. Every day write down the following in a journal dedicated to yourself: I deserve to do what I want do. Or I deserve a loving relationship. Or I have a rightful place in the world. Or I deserve to find out what my passion really is. When you have finished, take a moment to notice what it feels like, non-judgementally, just as it is.
2. Every day do something to value yourself. For example, buy yourself some flowers, listen to one of your favourite pieces of music, take a bath, cook yourself a yummy meal, go on a cycle ride, spend an hour or so in your favourite cafe, go to bed earlier to read or be cosy, lie on the sofa with your hot water bottle and do nothing, watch a nature programme on iplayer etc.
3. Reflect on your passion, what you really care about, your dreams, and perhaps share them with people you trust . Say your passion aloud and write it down. Again, notice what it feels like, non-judgementally.
4. Centre yourself – try this powerful exercise to begin to feel yourself more:
Come into a standing position indoors or outdoors (in your garden or local park). Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes if you wish or gaze gently downwards.
Imagine a vertical line running from your head down through your body to your feet. This line represents your dignity in the world. Stand tall, imagining an invisible thread pulling you gently skywards from the crown of your head. Your back is straight but not arched. Hunch up your shoulders, then let them fall back down so they become relaxed. Move your jaws around so it becomes relaxed. Your hands are loose by your side. Your feet are hip-width apart and have roots extending into the ground. Notice how grounded and long you feel, rightfully placed between the sky and the earth.
Now move your arms out to the sides and move them up and down so you occupy space on each side. This is your width and is about your social standing, your right to be here on this planet. Notice how wide you feel.
Imagine that attached behind you onto your coccyx is a tail, a strong powerful dinosaur tail. This tail consists of all that supports you, all the learning and self-development over the years, your training and education, all those supporting you – loved ones, trusted friends, work colleagues. Become aware of your depth, front and back, what supports you and what goes to the front of you. Notice how deep you feel inside.
Take some more deep but relaxed breaths, feeling your belly rise and fall as you breathe in and out. Tune in what matters to you, what you really care and feel passionate about. Hold that deep inside you and say to yourself: I deserve it. Wiggle your fingers, move your feet and gently come back to your environment.
(Adapted from Mindful Coaching by Liz Hall, p 46-47)