Are you allowed a certain amount of entitlement in your life? Absolutely!
Are you allowed entitlement for material things that you’ve earned through growth and hard work? 100%.
Are you entitled to have more as you experience your growth? Of course.
However, are you aware that entitlement can also bring you stagnancy, loss, and incongruency? Probably not!
See, there’s a special relationship between growth and entitlement that requires a very specific balance.
For context, let’s define each of these words first:
Entitlement /inˈtīdlmənt,enˈtīdlmənt/ (noun) – the fact of having a right to something; the amount to which a person has a right; the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Growth /ɡrōTH/ (noun) – the process of increasing in physical size; the process of increasing in amount, value, or importance.
I have a lot of experience with each of these topics personally, and I want to share a little bit about that with you guys. Hopefully, it will help motivate, inspire, encourage, support or comfort you in some way, given that you might be dealing with something similar at any given time.
What you need to know is that when these two concepts of entitlement and growth collide, they can leave us in a place of uncertainty, anxiety or even derail us a bit. Why?
Well, because, as entitled as you are for the work you put in, you can never become stagnant or complacent that you think things are guaranteed. Entitlement can do that sometimes.
The moment entitlement comes in, you’re basically saying to the universe that all of the elements in your environment, the things that you require to grow, the things that require you to be happy, the things that you need, are here. All of the sudden, we may find ourselves becoming complacent in the very things that got us there because we feel like we’ve arrived.
In this state, one can find themselves entitled to somehow coast for a little bit or maybe ride it for just a little bit. As though we shouldn’t have to pay the price again because we’ve paid it many times before. This is a very slippery slope.
And let’s not forget the fact that there are no guarantees. Of course, I’m not entitled to something I didn’t earn, but once I’ve earned it, I’m entitled to it. In other words, I have the title for it, I own it, it’s mine. From there, I can do what I choose. However, there’s nothing that we can take for granted because nothing is guaranteed so that should automatically remind me, or anyone else reading this, the dangers of “entitlement”.
In essence, you have to stay in an open state of awareness, in a growth mindset 100% of the time.
And therein lies the balance between growth and entitlement.
Like the old saying, “If you’re not growing or learning, you’re dying,” and that is so true.
So, how do you manage your growth and entitlement at the same time? Well, here is what I have come up with.
3 Keys to Managing Your Growth & Entitlement
Your environments, humility, and how you approach your day.
At the core of managing this relationship between your growth and entitlement, I have found those three things to bring balance. Let me first explain all three and then I will tie them all together.
Look, growth happens when the environment is there; when the environment and the circumstances and the elements that need to be there are there, and that’s pretty much it. Your environment is everything.
As a human, your job is to figure out how to stay in a place of growth; how to place yourself in the right environment. While we’re similar to plants, they have the fortunate circumstance to sprout right from a natural environment. Humans are a bit different. We have to physically place ourselves in the right one.
And just like a plant, are the essential elements there? Is there enough sunshine? Is there enough rain? Are there enough nutrients? The point is, what is feeding you is what is sparking your growth.
More food for thought:
Be mindful of who you’re around – People are everything. Your goal is to be around people who are as smart or smarter than you, who have had lots of life experience, can offer you a wealth of knowledge, are innately interested in your growth and want to see you succeed. They not only nurture your growth by challenging you to new levels, but they ensure that your energy stays high. And because they are (or should be) levels higher than you, they keep you humble and hungry. This is how you can ensure entitlement doesn’t eek its way in. This leads us to humility.
There’s a saying, “What got you here won’t get you there.” That, my friends, is where you need to operate from. What got you this far won’t get you to the next levels. That’s the truth.
And the moment you let entitlement creep in, you stop pushing yourself and your boundaries. You do not have time to sleep in the game of life. I mean that figuratively of course. Once you get through the current level you’re at, you need to humble yourself, seek out new people, new ideas and new knowledge. At every stage of the game you are starting from scratch, or at least that’s how you should approach it. Celebrate your wins for sure. Treat yourself to something nice. Experience a few material things for yourself, but don’t let them define you or keep you complacent. Celebrate and keep moving.
How you approach your day:
When you awake, be grateful, mindful and intentional. This does several things for balancing entitlement and growth.
First, it reminds you that the reason you are alive and have come this far has come from your hard work and attitude. Being grateful for the things you have softens the energy on entitlement and puts you into a place of giving more. It humbles you.
Second, doing these things in the morning remind you of where you are heading, which in turn sparks you to think about what you need to do to get there. You don’t have to have all the answers, nor will you, but setting intentions and staying close to your vision puts you in a place of detaching oneself from what he or she thinks they deserve and puts them more in a place of what they should be doing. Major key.
Finally, this makes you present. It’s like checking in with yourself always. What did I do to get here? Do I deserve the things I have; have I earned them? Now that I’m grateful, how can I continue to better myself from here?
See, the basics are simple. You deserve everything you’ve worked for in life and you are entitled to them. It’s just a matter of making sure your entitlement doesn’t stunt your growth. Your growth is everything and is what will make you a better leader for your life and for others.
My WAKEUP call to you is this . . . Celebrate your wins and treat yourself to life, but never become complacent or stagnant. So long as you are living, you have a purpose. So long as you can still breathe, you’re still required to grow. Understand that there’s growth you’ve yet to experience. Keep going friends. I believe in your growth.