I hadn’t heard of deservability until my 40’s. Oh the deprivation…well not really but it did get the gray matter fizzing like a freshly dunked Berroca (btw, beware these little orange suckers – they are full of artificial sweeteners’, but I digress). Deservability isn’t even a real word according to the squiggly read lines my spell check so decoratively denotes dodgey words with but to me it should be coz it’s such an interesting viewpoint from which to look at your life and decision making.
If I’m getting all loved up about this word then best I explain what it means to me. First stop is what it’s not – entitled. Man, entitled flares my nostril (I have a really small nose but it’s still flarable!) in a ‘get over yourself’ kinda way. Soapbox alert – look away if you just don’t want to go there…I am a big believer that no one arrives with a Willy Wonker golden ticket – our contribution to others and the kindness and love we embody are the measures of who we are, not our lineage. Whether we are born rich or poor we stand on our merits not those of our parents, grandparents etc.
Put the soapbox down and walk away…I am being a cow talking like this – if someone is working the ‘entitled’ angle then fear is the place from which they operate – usually the fear of not being enough just as they are so they call in family history backup. I know I still visit ‘NotEnoughVille’ but I also know now it’s not a one way journey so I scull some self-worth and get the hell outa there – nothing beautiful ever grows there.
Deservability Dissected and Defined
So if we know deservability is not entitlement then what is it? Deservability reflects the settings of our expectation dials – expectations of ourselves, of others and of the world. Many things contribute to your settings including the expectations of your parents, peers and friends. It will also build in what your young self heard and experienced. For example did you come from a ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ or a ‘life is hard, get over it’ household? Or did you ever hear ‘our family just aren’t good at [fill in the blank]’ or gross generalisations like’all men/women are [fill in the blankety blank]’. Your young ears, eyes and hearts will have witnessed thousands of dial setting scenarios and since the aim of your young self was to survive often you take these on as ‘how to keep physically, emotionally and spiritually safe’ guidelines g. Have you ever heard your inner voice say ‘that’s too good for me’? That’s your deservability talking. How about the classic ‘I will never [fill in the blank]’. Who said you will never [fill in the blank]? Was there a decree from god written on a stone tablet? Didn’t think so.
Work that Deservability Mixing Desk DJ
Deservability is certainly not one dial – it’s a whole dashboard – in fact picture one of those mixing decks they have in a music studio with knobs for Africa! You might have a high setting on deservability for ‘being loved’ so you won’t accept anyone treating you in a unloving way but you might have low setting for ‘feeling fulfilled in my work’ so you will stay in a job that sucks your soul. How about health – a high setting means you make time to exercise regularly and get nutritious food but a low setting would mean you don’t nurture yourself.
Do you reckon these dials are wired separately or somehow interconnected? I have a rigorously tested theory (sample size of one ie. me) that the dials are all connected to a master dial of ‘self-love’. When I am self-aware and self-compassionate all my dials seem to ramp up simultaneously – spooky ha! When I feel resentful, focused on trying to get on the mythical ‘good person’ list and generally seeking approval from other therefore not fit for public consumption aka visiting ‘NotEnoughVille’, my dials drop down into the red zone of self destruction. I eat crap, my self-talk goes from supportive to downright bloody mean and I feel I have nothing worth sharing with the world. Luckily I now have plenty of tools to dial up self-love PDQ.
My parents stuffed me up good and proper – you too ha!
Trying to forensically interpret what has shaped your deservability can become a witch hunt aka ‘my parents stuffed me up good and proper’. It plunges you right in the tar pit of victimhood. You just gotta get outa there before you go under! Victimhood gives away all your power to create a life of your design. You couldn’t even fill an old fashioned phone box with people who have had a perfect childhood filled with nothing but unconditional love from everyone who has ever touched their lives. Funny aside – my kids didn’t believe such a thing as a phone box existed – why would people need them when everyone has a mobile? You lived in the olden days Mum! Anyway back to the topic at hand.
Belief in you (well, lots of beliefs actually)
A more useful way of looking at deservability is realising that you have some low dial settings in some areas of your life – these are your ‘disempowering beliefs’ about yourself, others and the universe in general. You also have some high dial settings and these are your ‘empowering beliefs’ – can’t get enough of these babies! Like anything you want to change you can’t do anything about it until you know what you are dealing with – ignorance is not bliss in this case, rather it’s frustration, confusion and patterns of behaviour that don’t serve you. Thanks but no thanks – I much rather have freedom, fulfillment and fabulousness any day. BTW, just between you, me and the gatepost I think you deserve the most beautiful life you can image and that you have a unique contribution to make in the world.
So how do you find out what your disempowering beliefs are? We go on a magic mystery tour into your sub-conscious mind… If you are picturing dark forces at work in your mind then take a deep breath of self-compassion. Your disempowering beliefs don’t have some grand plan to make you miserable, they are just stories that your mind created to make sense of the messy and complicated business of living. At the time of their creation they made perfect sense but from your adult minds point of view they simply no longer stack up (remember what I said above about most of your beliefs being formed before your sixth birthday). They can be very compelling stories but when you realise they are just stories you can re-write them to have much better endings. It may not make the pain of some events go away but they will lose their vice like grip on shaping your current reality.
Identifying and changing your disempowering beliefs is very difficult to do one your own. Our sub-conscious will often protect us by taking a painful experience and creating a disempowering belief to save us from having to relive this pain – a kinda ‘don’t go there again’ warning system. With vigilant self-awareness and abundant self-compassion you can free your self, but this road is much more comfortably traveled with a supportive companion.
Wheelbarrows of horse poo
If you feel any of your dials are stuck on low and you want some help freeing them up, then give me a call. Just think of me as coaching ‘CRC’ (this is awesome lubricant in a spray bottle if you haven’t had the pleasure of using it – smells a bit funny though. I don’t smell too bad as a rule unless I’ve been wrestling with wheel barrow of horse poo – smell don’t worry the dog but my husband and kids are not so keen – funny that).
Please share with your friends if they vacation in ‘NotEnoughVille’ -some people set up camp there and get stuck in a Hotel California style loop…”you can check out anytime you like, but your can never leave”…