We work. We work towards our dreams, our goals, our love lives, etc. We churn away at the things that we’ve decided that we want out of life. But if you’re anything like me, occasionally you look around at all you’re doing and think, “What the heck am I doing? Who do I think I am?” Maybe that doesn’t happen for you, but it happens for me all the time. I realize now that as much as I am driven and ambitious about the things that I want out of life, I am sometimes slowed down by wondering if I actually deserve it.
Deserve is this weird word right? It can seem like a sense of entitlement. Honestly what does any one of us deserve just because we were born? I mean we’re not that amazing (though we are pretty amazing, lol) and so the context of why you were created becomes really important here. I believe that God placed me here for a purpose, so some of my entitlement comes from the space of knowing that there is something greater for me in this life than working 9 to 6 for a company for the rest of my life. And so I have worked to hear and listen from God and tried a few things that have failed to bring me to what I believe is at least a part of my purpose.
So here I am. I am a writer and an author. I have this blog. I wrote a book. I host events. I would like to travel and speak more around the country and I want to be able to make a living from the things that I love. I want to be madly in love with my husband and build a family. And sometimes that seems like I want too much. Ha! Can you imagine? I am not asking for a million dollars here, though I would not turn it down. Believe me. I am simply working to eventually have a life that’s not dictated by the needs of my boss. A way to sustain myself and a way to actually be joyful about the work that I get up to do every morning. Yet, I know that in the crevices of my mind, there is a little space there that thinks, “You don’t deserve it.”
I would resolve that you probably have felt that way a time or two as well, even if you didn’t acknowledge it. It presents itself in the moments when we want to stick in our comfort zones because it’s scary to step out. It’s in the moments when you break down crying in the middle of working on a new project because you think “no one will care, what am I doing?” It is evident in our insecurity and comparison of our lives to others because when you know what’s yours, you could care less about what the next person is up to.
I want to tell you and myself that we deserve it. I think getting the revelation of that, getting rid of the guilt and shame that comes along with feeling like you don’t deserve the things you are striving for is instrumental to your true success. Otherwise you will just go higher and higher still feeling like an imposter and eventually self-destruct. But the reality is, you are who you are. I often hear people say, “I’m trying to get into the music business,” or “I want to be a writer” or whatever it is and I always tell them “you are a writer,” “You are in the music business.” Somehow we get this idea that until we are James Baldwin or Beyoncé that we are not in the same game. Well we are, just at completely different levels.
You are in the game the moment that you put yourself out there. The second that you publish that blog post or upload that track, you are in it. Now where you go from there is really your choice. Often, how far you go is based on how much you think that you deserve that thing you’re going after. Those are the ones that succeed. The people that always knew. I remember watching an interview with Oprah. She talked about watching her grandmother wash clothes. Her grandmother said to her “You will have to learn how to do this one day.” And Oprah remembered thinking, “No I won’t.” And we all know that Oprah is not washing her own clothes. She knew it. From the time that she was a little girl, she knew that she deserved it. She knew that she would be striving for a life much bigger than what she was surrounded by. You have to know.
And so on my good days, I definitely feel charged up like I have something to offer the world that only I can. And other days I think, “Just who do you think you are?” And politely remind myself that I am a king’s kid. A child of God. An Heir. And that I want God’s best for my life and I won’t be lowly or meek thinking that somehow that is what pleases God. I will seek Him, His word, His love and I will keep going. I will keep striving, I will keep knocking on doors until the right one opens. Not from a place of entitlement, but from a place of promise, I will continue to go for what’s mine and I want to encourage you to do the same.
Have you ever had the moment, in pursuit of all you do, where you felt like maybe you didn’t deserve it and that’s why things weren’t moving fast enough or going the way you wanted? How are you working to move past that feeling?