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Do You Deserve To Succeed?

March 3, 2019 - Heather Hennenburg

It’s hard to get past these notions of deserve and worthy when there is something important at stake. When we really want something, it’s as if our worth is on the line and will be determined by whether we are successful in our quest. If we get what we are reaching for, we can feel validated. If we don’t, we can feel shame. The outcome becomes evidence that we are not good enough and don’t deserve what we want.


And yet, we look around ourselves and see a world where sometimes people who do terrible things have everything they could ever want and more. And we see others who make outstanding contributions to the world around them living hand to mouth, suffering with disease or loss, never getting a break.


Still, our stubborn minds forge ahead with absolute faith that what we get in life is a direct and reliable reflection of what we deserve.


It just isn’t so.


Being kind and helpful, conscientious and hard-working can certainly raise the likelihood of our success, AND there is a sea of randomness that can float or water-log our efforts. Life is part skill and strategy and part plain old chance.


What if there is no law of science or spirit which guarantees that what we get is what we deserve? What if there is no direct and reliable correlation? How would that change the way you see your life? What impact might it have on your plans and pursuits?


Because the truth is, if you can fail and succeed knowing that your worth is separate and unchanging on either count, then you are free. Free to:


  • Enjoy the pursuit of what you love

  • Let go of the outcome and allow for something new

  • Grow and evolve

  • Experience life more fully

  • Appreciate where you’re at and what you have


There are no doubt countless benefits to letting yourself off this hook of worthy and deserve. The greatest of them is that you get to be who you are. 


Practice: Take the concepts of worthy and deserve out of the equation. When you are wrestling with an unfulfilled desire (fitting career, loving partner, etc.) that you’ve been sabotaging because you think you might not be good enough, try repeating to yourself, “I will allow myself to have _______ whether I deserve it or not.” When you do this, really surrender. Whomever you’re consciously or unconsciously trying to please (past or present), will never be satisfied anyway. Go and be you - worthy or not. This is an act of self-compassion.



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