108: Success Entitlement


Welcome friends to Episode #108 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. We don’t always get what we want. Sometimes that helps us and sometimes that creates more issues. Why do we sometimes have success? Why don’t we always get the success we desire? When you’ve gotten pretty good at your work, we can be surprised by feedback from others or from results that show us we aren’t as good at everything as we thought. What do we do when we feel that we should be more successful than we are? Today, we’ll discuss the concept of success entitlement and how it is either creating or preventing success for you right now. 

Success Entitlement

Success entitlement shows up in the form of impatience towards something you haven’t yet received. You want a benefit, you believe you deserve it and you find yourself disappointed or surprised that it’s not here yet. According to the Oxford dictionary, being entitled is feeling like you are inherently deserving of privilege or special treatment.

Perhaps you believe that you deserve a promotion or a title. Perhaps you believe that you shouldn’t have to work so hard and you want it to be easier and make things look effortless. Perhaps you’re waiting for the money to come in from your business.

Here’s how you know you’re in the land of success entitlement.

  • You are impatient
  • You have high expectations and your preparation is not commensurate with the results you want to experience
  • You wish you didn’t have to work 
  • You wish you didn’t have to prepare
  • You feel like you deserve the result you desire and you focus on what other people or the environment around you is or is not doing to support you

We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. This sense of entitlement creates our experiences of suffering. We feel wronged and we lose trust in ourselves, organizations and other people. When we’re experiencing success entitlement we feel angry and resentful. We think we’re doing what it takes to get results but we’re not seeing them fast enough.

Why it happens

Success entitlement isn’t something you’re born with. If you’ve had self-created success in your life, you know that you worked for what you had – but the feeling of entitlement appears every time that inner voice that compares yourself to other people or situations without knowing the full story. 

Exceptional results require effort and focus. If it doesn’t look like it requires effort, you just haven’t seen the hours, days, months and years that went into making something look effortless. We quickly forget that what we now find easy was once hard. The ease came from the repetition of effort, practice and learning. It didn’t come because you just wanted to be good at it. It came because you realized that in order to be good at something, you had to do what people who are good at something do. You have to master and practice your craft.

Mastering Your Craft

I often coach my clients on the concept of mastering their craft – and why it’s so important for them to do the work they are avoiding. Presenting is an example. I coach clients on how to deliver compelling presentations and one of the main barriers that come up is preparation. We resist preparation because we want it to be easy. The only way it’s easy, however, is to prepare. It’s not that we can’t have ease in our journey, we just want to have ease in the appropriate place. 

Ease prior to delivery means hard during delivery. Hard prior to the delivery means ease during delivery. Hard doesn’t mean it’s painful. Hard can just be what people think isn’t so sexy or glamourous. It’s the work of preparation. It’s what allows you to create what you consider your art and your craft. Preparation can still be creative. It can look like the free flow of thoughts and ideas combined with your structure and attention to details. When you mix proven storytelling structure with intuitive connection and responses to the audience, it becomes a compelling presentation. 

You might think the appearance of “winging it” means you don’t prepare and take it easy – but often it’s the prepared mind that gives the best presentations. 

You can save the “winging it” and the impromptu for the moments – of which there will be many – of true unexpected needs for you to just show up and do your thing without preparation. The casual conversations that become opportunities. The chance encounters where someone asks you a question or you have the ability to share your work.

Yet, you’ll be so much more ready for those moments because you spent time and intentionality being masterful at what you do by practicing and preparing.

What to do when it happens

If you find yourself in a rut where you now realize that you’re dealing with success entitlement, the first step is to pause. To slow things down. Often success entitlement comes not from our intention to not do the work, it comes from thinking I should be better and faster by now at this thing and I don’t have time to take time.

If success in this area is truly important to you, you need to go slow to go fast. Stop and assess what you need to do, how much time you actually need to not just do the work of delivering but the preparation ahead of time. This is the one thing most people miss. That simple act of preparation. When I made big investments in money, I prepared. I prepared my finances, I prepared my brain for the dip in my account. I prepared my lifestyle to absorb living with less. 

If you are in a relationship and you want to have the magic and passion, you have to prepare. Prepare what you will say when you see your partner come through the door in normal everyday circumstances. Prepare for how they might be feeling and what you would want to say in response. It wasn’t just the challenging conversations where you prepare, you consider who you want to be in the relationship, first. That idea of “first” means preparation.

In short, preparation is key to stopping your automatic behaviors. Your automatic behaviors will create exactly what you have today. If success hasn’t happened yet in the way you want, it means you need different thinking, emotions and behaviors to see exceptional results come to life.

No detail is too small

No detail is too small. I remember when I was making the transition from corporate work to coaching, I planned my days hour by hour. I looked at the calendar and said, “Here are the evenings I would coach. Here are the weekends I would hold a retreat. Here’s the days I would spend on my corporate work. Here’s the time I have to get up in the morning to write a podcast. Here’s the time I go to bed and the work I do to prepare for the next day.”

You will remove yourself from success entitlement when you are more focused on doing the work of becoming the person you want to be, and less focused on why you don’t have it. You work on the small details, not just the big ideas. You don’t think things are beneath you. Instead you think about how small things can help or derail you. You address them in a prioritized fashion, and move on to what matters next. You stop judging everything as good or bad and instead focus on what needs to be done differently and what work that you want to repeat. This is the work of being successful. 

You look up days, weeks and months later and you have exactly what you desired. Not because you wished it into fruition. Because you did what successful people do. Focus energy and effort into the work that creates success.

This is when you feel a sense of ease. You feel at ease knowing that you don’t take things for granted and it gives you so much more depth of presence, of satisfaction, and enjoyment when you love the work as much as you love the outcome. It also builds confidence knowing that you don’t have to know everything or the whole step-by-step process to get started. 

I challenge you to spend time today thinking about that person who truly loves their craft that no detail is too small to attend to and fine tune. Your life is worth that level of care and your experience will dramatically change when you are able to be so present with your day to day life, not hoping for things to go away and be different. Instead, you’ll be so grateful that you have yet another opportunity to do this work you love so much – which is to be present with whatever is showing up in your life today.

If you want to become the person who is engaged with all aspects of their life, reach out at https://mayempson.com/contact to schedule a consultation. It is the next step to learning more about whether or not coaching is right for you and how to make the best use of coaching. In our coaching together, you will simplify your life, create more freedom of choice and learn how to live in the present moment.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

Is it time to reinvent your life? Do you want to figure out what’s next?

No matter what success means to you, coaching will help you get there faster and more sustainably. We work towards results in every area of your life. Time management – spending more time on what’s most important. Creating a mix of work and personal life that is sustainable. Career and Business – deciding what you want next and how to achieve it – whether it is more flexibility, purpose or deciding to start your own business. Energy management – improving your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health so you build confidence in designing your own life. If you’ve got some changes you want support in thinking through, book your free consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact today.

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