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How to Get Rid of that Sense of Entitlement that’s Ruining Your Life

The world doesn’t owe you anything. Neither do the people around you. Go at it alone, and you will find that success is sweeter and more permanent.

getting rid of the sense of entitlement

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He never said anything about waiting for your father to hand it to you on a silver platter. Neither did he say anything about sitting on your ass and waiting for good things to come your way.

Always remember that the world doesn’t owe you anything. What have you done to make it a better place that you deserve good things to come your way without even trying? There are 7 billion people on this planet. You do not deserve anything more than that dude blissfully playing with his hacky sack across the street? Or the barista who made your latte this morning. Or that lady in the pink hat on the bus. Or your doorman whom you see every morning.

Equality is waning in today’s society and sadly, the great divide between the rich and the poor is growing larger every day. You are probably on the privileged side of that great divide, but in the grand scheme of things, you don’t deserve anything more than anyone else.

Although you are entitled to being happy, you are not entitled to anything you don’t work hard for. If you think otherwise, then you are certainly too naive for your own good. Working hard to accomplish something will bring you a sense of satisfaction and pride that you will never get the chance to feel, if someone else were to give it to you.

Sure, you get the prize without putting in the work, but do you really want your headstone to read, “Entitled upper-middle class douche-bag who never worked hard for anything”?

How to stop feeling so entitled

You need to banish the sense of entitlement that you have from every aspect of your life. From love to your career to family life to how you go about your day, lose that sense of entitlement to live a more enriched, fulfilling and proud life. If you don’t know where to start, here are 9 things that you can try.

#1 Grow up. For one, stop expecting everyone around you to continuously breastfeed you. From your parents to friends to professors to lovers to colleagues, it’s no one’s job to give you what you want and need. You have to seek it out yourself.

The first step that you have to take is to recognize that you have a ridiculous sense of entitlement. Acknowledge its presence, respect that it has been a big part of your life, then quash it like a poisonous spider. Grow up and make sure you do so quickly. In the real world, there’s no such thing as running home to mommy and daddy. It all comes down to you being independent and getting just what you deserve.

#2 Stop accepting handouts. It is certainly very easy to sit around and expect everything to fall on your lap. Whether you’re expecting your uncle to pull strings to get you a job or expecting your brother to call in a favor for you when you’re in a jam or expecting your boyfriend to chip in for your car payment or still living at your parents’ although you’re well into your thirties, learn to stop expecting others to give you things that you can do for yourself.

Have a sense of pride and respect for yourself, won’t you? Understand that there’s a difference between being offered help and expecting it.

#3 Get your hands dirty. Don’t be afraid of hard work, because that’s the only way for you to learn that life isn’t all fun and games. Even the world’s top billionaires will tell you that it took them hard work, sweat and tears to get there.

Take billionaire investor and businessman Mark Cuban, for example. He may live a very lavish life now, but his success is all thanks to him and him alone. He did everything from selling garbage bags to bar-tending. Now worth over $3 billion, he clawed his way to the top by working hard at school, at work and in life. If he can get his hands dirty, so can you. [Read: 6 telltale excuses that only get you nowhere]

#4 Volunteer. As you probably come from a privileged background, there’s a very high chance that you’ve no idea what the rest of the world has to go through, just to earn the bare necessities in life that you take for granted. One great way for you to see things through their eyes is to volunteer.

If you are able to go abroad, then do it. Refugees in Thailand, orphans in Ethiopia, struggling tribes in Sulawesi, there are people all over the world who live a life that is very different from yours. I’m sure that you will even be able to secure yourself volunteer opportunities in your own backyard. Wait no longer to see that the world is a huge place with plenty of problems, and that you feeling entitled to a huge slice of the pie is just downright ridiculous. [Read: 5 ways volunteering can also help heal depression]

#5 Attempt something unexpected. Push yourself to the limits, stretch yourself thin and bend until you snap. Traveling is a great way for you to do this. Remember that flying first class and staying at luxury resorts do not count. Stay at backpacker inns and hostels, and meet people from all walks of life.

You will be surprised at how little you know about the world, until you actually see it through the eyes of others who truly understand it. From signing up for working holiday visas and working on an orchard in Australia to spending your summer cleaning and packing salmon in Alaska, go the distance and prove to yourself that you can accomplish anything, no matter how challenging. [Read: Should you settle for less when you can have so much more?]

#6 Be grateful. Another way to rid yourself of that sense of entitlement is to be grateful. It’s not about squealing in delight and thanking your lover for buying you that convertible you wanted. It’s not about donating some cash to a local charity, just because you think it’ll help. It’s not about being dependent on someone else, when you are fully equipped to take on the world and be great at it. It’s really about realizing just how easy you’ve had it all these years.

You already have so much in life, so why do you need someone to feed you more privileges? Yes, it’s certainly fun and so much easier, but you do realize that being a self-centered prick isn’t going to get you anywhere in the long run? Why can’t you just go out there and transform that sense of entitlement that you have into doing something productive and worthwhile? Be grateful for what you have first, before going out and procuring more.

#7 Figure out what you really want. You can also take control of your life and get rid of that sense of entitlement by figuring out just what you really want. Going through the motions and drifting through life is only what directionless people do. If you have a clear goal and know just what you’re after, you’re more likely to work hard to get it.

You can start by setting practical goals for yourself and training your mind to accomplish them. From learning Arabic to learning salsa dancing to finishing a Bikram Hot Yoga course to being awesome at CrossFit, start with small goals, then work your way up to the big stuff. Once you make a habit of starting and finishing projects on your own, it will come as second nature.

#8 Don’t depend on others to bail you out. You have to change you mindset, if you want to successfully stop being so dependent on those around you. Sure, you can spend all day blaming your parents, friends, family, lovers and everyone else for instilling that sense of entitlement in you, causing you to be spoilt rotten. However, you can take control of your own life and break free of the horrid bonds of dependence. Remember to feed your sense of pride and self-worth by starving yourself of handouts and bailouts.

#9 Never be afraid to fail. I know someone who is the epitome of an entitled spoilt brat. She recently surpassed the milestone age of 30 and shockingly, still lives with her parents. She doesn’t cook, clean or contribute to the household in any way. She totaled the car that her father paid for, and threw a tantrum when he refused to pay for the damages. She quit her part time job when it got too hard, and got her father to invest in an online fashion business for her to run.

The fact that everything was paid for and presented to her on a diamond-encrusted silver platter has taught her that hard work is unnecessary when trying to achieve goals in life. She has never failed at anything for the sole reason that she has adamantly refused to see anything through to the end, or even attempted to start something on her own.

One day, there will come a time when she will be cornered, and she’ll find that the only way out is to fail. When that day comes, falling from grace will be hard and it is terrifying just imagining how she will react when she hits rock bottom.

Sadly, this applies to millions of people out there who feel like they are entitled to everything, including immunity to failure. The moral of the story is that you should never be afraid to fail, as it will be the best lesson that you will ever learn in life.

Failure is that giant slap in the face that everyone needs to experience in order to truly understand that earning something is hard, but so worth it, when it’s finally in your firm grasp. So do not be afraid to go out there on your own, because whether you fail, succeed or just float through it all, it will all be worth it in the end, because you can proudly say, “It was all me.”

[Read: 13 ways to bring out the best in yourself]

So what are you waiting for? Banish that sense of entitlement today and you will find that you will accomplish so much more, plus it’ll last for way longer and feel so much better. Not just that, you get bragging rights and a Gandhi-esque headstone that reads, “Here lies someone who was the change they wished to see in the world.”

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Gemma Hsieh
Born in Singapore and raised in Canada to multi-racial parents, Gemma is a self-proclaimed travel and food junkie. Having traveled extensively around the world,...
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