I Don’t Deserve: A Reality Distortion System, Part 1



Types of Reality Distortion Systems

I Don’t Deserve:  This RDS keeps us from getting what we want.  It keeps our aspirations very low.  It inhibits us from achieving our full potential and from daring to dream.  It denies our talents because, "we don’t deserve," them.  Believing that one, "doesn’t deserve," keeps us earning love because at the core of this belief is, "I am not lovable just because I’m me."  

The I Don’t Deserve RDS is exhausting.  I once had a patient who was unable to just sit and enjoy being with her son and daughter, because she unconsciously believed that she had to keep doing something for them.  With this RDS, we are not talking about casual thoughtfulness or gift giving, we are talking about an obsession to earn the love of other people by doing for them what they could do for themselves.  This creates a dependency on both sides:  1. The giver has to keep giving in order to feel they have earned a modicum of love and affection, and is thus dependent on, "pleasing and doing," and 2. The receiver keeps taking in order to let the giver know they are appreciated.  The giver believes that they don’t deserve anything unless they are earning it every second of every day – and even then they have trouble believing they deserve to be loved.

If, at our core, we believe that we, "don’t deserve," then we cannot self actualize.  We get stuck in a cycle of turning our backs on our own talents, dreams, and aspirations, to earn the love, appreciation, acknowledgment of others.  This is called, "other esteem."  

What to work on:  1. Make a list of what you think you don’t deserve.  Give this some considered thought.  The RDS, "I Don’t Deserve," is usually a family of origin belief and therefore it can be difficult to extract.
2.  Make a list of the goals you think you can’t achieve with the reasons why you think you can’t achieve them.  Are these reasons really insurmountable?  3. One has to change one’s mental mantra from, "I don’t deserve……" or, "I can’t do……." to, "I can make a plan about this," and, "I CAN do this, I DESERVE IT."  Unless we change our thinking, nothing changes.  4.  Every time your thinking takes you to, "I can’t," or, "It’s just too difficult for me," change your thought immediately to, "I CAN," and "It may be difficult, but I can do it."  5. Begin, "giving," time to yourself.  Decrease your obsessive people pleasing!

How to implement new behavior:  Start by selecting ONE goal that is actually reachable.  If we choose too many goals, or select things that are too huge to accomplish on a first try, we will sabotage ourselves and return to old thinking and behaviors.  When you have that goal in mind, make a plan……then GO FOR IT!  For example, if I wanted to get a college degree, my plan might be to make an appointment with a counselor at a local Junior College, investigate financing options if needed, consider a major and then enroll.  After that, the plan might be to make sure I don’t take too many classes so I won’t put myself in the position of being overwhelmed, and I might set aside dedicated study time.

Next Post:
What to Resist
Beliefs in this RDS

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