What is the impact of an ‘I deserve’ mindset and thoughts?

by Gillian Campbell

24 Apr, 2020 at 1:31 pm

When the world feels like it does right now, how many of us feel like we deserve something to distract us or make us feel better?  Or is it only me?

I have been eating too many of the foods that add kgs and not necessarily nutrition.  I know this because my clothes are telling me.  Now, it ‘should’ be easy to just step out of this habit of comfort, stress or boredom eating and be responsible, hold myself accountable and make healthier choices…so why am I finding it particularly hard right now.

One of Arbinger’s styles of justification that hides itself very insidiously in my mindset is the ‘I deserve’ space.  Especially when so many things can just now feel; restricted, difficult, and lacking.

My ‘I deserve’ self-justification sounds like this…

“Come on Gill, unprecedented times what’s a little chocolate after the day/week/month we’ve had?”

“Hey, I’m not eating takeaway or eating out! I am the chef day after day surely a few food treats are the least I have earned?”

“I am baking homemade sweets and cake, so we don’t have to shop, that’s a good thing…right?”

Can you hear my need to convince you?

Not only that, I mentally gather allies and think “Well everyone says they are eating more…it’s not just me!”

What I am ultimately saying is; “I deserve to have something else, something; good/nice/a treat in this horrible time…”

You can see the insidious nature of my inward mindset because there is truth in this justification.  Of course, caring for ourselves and others with food can be positive.

Except, the key thing is this…I am not at peace with this eating.How do I know? Well becauseit is accompanied by loud, incessant mind chatter and self-justification, it is me facing inward, blaming the world for my eating choices.  Why does this matter?

  1. Well fundamentally, blaming makes me grumpy!  I am grumpy that I am betraying my own sense of what is healthy for me.  Not someone else’s view, mine! I am not honouring my health on my terms and values and that makes me grumpy with EVERYONE around me, because I am actually grumpy with me.
  2. So just imagine what I am like if anyone else notices my eating, or heaven forbid happens to mention me eating the 6th cookie?  If my unsuspecting son happens to ask, “Where did all the cookies go Mum?” I do not gently laugh and share that I ate them, I lie, defend, deflect, or hide from my actions.  Leaving him confused, uncomfortable and unsure where the cookies keep disappearing too?!?

Of course, the eating per-se is not the issue.  It is my relationship, my narrative, my mindset in relation to eating that impacts on me and those around me. Some people can peacefully eat 6 cookies and because they balance their exercise, their view of themselves and food in different ways to me, it is not an ‘I deserve’ trigger.

So, how do I turn my mindset outward in relation to my eating choices?

Step 1. I spot the ‘I deserve’ style of justification.

Step 2. I gently remind myself that when I don’t honour my sense there is a consequence.

How I show up in my relationship with unhealthy eating is how I show up in my relationship with others, and myself ‘

Seeing this and the impact I am having on others when I choose to eat more that I sense is healthy for me I can start to make choices from an outward mindset. I can honour my sense to take care of my health…because it is actually what the people around me and I, from an outward space truly deserve.

Do any of you have an unhelpful ‘I deserve’ justification right now?

If you are interested in learning more about Arbinger Outward Mindset, please drop me a line.