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The concept of entitlement

Recently I have started a new book, and I am learning so much from it. It is called “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem,” by Nathaniel Branden.

In the introduction, the author is saying something very important about the concept of entitlement. It’s funny, because everywhere I read there are coaches saying that you should not feel like you are entitled to something, that the world does not owe you anything, hence stop playing victim. Even though I usually agree with the concept, I like the new idea of entitlement I am making myself familiar with: according to the author, self esteem and self-worth is believing I am entitled to happiness and to good things, just because I am born.

I have an intrinsic value that nobody can take away from me. And this helps me survive the challenges of everyday life. How beautiful is that! And today, something very normale happened, and that made me think of entitlement as really well connected to self care.

We went to do a team activity with the people at work, and this consisted of visiting a successful fitness center in Zurich and have a work-out there. Very cool indeed. We were told to bring sportswear with us, of course. I already went into work with sport clothes and brought a T-SHIRT change for later. Do you know why? 1. I thought the work out was going to be a light one, so no real clothes change needed after that (absolutely not, I have wished the death of the instructor a couple of times..) 2. Well, I thought, people are not going to wait for me to get a shower and all, right?! An anti-sweat towel will do, I will have to shower later, unfortunately!

I tell you something. This is one of the most striking differences between north and south that I still struggle with after 9 years in Switzerland: people here feel entitled to do things, they do not feel like their actions constantly bother other people! In the Mediterranean “we culture”, you have to think of the group, at all times, and you have to set yourself aside, for the bigger will. And if you think for the individual, either you stand out of the crowd in a successful way, or you are the odd one out, the rebel, the one who is going to travel the world and living in the street (well, the world travelling is not as bad as it sounds, right?).

Most of my colleagues were changing into their sports clothes, having a shower after the work out and taking their time afterwards. Of course, they did it in a timely manner, nothing too long. Yes, they took their time. In Sicily this would have never happened. For fear that the boss was going to say something about one taking your time during a “corporate activity” the shower would have been the last of the ideas.

It does not matter guys, take your time sometimes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that by taking time you will not belong, that you will bother other people’s schedules, that you will stand out.

Nope! And this the most basic principles of the NO saying contained in my coaching beliefs. You say NO to yourself for self care and better time management, and you end up saying YES to things that are important to anybody else but you. Why don’t you say NO to your bad time management and your lack of self care and start saying YES to more QUALITY TIME and entitlement to fun, happiness, and not only duty or “should” to the benefit of somebody else? I mean of course we do things for other people, and this is great. And what I refer to is deeper.

There are people that ONLY do stuff for others and are very resentful in the end.

If you were born in an environment where you thought you disturbed everyone else, you can learn how to feel that you belong to something NOW, that it is OK to make people wait sometimes, that you have to do what you need as well. Small examples like the one above at the gym are simply food for thoughts; there are of course more extreme situations and more obstacles to stop being a “people pleaser.”

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