What to do when you feel undeserving
A few weeks ago, I learned that Les Miserables had opened at my local theater. I was ecstatic.
You see, I’d just finished writing a short story about the French Revolution. I also was on a high from watching the 2012 movie shortly afterward (though not for the first time).
I’d always loved Victor Hugo’s novel, which I’d first read as a 9th grader. I loved the character of Jean Valjean and the adorable romance between Cosette and Marius.
So the thought of seeing this story come to life live before my very eyes was exhilarating. Needless to say, I quickly went to the theater’s website to book tickets.
As I’m sure you can imagine for so popular a play, many nights were already sold out and the ones that weren’t had little seats available. I went through weeks’ worth of seating charts for each performance to see if I could snag a good view.
And then I saw it! Two seats right in the front row! Vacant! They were absolutely perfect.
My heart soaring, I rushed to call the box office to ask about the seats.
“It looks like those seats were just taken,” the lady on the other end told me.
I couldn’t believe it. They were just vacant only minutes ago! Discouraged, I asked her to check on other vacant seats I’d come across but none of them were available. Saddened by this, I thanked her for her help and returned to the online ticketing site.
What to do now? I wondered. Was it worth seeing if I was all the way in the back where I’d barely be able to make out the actors? I pressed on nonetheless.
I double-checked on those two front row seats I’d initially found and sure enough, they were grayed out and no longer available. At this point, I realized I’d just have to settle for whatever I could get and moved forward with purchasing tickets in a row I wasn’t wild about. As I went through the checkout process, though, I happened to open another browser where I could keep an eye on the seats I wanted.
However, this threw off the entire checkout process and my tickets were released back to the system because of this new browser. Apparently, clicking your ‘back button’ (naturally) would also yield the same effects.
Huh, I thought…I wonder…
I decided to check on those two front row seats one last time… and THEY WERE AVAILABLE! Someone had either decided at the last minute they hadn’t wanted them and had exited from the browser, or the tickets were released for any number of reasons.
I don’t have to tell you how quickly I acted to make those tickets mine. And now, next Wednesday, I will have front row seats to one of the greatest stories ever told!
Now here’s the interesting thing: the theater doesn’t mail out tickets. Instead, you print out your receipt and then you show up to the box office to claim your tickets. For days, I was caught up in such anxiety about this. I felt like we needed to go to the box office immediately to claim our tickets because surely a mistake had been made, surely I wasn’t meant to get those front row tickets, surely there was some kind of error and the system accidentally overbooked those two seats, surely surely surely…
But around the third day of me over-worrying like this, I realized something. My anxiety stemmed from a startling belief: that I didn’t deserve the tickets. But why shouldn’t I have been at the right place at the right time? Why shouldn’t those seats have been meant for me? Why shouldn’t someone have decided they didn’t want those seats after all at the precise moment when I checked the seating chart one last time?
Why did I feel like things couldn’t go the way I wanted them to? Why did I feel like everything had to be a struggle? Why did I feel like I couldn’t catch a break for once, or like anything good that came into my life came with some sort of caveat?
I’m a firm believer that the thoughts we think and the words we speak create the reality that we experience.
So why do we always err on the side of ‘undeserving?’ Why can’t we just believe things are working out for us, that God has our back, that the Universe is conspiring on our behalf, that angels are blessing us at every turn?
You see, the thing is that our beliefs aren’t formed by what we experience. Instead, our experiences are formed by our beliefs.
Did you know that people once believed it was impossible for a man to run a 4-minute mile? And then someone chose to believe otherwise and he accomplished this feat. And after that, everyone was running 4-minute miles.
So long as we believe something to be true, it will remain true. But when we decide to accept a different reality, then we’ll experience different results.
So I decided to stop worrying about claiming my tickets ASAP because I’ve chosen to accept the reality that the front row seats were meant to be mine, that I won’t run into any issues at the box office, and that I can rest securely in the way destiny unraveled itself in that moment. And what a relief it is! It’s so freeing.
So my questions to you are….
1) In what ways do you feel undeserving? In what ways have you decided you don’t deserve a loving relationship, or a supportive friend, or a lucrative career, or a happy life, or an awesome gift (whether it’s a free coffee, great seats at a show, or a present from a loved one), etc?
2) In what ways are your beliefs limiting your life? Are you always worrying like I was? Are you unable to have peace of mind for even a minute because you’re so anxious about something? List out all the ways these beliefs are burdening you, disempowering you, or just plain stressing you out! Seeing just how much they’ve taken over your life will motivate you to make a change.
3) Are you willing to live a freer life? Sometimes I think we hold onto these beliefs because they feel safer and we don’t want to rock the boat. But choosing to hold onto these beliefs is the same as choosing that our lives will remain fear-based and anxiety-driven, and that’s not a good place to be. Once you decide that you want to feel more peace from day-to-day, then the only thing you need to ask yourself is:
4) What’s your new story? The easiest way to release limiting beliefs is just to replace them with empowering ones. For me, instead of worrying that the tickets weren’t really mine because surely a mistake had been made, I instead told myself “these tickets were destined for me and I’m not going to worry about it anymore.” And just like that, the fear lifted. So for every limiting belief you have, change the story and stick with it.
Because guess what: you so deserve all the good that comes your way. How could you not? You’re dearly loved and wondrously divine, and once you step into your power and believe that, the possibilities are endless.