One of the most disempowering attitudes that a person can hold is entitlement. What I mean by entitlement is a belief that everyone owes me something. An entitled person thinks that if someone has more than they do, they should give some of what they have to them. They believe that the privileged haves are responsible to take care of the underprivileged have nots. I am not referring to the blessing and joy of charity and freely giving to those in need. That certainly is legitimate. I am addressing a devastating attitude.
Entitlement is the philosophy that everyone should have the same amount; that no one should have more than someone else. A person who embraces this mindset typically carries resentment and jealousy toward anyone who has more than they do. They blame their struggles on the success of others. They believe that they don’t have because others do have.
Entitlement kills team spirit. It is the enemy of ambition and hard work. It is a victim mentality. Entitlement robs people of their dignity and turns them into takers instead of givers. Entitlement generates excuses for laziness and sloth and justifies stealing from others. If I believe I am entitled, it is ok for me to use people who have more than I have for my benefit.
I am asking you to take an objective and discerning look at this attitude, and then reject it as dangerous and destructive. I am challenging you to search your mind and seek to rid yourself of any trace of this philosophy. The truth is that as a human being, you are a responsible person with huge potential. You have the right, responsibility, and opportunity to tap into that potential, to develop it and multiply it. Your success will come to you as the fruit of your efforts to learn, work, grow, and give. Winning is often birthed through striving, toiling, and persevering. It comes to humble, patient people who ask for help, but not for handouts. Simply stated, success comes by rising up and taking action.
Many people ask me: “How can I help someone who is entrapped in an attitude of entitlement?” It begins by listening to them, respecting them, understanding them, and meeting them where they are. By showing respect, you may get the opportunity to inspire and encourage them to see a better way. The truth is what will set them free. You can attract people to truth by being an example of ownership, hard work, and optimism. Live each day expressing the joyful hope that comes from taking responsibility. Reach out and offer to help someone help themselves. Then encourage them to be the giver and help someone else.
I challenge you to look for the opportunity to help someone escape the prison of entitlement and experience the freedom and joy of empowerment.