We are the main characters in our own lives. Given this mindset, some people think of themselves as the chosen ones, destined to shine above all and save the day. They develop a sense of entitlement, believing that they are born special and should thus be treated accordingly. If left unchecked, this sense of entitlement can further develop, skewing a person’s perception of reality and driving him/her down a destructive path. Hopefully, these ways might help those with self-entitlement overcome it.
1. Reflect on your self-image.
The first step toward overcoming self-entitlement is to reflect on it. Look deep and determine the aspect of your life where you provide yourself an excessive sense of privilege or superiority. Do you believe that getting a higher salary is your birthright? Do you believe that you are fated to live in constant riches, free from the burdens of poverty? After determining these aspects, come into terms with the truth that you are indeed self-entitled. Only when you admit this reality that you can genuinely employ means to overcome it.
2. Empty your cup.
Those who are self-entitled often have their cups full all the time. They do not want to accept new opinions or admit their mistakes because they think that they possess all that is right and important already. If you want to rid yourself of too much entitlement, then you must be willing to let go of your false perceptions and accept wisdom from other people. Empty your cup and fill it anew.
3. Accept that anyone can be special.
We must come into terms with the reality that this world is filled with special people; in fact, just about anyone can be special. That title is not exclusive to you, no matter how much yourself or other people made you believe. Now, accepting this truth will not make you any less of a person but will simply recontextualize your perceived status in this world, helping you be more grounded and open to other people’s ideas.
4. Admit your shortcomings.
If you want to loosen entitlement’s grip in your life, then you must learn to admit your shortcomings. Do not be blinded by hubris or overpowered by pride. You are human just like everybody else, thus making it completely normal for you to commit mistakes and have deficiencies. Once you start acknowledging your shortcomings, then humility and a more balanced outlook are soon to follow.
5. Understand that you’re just a spec in the universe.
The universe is large, and we are but a spec temporarily floating on its vast expanse. It does not revolve around you, let alone created for you. The universe treats you with the same level of neutrality as it does everybody else, and that’s completely fine. Spend your finite time in it the best way you can, but never forget the modest space you occupy.
6. Be more open to growth.
Some people derive their entitlement from the feeling that they have already reached the pinnacle of growth. It is this perception that fuels their privileged self-view. To overcome this kind of entitlement, you should not aim to get to the top of the mountain but rather continuously reach new heights. Being always open to growth will help you not only accept that you still have more to learn but also surpass your perceived limits.
7. Show humility in success.
Overpower your self-entitlement by showing humility in success. Sometimes, too much success can make us arrogant and feel entitled in this world. We believe that because we are successful, then it is but natural for the world to give us more reverence and favor than others. While it is true that you deserve to live a good life, you must nonetheless keep your feet on the ground. Show empathy and understanding to those who are not as successful as you are instead, and be humbled by the fact that, in some way or another, there are other factors besides yourself that contributed to your success.
8. Expose yourself to the real world more.
Don’t shelter yourself in your own bubble of self-endowed grandeur. Expose yourself to the real world more, so that you’ll discover how unforgiving or unfair it can truly be to just about anyone. You’ll see that not everyone gets the chance to visit the Eifel Tower, get the promotion they deserve, or mindlessly chill and watch Netflix at home. The more you immerse yourself to this reality, the more you will learn to accept that life owes you nothing, and that to thrive, you must abandon your sense of entitlement and start showing that you have what it takes through hard work, wits, and resilience.
9. Allow other people to call you out.
Sometimes, we act or speak with no awareness that we are already being self-entitled. This lack of awareness may be borne out of years of indoctrination, a sheltered upbringing, insensitivity, or even obliviousness to life’s inherent indifference. Regardless of the reason, we must allow other people to call us out, so that we may become aware and make necessary adjustments to our perceptions and actions. Do not shun other people’s feedback; accept them as constructive criticism that will enlighten you and make you a better person.
10. Risk More and Fail More.
Sometimes, risk-taking and experiencing failure is what’s needed to beat one’s self-entitlement to submission. Risk-taking will help an entitled person get exposed to the reality that success is uncertain and that it will not simply be handed down to him/her, and that he/she has to carefully weigh his/her chances just like any other person. Failing, on the other hand, will allow one to experience firsthand the truth that not everything is destined to go his/her way. Risk-taking and failing multiple times will help those who are entitled learn how to be humble and grow by learning from their mistakes.
Being proud and confident about oneself is not bad; however, one should not be too entitled to expect unreasonable privileges and acknowledgment from the world. No matter who we are or how far we’ve gone, we should not forget to keep ourselves grounded on reality. We must remain cognizant of our deficiencies and limitations, as well as accept the humble position we temporarily occupy.