Entitlement: A Barrier to Change

Simply defined, the word entitlement is the right to something. It is the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.  A barrier to change is entitlement.  Why? Because there is a mindset of “you owe me.”  Entitled people are self-absorbed to the point where they cannot see the forest through the trees. It is their belief that they should be given special treatment.  It is their opinion that the rules do not apply to them.

In the short book, Who Moved My Cheese?, two of the characters, Hem and Haw, were entitled. When they arrived at Cheese Station C, they were unprepared for what they found. “What no cheese?” Hem yelled. He continues yelling, “No Cheese? No Cheese?” as though if he shouted loud enough someone would put it back. “Who moved my cheese?” he hollered. Finally, he put his hands on his hips, his face turned red, and he screamed at the top of his voice, “It’s not fair!” Although Hem had many positive attributes, his sense of entitlement was so strong that it prevented him from moving ahead. His fear of the unknown crushed his soul.

Instead of fearing and focusing on what you can’t find and may be leaving behind, recognize that what you’re looking for is actually just ahead. Let go of the past by setting new goals and imagining yourself achieving those goals. When you start envisioning yourself in new, positive situations and opening yourself up to new ideas, only then will you start heading in the right direction.

In other words, when things change, move on. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to adapt to the new situation.

Think of it like this: when you go to a new city, do you stay in your hotel room and try to deal with all the feelings that come from being in a strange place? Or do you get out there and explore? If you’re like most people, you want to get out there and explore.

In Who Moved My Cheese?, Haw eventually discovered that the accumulated fears in his mind were a lot worse than even the biggest challenges he encountered. Full of confidence, he kept exploring the maze, until he eventually encountered two of his friends, and the three of them shared the new cheese they had found.

When something changes in your life, you have two choices: stay stuck in your old ways or adapt to the new situation. If you choose adapting, then it will be easier for you to adjust. Why? Because when you find the courage to move on despite your fears the first time, fear’s grip on you will lessen and never be as strong as it used to be.

Remember: the biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself, and nothing gets better until you change.

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