4 THINGS YOU DESERVE IN LIFE

There are four things in life that we all deserve - and none of them are selfish to ask for

KNOW WHAT YOU DESERVE AND DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS

I read a quote by Tony Gaskins the other day that said:

Know who you are.
Know what you want.
Know what you deserve.
Don't settle for less.

I wonder how many of us settle for less than we deserve because we don't believe we are entitled to our fair share? When we receive praise or we receive a bonus, we're grateful - but do we see it as our due - what we deserve? Or do we feel lucky and think that this might be as good as it gets? Do we recognize our potential and what possibilities still lie in wait for us - or are we settling for less? Do we realize it's not selfish to live life to the full?

Know who you are. Know what you want. Don't settle for less

What are some of the things we deserve? I've come up with four unselfish non-negotiables:

1. YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS

You deserve to be in places and with people who invest in your happiness, people and places that help grow and feed your soul. You deserve connections and commitments that are real, that are loving, that positively reinforce who you are and that you are already more than enough. You deserve to smile and to feel a sense of joy with the life you're living every day.

Don't settle for less than that. Don't let people overstep your boundaries. Don't stay in situations where you don't feel safe or valued. Choose to stand in the light and to avoid toxic relationships and toxic environments. You deserve to be happy.

2. YOU DESERVE REST

You deserve time to take care of yourself. You are allowed to say "No" to things that suck you dry and drain your happiness. It's okay to stop the hamster wheel for a while and take a break. The world won't end if you ease off a little and take time to breathe.

Don't settle with being a people pleaser. Don't feel like everyone else's needs come before your own. Don't always put yourself last. Take time for some self-care, prioritize what's important to you and what sustains you and refills your inner reservoir.

3. YOU DESERVE TO FEEL VALUED

You deserve to feel loved and worthwhile. You deserve your place in the sun - standing with people who invest their time and emotion into your life. Spend time with the people who see you for who you truly are and love you - flaws and all. 

Don't settle and feel like you have to make yourself smaller or make yourself less. Don't force yourself into a box that isn't a good fit because you think that's what others want from you. Spend time with people who encourage you to be the best version of "you" and who see your worth and want to be a part of your life.

4. YOU DESERVE TO CHOOSE

You deserve to choose the life that feels right for you, you deserve to choose who plays a role in your life. You also get to choose the level of participation in life that works best for you - you don't have to accept every invitation or every obligation. You choose where you draw the line in the sand with people who don't have healthy boundaries. 

Don't settle for being pushed into decisions that don't feel right for you. Don't stay in a job that's boring and miserable and makes you dread Mondays. Don't hold onto relationships that aren't healthy. You get to choose who you want in your life, where you want to live, what you want to do, and how you want to do it. You have the final say in your life.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do any (or all) of these resonate with you? Do you feel it's selfish to think you deserve certain things in life? I'm thinking that Midlife is our time to figure out our priorities and to make sure that we're living the life we deserve - not one of unlimited luxuries and decadence, but one that is fulfilling and authentic. We deserve to give and to receive all that life has to offer.


There are four things in life that we all deserve - and none of them are selfish to ask for

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Midlife Musings on Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife Women

62 comments

  1. Hi,Leanne - Midlife is a great time to recalculate our priorities and (re)set our boundaries. Thank you for sharing these wise thoughts.

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    1. I think it's our time to claim what's important and to acknowledge our entitlement to the things that make us happy Donna - we're long overdue :)

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  2. I midlife, I've finally realized that I deserve this fulfilling life that I have created for myself, and I've had to let go of the people who don't support that. Thank you Leanne. Your post reinforced the feeling that I deserve this lifestyle that I'm living.

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    1. I think you sum it up perfectly Christina - I think we've earned the right to sit back a little and take ourselves off the hamster wheel of life and just appreciate all that we've created - and yes, discard those who don't understand that.

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  3. Wow, lots of food for thought here, Leanne. Like many women, I would guess, I have lived through periods of my life when I did not give myself time to rest, or when I felt guilty for prioritizing my own happiness, or when my choices seemed limited because of the possible impact on others. Would I do it all differently if I had a chance? Maybe not, but I am glad to be at the point I’m at now in life (retired).

    Jude

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    1. I don't think I'd change most of what has gone before Jude, but I certainly think that I've come to a point in life where I can make the choices that bring me happiness and to surround myself with people who understand that and support me - it's a nice stage of life to be at!

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  4. This can be so hard. How many times are we told not to be selfish? Yet it reminds me of the saying, "you can't pour from an empty cup."
    Thanks for this, Leanne! I need the reminder.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I think we got ourselves confused between selfishness and self-worth Jodie - it has been a problem for a lot of us over time. Millennials are much better at claiming their space in the sun and I'm working at catching up with them :)

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    1. My pleasure Liz - thanks for stopping by x

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  6. If I could go back and share wisdom with my younger self, it would be this post. Spent so many years living the antithesis to this...Thank you Leanne!

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    1. What a lovely thing to say Deb - and thank you. I wish I'd known a lot of this too back when I was younger and putting myself way down the list - now I have the space to share with myself and it's a lovely feeling - kind of flourishing really!

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  7. Great points. As we age we see the finish line more clearly and regrets can end now. I do think you summed it up well where people get confused. They think wanting to live a life you deserve means luxuries and extravagances while you say and I agree, it a life with fulfillment and authenticity.

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    1. That's exactly it Haralee - I think we got confused by what we were taught as we grew up - that it was wrong to put your own needs somewhere near the top of the pile. I totally understand that we need to invest in others, but we need to invest in ourselves too.

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  8. Hi Leanne, these are all four important points and I don't believe we ae selfish to be valuing ourselves and considering our needs. I would add that we also deserve to feel good physically as well as mentally and spiritually. Being active and looking after our health and fitness enables us to enjoy our life. Likewise it is important to listen to your body and mind and as you say rest. There was a time I would push and push myself but these days I let my body tell me how it is feeling and actually take time out to rest and restore. I also love your point about not allowing ourselves to be put into a certain box or category. We are unique and will only be happy when we live the way we are comfortable and contented with.

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    1. It's all about balance isn't it Sue - healthy mind, body, soul - and you get that from giving yourself some grace. I think we put our own needs so far back when we were younger that we burnt out a bit - now it's about filling those dry places and I love that we're all doing it differently but also authentically - it's a wonderful part of Midlife isn't it?

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    2. I love that we all have the same take on Mildlife & Beyond but we also have our unique way of living it. Thank you for your constant inspiration to living a better life. I love co-hosting #MLSTL with you and we have a great group each week. I've shared on social media and looking forward to meeting you next week, can't wait! :)

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    3. I can't believe it's only a week til our big meet-up Sue - I'm getting quite revved about it now - it's going to be lovely xx

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  9. Midlife is a great time to review our priorities. Thanks, Leanne, for sharing your thoughts. #seniorsalon

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    1. You're right Natalie - I think we do a lot of re-thinking around this time of life and it's great to re-define things on our own terms (instead of everyone else's!)

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    2. Hi Leanne - I'm back to congratulate you and Sue on the 50th MLSTL link up. Thank you for hosting and sharing your thoughts all this time. Have a wonderful week! #MLSTL

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    3. Thanks Natalie - FIFTY is pretty amazing - and the wonderful group keeps coming back for more :)

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  10. Leanne, Does the knowing it make it any easier to feel it? My rational brain totally agrees with all your points. And then the emotions of guilt surface. The belief that it's selfish to do self-care and focus on my own needs first. (I'm not being a good daughter, wife, sister, friend.) The feelings that I'm not enough; that I don't deserve this. I think I need some affirmations along the lines of your 4 points - I do deserve happiness, I deserve to feel valued; I deserve this life I am creating. Thanks for the reminder. Someday the knowing will be the same as the feeling.

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    1. I think it begins with the knowing Pat - our mindshift begins and as we acknowledge that it makes sense to deserve these things, we begin to accept them more and they become part of our belief system and the guilt lessens (although there's always someone to remind you if they think they're not getting their entitlement!)

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  11. This is something we all need to remind ourselves of Leanne, but it shouldn't be so. We all deserve the opportunity to be the best we can be and that means taking care of ourselves, it's not being selfish in my book. But it surprises me it takes so long for us to realise this and to ditch the guilt! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, as always!

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    1. I think we were brought up with the belief system that others always came first - even at our own expense Deb - now we're starting to be brave enough to claim what we deserve (and what we'd be happy to grant to anyone else!) and that's a wonderful feeling.

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    2. Re read this again and loved it all over again! Shared for #mlstl

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  12. Yes - your post resonated with me. We deserve more than we give ourselves often. I think havign a pamper time is something we may have missed out on in our younger years with so much going on. I aim to change that!

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    1. I see young mums doing all this sort of stuff Deborah - I had never heard of pampering or cafe dates or mums' nights out when I was a young mum. I'm hoping to make up for lost time too :)

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  13. Yes, 4 quite basic & ultimately reasonable points. Weirdly I think I was better at this when I was younger than I am now. I don't know whether that's true or just a perspective from hindsight...or, indeed, a perspective that's not quite true. Either way, absolutely making me think.

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    1. I feel like I still need to keep reminding myself Jo - the "it doesn't matter" response comes along too quickly - and it DOES matter because if I don't choose to give these things room in my life then nobody else is going to be doing it for me (unfortunately!)

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  14. The hardest thing to me was learning How to say no to the infinite requests of helps, volunteering, availability! I learnt to value my own time once I got a family (a big one), but I guess it was too late because now I am exhausted as well and cannot say no ever to my family requests!!

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    1. I did everything for everybody and said Yes to everything all through my younger days, my family rearing days, and my early empty nest days Silvia - it's only the last few years where I've been learning to say No more often and to allow myself the grace of some down time and room to just do nothing if it makes me happy. I hope you discover how to say No more often xx

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  15. I love posts like this because they act as such triggers or reminders that we need to love ourselves and make sure we're not second best to anything. It can't always be about the others around us. If we don't feel valued or loved or free, how can we be of any use to others? #AnythingGoes

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    1. You are so right Rosie - it took me far too long to realize this simple fact - the quote "you can't pour from an empty cup" has a lot of truth in it - I poured from my cup too often for too many years - not so much now though!

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  16. I think our generation was brought up to always put others first and ourselves last. As u approached mid life and all the changes that were forex on me, I came to revise the way I thought about myself and my place in the world. No 3 really resonates with me and has made me stop and think about s few things I've been putting up with. Thanks for this very thought provoking post #MLSTL Will share on SM

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    1. I think we were brought up to meet the needs and expectations of other people Jennifer - we weren't taken advantage of, we just did it because it was expected. Now I question things and I look at how it impacts on my own health and happiness - they are getting a much higher priority these days - and it's getting easier to say No.

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  17. Why do we get stuck doing so much for others and think about ourselves last? Feeling valued resonates with me because I spent much of my work career not feeling so. I feel so much more valued as a college lecturer! Great round-up of the important items we can easily take for granted!

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    1. I was the same Terri - the decades I worked for people who never gave anything back - they expected excellence but never complimented or rewarded. Now I look for some acknowledgement and if it's not coming, then I'm less likely to run myself ragged. A simple thank you goes a long way in my books! Lovely to have you back at MLSTL btw x

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  18. I couldn't agree more, Leanne. I have come to realize that I am worthy of happiness and fulfillment and that I am the only one that can provide those things for myself. As always, you have given us another thought-provoking post. Thank you Leanne. #MLSTL

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    1. That's exactly how I see it Christie - so many people sit back and wait for life and happiness to come to them (and moan about the wait) I think we just get on with it and appreciate what we have while we look to add more happiness in wherever we can x

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  19. So very true. It has taken me a long time to feel that I deserve things and worthy of stuff. Thanks for sharing this. #MLSTL

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    1. Me too Patrick - but once you get your head around it, it makes you wonder why you waited so long!

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  20. I agree that midlife is a good time to reflect. I think we get to a stage when we realise that life really isn't a dress rehearsal and if we don't do things now we may not get another chance. I think we can go through life without really knowing who we are - and for me, moving countries so many times, I've become adept at being chameleon-like. Time to sort that out methinks! Know what you want - yes I've pretty much got that one under control - a simple, happy life with family and friends.
    Know what you deserve - hmm, not got a handle on this one yet.
    Don't settle for less - nor this one.
    I still have work to do! #MLSTL and Pinned

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    1. I'm still getting there too Jo - but at the same time I feel like I'm a lot closer than I used to be. I think it was a matter of realizing that my happiness was up to me and I needed to be prepared to make choices that built towards what I wanted in life - not just run around after everyone else and putting myself last.

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  21. I agree with every point Leanne. It's sad that it's taken me so long to believe myself worthy of these things. Most of my adult life I have sacrificed my own wants, needs & even happiness in order to please or serve others. Whilst it's admirable to think of others, it was at my expense and ultimately those close to me suffered too as a consequence. I think I still have more work to do in this area but I've come a long, long way! xo

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    1. I'm not sure where it got built into our brains that we didn't deserve to come first Min - it's not selfish to want to be loved and happy and to have some time out from all the hubub of looking after everyone else - thank goodness we woke up before it was too late!

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  22. This is exactly what I'm focusing on in my year of extreme self-care. Sad that we even have to be reminded to think about doing these things...but we do. So keep the reminders coming!

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    1. I need the reminders as much (if not more) than everyone else Jennifer - which is why I write about them. I'm so impressed with the big life changes you've been making and I really hope they bring satisfaction and joy into your life - you deserve it x

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  23. Hi Leanne, This was a great post and one that I really could connect to. I do worry about being selfish when taking time for myself, for example. But I am also all about choice; this life is defined by one's choices. We need to focus on the choices that are best for us. Thanks for more insight!

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    1. I think we've been conditioned into thinking it's selfish to want a bit of happiness and "me" time - but it's not at all. It's time for us all to claim our space and to accept that we're worthy of some happiness and some time to grow our interests - that's what Midlife is doing for me - I hope you find the same for yourself x

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  24. Hi Leanne - I am so glad we met and that I can now have the opportunity to connect with you and other Midlifers! I still need to get to the point of saying "NO", still a work in progress but getting there, slowly but surely.

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    1. I'm really happy to have you visit and become part of my "tribe" - we all need to encourage each other and to keep moving forward don't we? I love that this stage of life can be such a positive one and a great time of embracing who we are and loving that person.

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  25. Amen to all four of these Leanne!

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    1. Thanks Janet - nice to see that they ticked the box for you too x

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  26. I love this as it's something I struggle with - the concept of enoughness and worth. And when I talk about 'deserving' things I'm always meaning a treat (like food or alcohol etc).

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    1. I'm exactly the same Deb - all the inner voice stuff that tells me to pull my head in and expect nothing - time to call myself on it and start living a life that I'm entitled to. We're getting there - and we can have a treat or two as well :)

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  27. I think this is very important and we women 'make this happen to us'. I know it is the case with me. I had a domineering father (still do but at 95 I no longer am in a lesser role with him) and it may also be to do with our generic roles as caregivers to others. It is taking me till now to realise much of this is what I need to make happen for me, no-one else is going to give me permission. Great post. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. I was the same Denyse - brought up by a demanding father who the family rotated around and who always got first place. Now it's my turn - I don't need others to prop me up, but I do need to take responsibility for my own self worth and happiness - it's never too late!

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  28. Leanne I think as we get older we get better at knowing who we are and what we need. Right now self care is the hardest for me and I can't even say I am working on it. But looking forward to a better tomorrow.

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  29. I need to write these points on notecards and carry them with me at all times, Leanne!
    I am definitely pinning to #mlstl board for future reference.
    Yes, I do struggle with believing I deserve my "fair share" ... but hopefully my one little word CONFIDENCE will help me overcome that faulty thinking :)

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  30. I love this post Leanne. I nodded all the way though. I am so guilty of making myself “smaller” and “making myself less”. I often feel I don’t quite fit in, or I feel awkward - so I retreat or make myself smaller and my voice quieter to protect myself. This year I want to work on that in all areas of my life. I want to stand my ground and just feel that even if my thoughts. actions or beliefs are different in a given situation, that it is still okay and I am enough. I want to be the best version of me. Thank you for your amazing ability to articulate what so many of us feel as women.

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