Working With Feeling Undeserving | Saltwater + Grace

I know you’re out there. You have one, two or several things in life that you “always wanted”. You waited, you worked for them…and now they’re here. And now, you can’t stop saying to yourself that you don’t deserve them…they’re too good for you. You don’t deserve to have these things that have been a part of your prayers, dreams and wishes for your entire life.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I am thankful, firstly, that I am not alone. One, two, or a few hundred of you today are reading this because you know how it feels to be SO grateful for something that you don’t even think it should be yours. Recently, I told a friend I don’t feel like I deserve to own or live in this home. I wondered if she would think I was making an effort to be intensely modest but I meant it from the depths of my heart… and then she surprised and relieved me when she said that she feels the SAME way about her recent home purchase, and about her many blessings.

I had a check list of things I really wanted to get my life to where I wanted it to be. It went like this:

1) Find love
2) Get married
3) Bonus points for getting married on the Outer Banks
4) Start a business doing something I LOVE
5) Have a baby
6) Bonus points for having a daughter because I wanted at least ONE!
7) Have more babies
8) Move to the Outer Banks
9) Own a home
10) Have Mike work closer to home

….this list is done. There are two other unplanned surprise bonuses that happened also: I found the Lord two years ago again (pretty sure he brought me these things in order to connect with him again) and then the other bonus is that I grew up, matured, became a better person and began to value myself. Sounds like an easy thing to some but I didn’t live that way for a while. Was it being in my 30’s? I don’t know. I’m just grateful to be the best version of myself now.

You may have seen on Instastories this morning…today is Mike’s LAST DAY as a commuter!!! We get him back for 900 hours a year now and we couldn’t be more thankful!!! But…when he got this new job a few weeks ago, my excitement was immediately met with these feelings of how incredibly undeserving I feel to have this kind of life where things are truly where I want them to be. After all, it was the last big thing on our current life list of dreams…why? Why were WE allowed to have this last blessing?

I know where these feelings of undeserving come from. I know the roots are very deep…from being compared to my friends by a parent constantly while living in a crappy life situation. I mean… it’s hard to hear how this friend is doing this and achieving that and you’re growing up in such a toxic and unhealthy environment…I wanted to scream “well, their home life is a LOT better!” There was lots of darkness, lots of second hand smoke and windows painted shut so I couldn’t even reach for fresh air to breathe. I didn’t feel I deserved much from my teenage years onward after always having those friend comparisons thrown at me but at the same time I was just jealous of others who had things a little shinier than me. Another source of feeling undeserving is for the simple fact that I have not always been a kind person and I’ve made so many mistakes. Have we all hurt others? Said things? Done things? Been judgmental? YES… no one’s clear of that. But, I took all of my hurt from my really burnt out heart and put it on others because I didn’t want to feel like I was alone. I mean, I REALLY needed some Jesus but I was just refusing to accept that in my life. I wish had sooner. That’s what changed everything for me.

Do you feel like you have more than you deserve? That’s a sign that you’re very appreciative…so it’s a GOOD thing. Humble and appreciative people are my favorite!! Some people may thing I’m overly appreciative via blogging and social media but shoot, I mean every second of it. I won’t stop being thankful for the Outer Banks, my husband, my girls and this business!

Here’s the thing I want you to know…you DO DESERVE WHAT YOU HAVE. God brought you these things, He’s led you to where you are today and don’t you think He wants you to be happy and know you are worthy of these gifts?! I thought recently about how me constantly almost being sad about what I think I don’t deserve would be kind of a slap in the face to God. He’d be like GIRL — that is rude ’cause I gave you the things on your list for a reason! When I flipped my thinking and started recently (like as in, just this week) saying Amanda, you are WORTHY of these things, flawed human being and all…it changed things for me. So…mental switch right now my friend. YOU DO DESERVE THESE THINGS. Can you say it out loud? “I do deserve my husband/wife. I do deserve my kids. I do deserve my business. I do deserve to live in this home. I do deserve to be happy.” What if we continued to be humble just by expressing THANKS and GRATITUDE but we stop beating ourselves up about not deserving things? The other day when I talked to my friend about this we had the same fear: we felt like this would all disappear. That’s a valid fear…but we have to stop living that way. Let’s not live in fear, let’s not tell ourselves we are not worth good things.

INSTEAD..let’s stay thankful and let’s GIFT OTHERS. Let’s serve people well! Let’s figure out how to bless other people who are working toward a better life and working on their “list” of what they want to check off to get their ideal life. One way I do that is to talk about how we moved down here, what we did to make it happen. To keep blogging for moms, for business owners…sharing info that helps get people started or inspired to change things. We mentor, host workshops..we want to improve lives and I feel like as long as I am genuinely pouring into others…I’ll realize that I am deserving of the things I have.

One other fear I had was that if I had something good…like a backyard with a water view which we now have…that people wouldn’t like me as much or think differently of me. When I was slumming it in a crappy condo, I felt like living at that level made sure people knew I was humble…but if I upgraded to something desirable for many people…would people think I think I’m really awesome or something!? Does this make sense? Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve it because there are others out there who think I don’t deserve it… but I have to remember that is not for them to decide.

Are you feeling undeserving? Unworthy? Here are some things I think about when I feel like my life is “too good” for me that could help shift your perspective a little:

What hardships have you endured in life to get to where you are now?
Do you work hard now or have you worked hard in your life to make ends meet?
Do you know you are extended endless amounts of grace from God and that it’s okay to have a good life?
What can you fit into your life schedule that would give back to others? 
Do you have a journal you write in occasionally? Can you write some things you’re thankful for today?
How can you brighten someone else’s life who is having a hard time today?
How can you inspire others to achieve the things they want in life?

I find that the best way to avoid feeling undeserving is to continue to outwardly express gratitude. A positivity perspective journal I am loving is The Grass Is Green Enough, recommended by my girl, Julianne Hough. It keeps things in perspective and makes you realize what you have is already good, and enough, and it helps me realize I have worked hard for those things and I’m deserving.

I’m going to occasionally tell you I don’t deserve my husband. Or my kids. Or my life here. But..deep down I will know that the Lord thinks I am, and I will thank him instead of feeling guilt about what we’ve been blessed with.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Beverly says:

    When the thought pops into your head that you are undeserving of something you have worked hard for, remember what you are saying is that God created an undeserving Christian and that is not possible! Replace that negative thought with… ” I am God’s child and I deserve the fruits of my labor .”

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