Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Deserve. That’s a word DoorMats rarely use about themselves. Deserve. Since it means to merit or be worthy of someone good, it’s hard to wrap your head around that word if you feel lousy about who you are. As a DoorMat, I thought other people deserved my time or other good stuff. Me? I wasn’t worthy of getting it. It was always the other people who were so that’s who I gave my time and favors to.

When you don’t think you deserve to be happy and receive wonderful stuff, you usually aren’t happy or receiving wonderful stuff.

Think about how many times  someone did something nice for you or tried to give you something and you balked about it. “Oh, you shouldn’t do that.” “I can’t accept your help.” “it isn’t right for you to do so much for me.” DoorMats can’t receive easily. I used to give people a laundry list of why I wasn’t worthy when they tried to do something nice for me. Compliments made me stammer. My feelings of unworthiness shouted to the world that I didn’t expect any good.

Feeling unworthy is like carrying a sign that says, “I expect nothing from you.” It shows in your attitude and most people will gladly accommodate and do nothing for you.

Looking back, I missed out on so much because I’ closed myself off to receiving by judging myself. So many of us do that! As I began to appreciate myself more, I also began to respect my right to receive. You won’t just wake up one morning and believe that you are worthy of getting many of life’s gifts. You definitely are, even if you don’t recognize that yet! But you can raise your deserving conscious.

On paper or in a document on your computer, write at the top: “Why I deserve the best.”

Start each sentence with “I deserve the best because…” List even small things. Start with “I deserve the best because I’m a decent human being.” If you get stumped, ask people who love you for suggestions. Read your list out loud often so it sinks in. Keep adding reasons as you think of them. The more you affirm your worthiness, the more you’ll start to believe it.

Fight the urge to reject someone’s kindness.

If she wants to treat you to dinner, just say “thank you.” If he wants to hang the picture for you, just say, “I appreciate it.” Learning to accept kindness can be painful for us DoorMats. But doing it does reinforce that you deserve all the good you get. Now I know that I deserve the best that can possibly come my way. When I accepted that, self-love began to warm me.

Right now–go to a mirror and say to the lovely person looking back at you, “I am worthy of all good and will do my best to receive all the good I can.” Over and over. Do it every day. For more fuel, say “I love you” before leaving the mirror. The more you do it the faster something in you will click.

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