There is a part in all of us that wants to remain a child forever.
Chopping the food and tending the fire brings its own satisfaction… but a part of us just wants the resulting warmth, without all of the effort.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your dream relationship run on autopilot… without having to honestly witness and work with your weaknesses and shortcomings?
Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a million dollars drip feed itself into your bank account every month, tax free, without having to do any work for it in the slightest?
In the last decade, I have seen this underlying theme run itself in countless clients (and in myself, as well).
– The 40 something year old who refuses to date any women over the age of 25, for fear that someone closer to his age will actually challenge him and meet him on all levels (and in so doing, would have to face into deeper parts of his mind and grow up more)
– The trust fund financed adult who believes she has a case of “work aversion” because her body feels allergic to work, and anytime she tries to be productive, she freezes
– The young entrepreneur who has been publishing online content for less than six months, and is frustrated that they aren’t making six figures a year yet
However this theme shows itself in our lives…
Ultimately, the part of us that wants to remain a child forever generally comes down to one of two things: laziness, and entitlement.
What Is Laziness?
Laziness, superficially speaking, is an unwillingness to exert energy.
But underneath laziness… is a fear of life.
In other words, we resist exerting energy because we fear what could come of it.
If I go up to that person and express romantic interest in them, I could be rejected.
If I start this business and really put myself out there, I could fail. OR I could succeed beyond my wildest dreams and that would also be stressful (people would turn on me, want me for my money, etc.).
When we see laziness for what it is, then we are in a more empowered place to make a better decision.
We can ask ourselves, “Do I enjoy letting my life pass me by… watching my potential get frittered away, day by irreplaceable day? Or does lying on my death bed, drowning in regret, seem like a better option for me?”
What Is Entitlement?
Entitlement is different than laziness, but both things contribute to the part of us that wants to remain a child forever.
Entitlement is the sense that we are somehow inherently deserving of special privileges, regardless of the energy/effort that we exert in our lives.
Now, to be clear, every human on this planet is inherently deserving of many things. You deserve air to breathe. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be cared about. You deserve the right to strive for a sense of purpose and meaning in your life, as defined by your values.
But nobody is entitled to millions of dollars… or an effort-free dream relationship… or a strong, fit, capable body… who hasn’t worked for it.
Anything worth having is worth working for. And without paying the necessary sacrifices that these things require, you don’t deserve these results to just fall into your lap.
So maybe you can see and take ownership of some laziness… or maybe the entitlement piece resonates with you more than the laziness. And maybe you only see these themes as being at play in one small area of your life. That’s just fine. These things to have a tendency to compartmentalize themselves and be the loudest in one area of our lives.
Now that you recognize that these are psychological themes that you are capable of, what do you do about them?
How To Own The Part Of You That Wants To Remain A Child
A ball can’t be dropped until it is picked up. So the first step in moving past laziness and entitlement is taking ownership of the fact that you can sometimes be lazy and entitled.
This can be as simple as busting out a journal and writing down your thoughts on the matter.
You can use the sentence stems “One way that I can be entitled is…” and/or “One way that I can be lazy is…”. For example:
– One way that I can be entitled is I want more money even though I know I haven’t really put in the effort to create value for others first
– One way that I can be entitled is I resent my body for looking a certain way even though I haven’t really exercised in over half a year
– One way that I can be lazy is I frequently delay working on things that I say matter deeply to me
– One way that I can be lazy is I order in from restaurants for 90% of my meals, even though there’s a grocery store less than a five minute walk from my house
You get the point. Simply list out as many examples that you can think of, in order to have it be plainly written, right in front of you, so you can actively reclaim these patterns from your subconscious mind, and place them in your conscious awareness.
How To Counteract Your Lazy And Entitled Layers
Having fully acknowledged these unconscious themes, you can now counteract them.
This step is fairly self-explanatory.
Whatever the ways are that you see yourself holding back, exert energy in those areas.
And for every area of your life that you feel entitled, right-size your expectations, and deploy acceptance with where you are currently.
– Lazy with your physical fitness? Prioritize exercise/play/getting into your body more regularly.
– Lazy with your relationship? Prioritize it more. Lean into difficult conversations. Plan dates. Be a more generous lover. Be kind, thoughtful, and loving towards your partner more often.
– Lazy with your spending? Make a budget. Stick to it. Create more wealth. Commit to being a student of money and how money works.
– Do you feel entitled in your career? Accept where you are, today, fully. Commit to levelling up your skills so you can bring more value to the market/to your workplace. Trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be, and there’s no need to rush.
– Do you feel entitled to fame/wealth/social status/other things that give you a sense of being better than others? See if you can pinpoint what is beneath this need to feel special, or better than others. Perhaps it is rooted in an underlying fear of being less than others (hint: it is). Egoic specialness always deals in better than/less than thoughts. Like the pufferfish pumping itself up to appear bigger than it actually is, when our deeply engrained thought patterns lend themselves to wanting to be bigger than we currently are, it’s because, deep down, we feel like we aren’t enough as we are already.
The Tradeoff Of Remaining A Child Forever
The fantasy of remaining a child (psychologically speaking) forever can seem appealing… but when you think clearly about what the reality of being a child is like (with no responsibility comes little to no true freedom)… it becomes clear that choosing the mature, self-responsible adult path is a freer and more fulfilling one for ourselves and for everyone around us.
Learn to carry your own weight.
Learn to take responsibility for your mind completely.
Learn to engage in life fully. There’s no need to hold back. You have full permission to leave in all on the playing field.
Dedicated to your success,
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