Skip to Content

Why Do I Feel Like I Don’t Deserve Anything and How to Change That?

Do you know that strange and unpleasant feeling of whatever you do and achieve, you don’t feel anything? Or even worse, do you think that you don’t deserve any of that?

Thoughtful girl sitting on sill embracing knees looking at window

That extraordinary new project that you are working on? Lovely family? Even that nice meal on your plate today? You deserve it all!

Everybody deserves good things in their life, and so are you. All of this goes without saying, and it is all generally known. But sometimes, in reality, it is not like that.

That nasty voice in your head can say many bad things to you. Instead of enjoying in sweet fruits of your work, that uncomfortable feeling somehow finds a way to disrupt your way of thinking.

The consequences of that way of thinking can be devastating for your mental and physical health.

Various reasons make you feel that way. Those reasons are connected, and they tangle with each other. It is mandatory to determine the cause of that self-image to stop that vicious circle of self-deprecating thoughts. 

Keep reading this article to find out the reasons why you feel like you don’t deserve anything.

Beliefs that were passed onto you by family, friends and the environment

Who are we stripped from beliefs passed onto us by others?

The first pillar in constructing our thoughts about ourselves comes from the family. Your family tremendously influences your self-image. Family teaches us moral and ethical values, including caring for ourselves.

If you didn’t have good role models in the family, there is the possibility that you adopted that same behavior pattern.

Or you didn’t have adequate support, meaning that high expectations of your parents diminished your achievements. No matter how hard you tried, that one sentence they said destroyed your world.

That sentence is: “It could be better”.

Friends, emotional partners, and all other social interactions we make highly influence our self-worth. All of them can contribute to toxic personality traits that make you feel like you don’t deserve anything.

There is a massive spectrum of different factors from the environment. From where you grew up or lived to the educational institution you attended, the environment around us also significantly influences how we perceive our values.

The past sins

Male hand holds a magnifier focusing on the present time alongside the past and future. To focus on the current situation, positive thinking mindset concept.

Did you fail the class in high school? Maybe stole some candies from the store? Or had to sleep in the police station because of drunk driving?

We can mention many of these examples. Some are trivial, but some can be harsh. But one thing is sure, you cannot let the sins from the past interrupt your life.

You are not the same person as before; you changed and deserve to enjoy the new and improved version of yourself now.

The best way to deal with the past is to make amends with sins, correct mistakes, and move on. If you do so, you will avoid constant guilt-tripping yourself. Let the past stay in the past, and don’t let her steal your present.

Trauma and survivor guilt

Trauma and survivor guilt are mutually connected. Survivor’s guilt is a feeling of guilt that occurs after surviving a life-threatening, traumatic event when others did not.

Survivor guilt may come in different forms after devastating traumas such as wars, traffic accidents, natural disasters, and severe health conditions.

When people survive a traumatic event, they may experience the feeling of guilt because they managed to survive when others did not or didn’t do anything to prevent that event from happening.

There is an example of Elvis Presley. His twin brother died shortly after his birth. Being a twinless brother caused survivor guilt for Elvis, and according to many biographers, that haunted him for his whole life.

Imposter syndrome

Shadow woman standing for her present profile, take award with anxiety and lack of self confidence at work

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that makes you feel like you don’t deserve any of your accomplishments. You may think that you don’t belong, don’t deserve to succeed, or that everyone will discover and mark you as a fraud.

Imagine this: You are some big shot in a successful company, and you are sitting in a business meeting, and suddenly out of nowhere, someone in your head is yelling that you are a fraud. If you have experienced that, you may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is tied closely with perfectionism. To counter those thoughts that you don’t deserve success, you “defend yourself” by constantly wanting to improve and work better. Still, you are never satisfied and repeat that vicious circle repeatedly.

This psychological phenomenon is more common than you think. One study found that about 70% of all people have felt like an imposter at some point.

Mental health problems affect your self-esteem

That feeling that you don’t deserve anything can be a product of some mental illness that you are struggling with. Many causes trigger mental health problems.

The reasons we discussed above in this article can also be the triggers.

A vast spectrum of mental health illnesses can affect how you view yourself. Depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD… can all push you into thinking that you don’t deserve anything.

Mental illnesses don’t discriminate, and they can affect anyone. Regardless of age, gender, social status, religion, or any other aspect of identity. A mental health problem can also cause you to have low self-esteem, no matter where you are in your life.

You know the reasons now, but how to change that?

The first step is identifying the problem that keeps you from thinking that you deserve anything. You can try to do that alone or with help from family and friends.

Maybe seek professional help, especially if the problem is more complicated and requires an approach from a professional.

Positive affirmations can change the way you view yourself. Some minor changes every day can make a significant impact in the future.

Instead of constant criticism and perfectionism, try to practice some positive thoughts about yourself. Even one positive word for the day is a good beginning.

Exercising, a healthy diet, walking are some great examples of excellent choices for implementing into your daily routine.

Avoiding toxic people and stressful situations is a good strategy. We know it is hard to avoid them altogether, but at least try to keep them as minimum as possible.

To sum things up,

You deserve everything that you achieved. You conquered every failure, pain, and struggle to get to this point in your life. We hope this article was helpful and that you will realize that you deserve everything