The ‘I Deserve It’ Loophole + The Trick I Use To Beat It

Do you tell yourself "I deserve it" too much? If the usual budgeting tips or diet tips aren't helping, this might be why. Click through for money advice and goal-setting advice you haven't heard before! #goalsetting #habits #budgettips

Picture this: It’s 8 pm on a rainy Friday night and you’re just now leaving work. The week has been a mess of unexpected expenses, grumpy coworkers, boring obligations, and yesterday the cat puked on your white sofa.

Your mind is fried and your spirit is crumpled.

Clearly, the answer is Target.

Two throw pillows, three t-shirts, some face masks, and two art prints? You deserve them.

When you get home? Delivery pizza, a full bottle of red, and three hours of Netflix. “I deeeeseeeerve this!!!!”

Then an hour of Instagram scrolling, because “I deserve it” is the battle cry of the day/week/month/year.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Maybe you swing by Home Goods instead of Target and watch Hulu instead of Netflix. (I like watching late 90s/early 00s teen rom coms and eating noodles with butter + that terrible powdered Parmesan).

We all recognize this scenario because EVERY BLESSED HUMAN engages in some version of this. When we have a bad day – or a good day! – we throw our heads back and howl “I deserve it!” while running full speed towards things that often make our lives worse. The truth is, many of our “I deserve this” choices move us further from the things we say we want. Click To Tweet
If we have credit card debt, ‘treating’ ourselves with a shopping spree is actually a pretty unkind thing to do. If our bodies don’t like dairy or gluten, ‘rewarding’ ourselves with pizza is a peculiar kind of (delicious) torture. 

Imagine if your best friend turned to you over dinner and calmly said “Ya know what? I deserve to be saddled with thousands of dollars of credit card debt for the rest of my life.”

What if she said “I’ve been thinking about it and I really believe that I deserve to sleep poorly every night. And I deserve all the health issues that come with a long-term sleep deficit.”

Or “I’ve worked hard. I deserve low-grade stomach aches several times a week. Yup!”

We’d never let our friends treat themselves this way. We’d stop them mid-sentence and talk some sense into them. But many of us treat ourselves to these self-sabotaging ‘rewards’ on a daily basis. 

So how do we stop these self-defeating, self-sabotaging ‘rewards’?

How to avoid the ‘I deserve it’ loophole

When you find yourself saying “I deserve it” + treating yourself, be really honest about the effects of these things you “deserve.” Do you DESERVE more credit card debt? An upset stomach? To sleep poorly? Click To Tweet

Take a moment to look a few hours or days down the line. How will this thing you ‘deserve’ impact your life?

If your reward looks like debt, poor health, low-quality sleep, unhealthy relationships, or wasted time? YOU DO NOT DESERVE THAT. No one does.

Instead, think about what you truly deserve and how you can treat yourself in a way that helps you get that.

Do you deserve rejuvenation and relaxation after a busy week? Maybe the answer is a walk next to a body of water, re-reading a favorite novel, and going to bed early after one hour of Netflix (not three).

Do you deserve to feel pampered because you spent all week dealing with other people’s needs? Maybe you could treat yourself with a long sauna at the gym, spend 30 extra seconds making your meal look nice (you’d be amazed what a drizzle of olive oil can do!) and buy one new scented candle.

We all deserve to feel good, supported, and cared for. We all deserve the occasional treat or reward for a long week or a job well done. Let’s make sure our rewards get us closer to what we want, rather than further away. 

P.S. If you want help ending this sort of self-sabotaging behavior, download in The Get What You Want Workshop! You guys told me you were sick of six-courses you couldn’t finish so we’re trying two hours instead! Click here to download your workbook!

6 Comments

Mary W

The word treat shouldn’t need to be qualified with occasional before it, but in our culture we need to remind ourselves. When I was doing nutrition consulting, my clients would say, “Then in the afternoon I treat myself to [fill in the blank].” That isn’t a treat, it’s part of your regular diet and you need to account for it as such. Whether it’s food, money, or time, we need to be realistic with how and what we’re consuming. Then, if you are able, change patterns that aren’t serving you. I’m really surprised at how much benefit has come from quitting caffeine and alcohol. Time saved, money saved, hobbies rekindled, weight lost. And yes, I still miss both, but now I know I don’t need them every day. They’re a treat.

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steph

yess, i love this and am guilty of indulging in pizza even though i’m allergic to cheese. i find that i only really justify things like this when i’m not feeling my best or inadequate. to combat this i aim to self-care everyday – journaling helps me so much. i wrote a list of 25 free ways to treat yo’self particularly because i hate the notion that to treat yourself you need to participate in consumerism – the best things in life are free 🙂 full list here: https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2019/05/0037-25-ways-to-treat-yo-self.html

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Unsolicited Recs | July 22 – Down a long lane…

[…] One of the best blogs on the internet is Yes & Yes. She’s blogging on an irregular schedule these days, but just did one the other day on our tendency to “reward” ourselves after a crummy day/week/situation. Your mind is fried and your spirit is crumpled. Clearly the answer is Target. Except should it be?? […]

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