Author Louise Hay popularized the concept of “deservability,” describing it as the idea that if you believe at your innermost core you don’t deserve to have what you wish for, then you block it from manifesting. The flip side is that if you do believe at the deepest level that you deserve something, then you will do what it takes to make it happen, and it will manifest.
I’ve taken this concept and paired it with a quantifiable rating system to provide a quick and effective way for you to see the level of your deservability in any area of your life. Your “deserve level” is the conviction with which you say, “I deserve this!” in each of the 10 categories, which are intimately intertwined with your level of mental, physical, and nutritional health. Each plays a critical role in making the difference between a miserable or a magnificently balanced life. (I have a much more detailed version of this test in my book, Mind Your Body) Deeply believing that you deserve something is where true budgeproof motivation comes from.
The aim of this Deserve Level Test is to shine light on areas where you excel, as well as on areas that need nurturing, attention, and development.
THE 10 CATEGORIES
Rate your Deserve Level in each of the 10 categories using the following scale:
1 to 3: Extremely low deserve level
4 to 6: Low deserve level
7 to 8: moderate deserve level
9 to 10: High deserve level
1. Fitness. Having a strong deserve level in regard to fitness doesn’t necessarily mean that you always look forward to your workout. There may still be days when it’s hard to get started, but when you have a strong fitness deserve level, you deeply desire what exercise gives your body and brain. You move, and move often, because you clearly understand that exercising your body will ultimately make you feel better, mentally and physically.
2. Nutrition. Eating should promote health, but it should also be a pleasure as well as a mindful activity. Someone who scores a high deserve level for nutrition is sensitive to what hunger, satiety, and fullness feel like, and respects the body’s hunger signals. A high-deservelevel eater doesn’t let emotions dictate eating and, equally important, doesn’t let eating dictate their emotions. What you put into your body influences how you think and feel, and can certainly hamper or help your energy level and your desire to exercise.
3. Family and Friends. These are the people who offer you emotional support and comfort, warmth and nurturing, protection and security. Research shows that both family and friends can improve your health, reduce mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, and increase your life span. Supportive friends and families encourage your dreams, and you encourage theirs. Sometimes your family is incapable, and that is okay. You can find friends who become your family.
4. Nest. A high-deservelevel home feels like a sanctuary, a peaceful place you can retreat to, a relaxing environment in which to rejuvenate and recharge. Your bedroom should be restful, dark, and serene, a place where you can rest. A healthy neighborhood is one where you feel safe, where you’re comfortable taking strolls, where you know your neighbors at a friendly level. You’ll assess how refugelike your habitat is, and you’ll become clear on whether you need to make improvements.
5. Spiritual Condition. The core of a high spiritual deserve level is the ability to believe in something larger than yourself—a higher power or higher perspective, a set of morals or beliefs that propels you toward being your best self. Some believe that their higher power is outside themselves, others feel it is inside, and still others believe it is both—there are no wrong answers here. Some people describe this as living on a higher path by honoring integrity, honesty, respect, love, tolerance, kindness, serenity, courage, and grace. For some, attending a spiritual group, church, or temple fits the bill, while others find spirituality by communing with nature or listening to music.
6. Work. How you spend your days, what your interactions with other people involve, and your level of stress and demands can all play a role in how you feel in your life. If you have a work deserve level of 10, then your place of business is a nurturing, invigorating, and inspiring environment where you look forward to spending your days, and you work with people you find enjoyable, stimulating, and helpful. If this isn’t the picture of your work life—if your work leaves you feeling exhausted, without enough time or energy left over to exercise or cook healthy meals, or if demands from an overbearing boss have you feeling stressed and defeated, then at some level you have accepted that this is all your work life has to offer.
7. Attitude. Your mindset is your mental perspective, the general flavor that makes up your viewpoint, but that still doesn’t encompass all that makes up your way of thinking. A high attitude deserve level is positive, proactive, and grateful. I’ve discovered a fantastic way to get a quick read on a person’s mental frequency: I ask, “What were the top five feelings you experienced most this past week?” I find this instantly produces an accurate picture of a person’s demeanor.
8. Finances. I would like to say that money is not important, but it does offer options. The more we have of it in this society, the more freedom we have to make choices. This can be a good or a bad thing. If you have an abundance of money that comes to you without a lot of stress or anxiety and meets your needs effectively, then you have a high deserve level in this area. This is a subjective measure. What matters here is having enough money for you. If you are constantly worried about paying your bills or accumulating debt, you may need to look closely at this deserve level.
9. Hobbies and Interests. When people spend time doing things that make them feel good, it activates areas of the brain that improve the way they feel about life in general and makes them feel happier. Having an enjoyable interest not related to work or responsibility enhances creativity, memory, and focus. Regularly making time for leisure activities can improve brain chemicals involved in memory, motivation, mood, and impulse control, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. All this gives you more energy for exercise and eating right. Plus, a boost in serotonin has been shown to re-duce sugar or carb cravings.
10. Dreams. Having an abundance of hopes, goals, desires, and aspirations is a sign that you value yourself because it shows that you prioritize what you want for yourself. Having a bucket list of things you want to do before you leave this blue and green globe is a sign of great physical and mental health. I believe we are all unique, beautiful beings with a divine purpose. I find it troubling when I see talented people not nurturing or sharing their gifts with the world and those they love.
MAKING SENSE OF YOUR SCORE
Now, before you go any further, I want you to knock down each deserve level rating by one point. Why would I be so cruel? I find that most people exaggerate scores. They tell me they drink tons of water, but when I examine them closely, I find they could actually drink a few more glasses. When they tell me they eat a healthy diet, they often leave out the Snickers bar they grabbed at the gas station on the way home. So, to get really real, subtract one point from each score. This is your true score for each category
Your overall score: Take a look at your current overall adjusted deserve level scores. You want to have a 9 in each category, and ultimately a 10. If you are lower than that, and it’s rare that someone starts at the high end, it tells you that you have some work to do. I’m not trying to be a downer; raising awareness is the first step to successful change. Knowing is a good thing. Usually the pressures of life don’t allow time to step back and reflect. By looking at all these dimensions of your life at once, you can see if you are in balance or if some areas need more attention. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel about these scores and how you’d like them to change.
Your bottom three scores: Do you see any extreme fluctuations in your scores? For example, if your work is a 9, but family and friends are a 2, it indicates that there is some balancing to be done. Write three simple actions you can do now, one for each category. These should be small actionable steps that you can take today to improve your numbers in these areas. You might say, “I will leave work at six p.m. today so I have time to exercise or spend time with the family.” When you choose to take control, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you see positive changes flow into your life.
Your top three scores: Write three actions (one for each category) that you can take today to improve your numbers or attention in these areas.
Your middle four scores: After you’ve reviewed your highest and lowest categories, you will be left with four categories. These are your middle scores. Write three actions (one for each category) that you can take today to improve your numbers or attention in these areas.
FINAL STEP: POST YOUR INTENTIONS
You now have 10 action steps for your 10 categories. Prioritize your actionable steps from easiest to hardest (this is subjective). Write a short version of these on a sticky note, and put them in a row on your desk. For example, if the first item in your list says, “Clean stacks of papers off my bedroom floor,” then your sticky note would say, “Clean stacks.”
When you have all 10 sticky notes in a row on your desk, start doing your tasks. After you do the first one, throw away the sticky note, until all 10 notes are in the trash. Throwing away each note gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you move forward feeling less weighed down, so by the time you have gotten to the hardest one, you have built up confidence and have a flow going. Don’t come back until all 10 are off your desk! And please comment below to let me know how what this exercise has done for you.
Check out Joel Harper’s website, or click here to buy his book, Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life.