Episode 15. Stop Trying To “Earn Your Keep”

If you’re the entitled type and you think you’re God’s gift to the human race, this episode is not for you.  You already know what a gift you are. If you feel like you always need to be working hard to earn respect and feel good about yourself…pull up a seat, this episode is for you. 

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “you have to earn your keep”.  The idea that “you have to earn your keep” is actually a limiting belief. It implies that you’re not worthy.  It also implies that you’re undeserving of success if you haven’t worked hard.

This limiting belief can impact you in different ways.   You might feel like you need to work hard to be worthy of success.  This might result in you working when you don’t need to be. You might have a hard time taking a day off.  If you have this limiting belief, you might make hard work a way of life, when you could be enjoying your life with efficient and effective work.

For example, some housewives might feel like they need to do more so they take on side jobs or start a small business just to “earn their keep” (not because they are passionate about it).  Personally, I catch myself staying at my desk instead of going to ride a horse because subconsciously I feel I need to earn my keep before I can have fun with my horses.  

We sometimes say a horse needs to “earn his keep”    Do you think horses believe they have to earn their keep? No.  Do we believe babies need to earn their keep? No. 

When is it we decide a child needs to earn their keep? Maybe you can reframe your thinking about “earning your keep”.  Perhaps helping out at home is just a responsibility that comes with being part of a family. Maybe doing chores and tasks is not about proving you are worth keeping around, but about working together as a family. 

Sometimes people talk poorly of others who they perceive to be lazy or take advantage of “the system” because they are not “earning their keep”.  There are different perspectives when we are considering who is worthy and who is not. Who decides that we’ve “earned our keep”?  

I believe we are all worthy.  

The idea that you have to earn your keep can limit your joy.   If you are always working hard to earn your keep, you might miss out on travel, social experiences or other enjoyable parts of life. 

Many riders carry the limiting belief of “I’m not worthy”.   They might feel like they haven’t ridden enough, so they don’t feel worthy of success.   Even if you’ve only rode twice this week, you are deserving of success.  Don’t let your limiting beliefs trick you into believing that you don’t deserve success.  

Sometimes riders feel that they are unworthy of the success they have achieved.  This keeps them from standing in the power of their win and “owning” that success.    They will deflect success because it doesn’t feel like they’ve earned it.

Feeling like you have to “earn your keep” will leave you overworked and undervalued.  You’ll never feel like you’ve done enough.    

You may also project that belief onto your horse and expect him to provide a monetary or measurable effort in return for your inputs.  Meanwhile, your horse isn’t even aware of this idea and there is a good chance that just the opposite will happen so you can learn the lesson that horses aren’t here to earn their keep (that’s your rule, not theirs).

Whether you ride every day or not, you are worthy of success.

Put in the effort required to achieve your goals, but know that you are awesome just the way you are.  You are enough.  Catch yourself when you opt out of things because you feel unworthy or when you take on something more because you need to “earn your keep”.   Are you doing this to validate your existence and to earn your keep? Or is it something you actually want to do with your time?

When you catch yourself trying to “earn your keep”, remind yourself that you are enough in all that you’re already doing.  Take some time off. Enjoy yourself. Take a deep breath, stay present and ride the stride.


This episode is sponsored by Stride Wear.  Stride Wear is apparel with intention.  Check out the latest designs on the website.  You’ll be sure to find a great item for yourself and maybe a Christmas gift for someone else!  

Join the conversation!  Share your ideas in The Rider’s Mind Community on Facebook.  

Want to connect?  Find me on Instagram or Facebook.

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