I don’t know about you, but anytime I’ve settled for anything I always got a weird feeling in my stomach. I’m not sure if it’s my way of telling myself that I could do better, it’s not the right choice, or just my body’s way of literally feeling me settle. Any way you look at it, it doesn’t feel good. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you’re about to have a really uncomfortable talk with someone–anxiety, nerves, a pit in your stomach, you get it, it’s unpleasant. But I’m wondering, do other people feel this way towards settling? I’m starting to think the answer is no, because as I look around at the people I surround myself with, I see a lot of settling. Some in careers, some in relationships, some in lifestyle choices, some in simple things like where to vacation. I can’t imagine everyone walking around feeling like shit all the time from all the settling they are doing….which leads me to believe that my reaction to settling is uncommon.
I have to admit, when someone I love purposely chooses to settle it’s not an easy thing to accept. I want nothing but the best for all of my friends and family. Seeing anyone I care about make choices out of convenience, ease, or fear drives me crazy to a point where I lose sleep over it. Over the years I’ve had to really come to terms with the fact that this might be my own issue. If someone else is “happy” with their choices, then why am I over here being all neurotic about it? Just let them live. But the reality is, I’m bent out of shape over it because I see them living a mediocre version of what they could have.
Paul is one of the biggest advocates for not settling. He has lectured just about every single person in my life at some point about settling. Like I said, it could be something super insignificant like which credit card to apply for, or it could be settling for a guy that isn’t right for you, but he will make sure you know you’re settling. It all comes from a good place, honestly. That is something Paul and I have in common–our drive for more, for better, for the best version of anything. We work hard to achieve our goals and live our best life because…YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! And that’s the truth. Why settle when you can just work harder for what you actually want?!
Somewhere in there is the need for instant gratification. Our generation (& the one after us) is so accustomed to living a life of instant everything. Why wait when you can have something now? Somewhere in there is also the need for comfort and familiarity. Why venture out of your comfort zone when you know what makes you feel safe and comfortable is right here? That is the settling mentality, which is nothing I identify with. Good things take longer, require more work, more effort, which all requires motivation. Motivation and hard work just don’t scare me & they never have. I realized at a young age that anything is attainable–a stupid-expensive designer bag, my dream trip to the Amalfi Coast, finding someone who is your equal to spend your life with, living your best life. I knew then (& now) that hard work would be part of my everyday existence and I was okay with that.
Making hard decisions is synonymous with not settling. Who likes making hard decisions? Not me. Did I enjoy breaking up with my previous boyfriends when I realized they weren’t right for me? Absolutely not. What is the right decision? Absolutely. Was it easy walking away from a comfortable paying job to pursue an unknown business with no money to my name? Um, no. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’ve obviously made poor choices in my life, not every decision is clear-cut. I’ve been broke, I’ve been jobless, I’ve been stagnant, I’ve been unhappy. But I learned from every bad decision I made to help me make better ones the next time around. Not settling for mediocrity has been the one consistent force behind every good thing in my life. It was never an option in my mind to live an okay life. I wanted a fabulous life! I didn’t grow up with a lot of money but I watched my parents stretch what we had to give me and my sisters good life experiences–travel, culture, parties, LIFE!
I’m going to leave you with one final thought. Your attitude and mentality towards settling is everything. If you want more for yourself, go get more. It might take you a lot longer, it will probably be hard, you’ll get frustrated and you might even fail, but you cannot let these obstacles stop you. I hate to sound so cliche but you really do only get one opportunity to live your life and I just truly believe that every single human is capable of living the life they want. Don’t be complacent or content, strive for absolute happiness and fulfillment. I promise it’s worth it. Below I’ve made a short list of thoughts / feeling / tips that help me identify when I’m settling & how to get out of it.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SETTLING:
-Vocalize your feelings. I cannot function in life if something is eating away at me. Fortunately my husband gets to hear my every thought about stuff like this & talking through my feelings, and what I intend to do about it instantly makes me feel better.
-Create an action plan. Write it out, talk it out, whatever works. Come up with the next steps for achieving what you want / getting out of the situation you’re in.
-Take initiative. If something feels off, address it. Literally, sit down, and start thinking out loud about what’s going on. It might take a minute to pin-point what the issue is. Don’t let things get to a place where it’s “too late” to fix or change.
-Be open to change. Having an open mind towards what your life might look like after you make a change is super important. Things aren’t always smooth, so be prepared for a mess or challenge. Just know that everything can be mended and you’ll get through it.
-Find support. It can be in the person you confide in (above), or your family or group of friends. You just have to feel supported since it can be tough to make life changes. I couldn’t mentally handle all the decisions I’ve made without my support system.
-Compare. They tell you not to, but at some point you have to recognize that your peers might be living the life you want. I’m not recommending you go down the rabbit hole of self loathe by any means, but use their success as a tool to help you get motivated. I find it comforting to see people who started at a similar place as me succeeding, it just further validates that I can do it, too.
-Change your attitude. People with bad attitudes towards other people for no apparent reason just means jealousy in my eyes. It’s an ugly trait to be so negative and I really try to keep toxic attitudes out of my life. Forcing yourself to see things in a more positive light will physically and mentally prepare you for the changes you’ll be making in your life.
-Create a vision board. At the start of the year a friend of mine hosted a vision board party for us to set our intentions for 2018. It was genius! We drank wine, gossiped, and thumbed through magazines to inspire us to think outside of the box. It doesn’t have to be such a serious activity, as you want your life to be fun and full. Pull out pages, glue them to a board, and let that be your first indicator towards what you need to achieve if you didn’t know where to begin.
What did you think of this post? Too philosophical? Or was it helpful? I love sharing my thoughts on topics that I’m passionate about so thought you guys might enjoy it. Let me know!