Have you ever settled for something because you couldn’t get what you wanted in the first place? If you said yes, you aren’t alone. I think a majority of people in the world have had to settle at one point in their life for something. The question then becomes how do you change that pattern from becoming a major obstacle in your life? I’ve settled for jobs just to have an income coming in and then didn’t push myself to get out of the comfort zone due to fear. I’ve also settled in relationships because I didn’t think I was worthy of having a healthy relationship with someone even though I craved it. I think it’s a lot like forbidden fruit. We crave things that are often unhealthy for us and giving in to those cravings is often the easiest thing possible. What isn’t easy is learning how to go after the things we want without losing our self worth and will in the process.
If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that self esteem is one of the biggest reasons that we settle for things or it’s our fuel igniter to break the mold and create our best self. It truly does work hand in hand with our attitude. When you feel really good about things, you are more apt to make better decisions, to exercise your body and mind, and to try things you wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I have a very good friend who is happy never pushing for more than he has. I’m not built that way. I don’t think it’s greedy to want more out of life. In fact, I think it’s healthy to want to travel, and to expand your cultural palate as well as to nurture your own educational garden. We live in a world of opportunity. So why do most of us shy away from some of the best experiences life has to offer?
I think it comes down to fear. We, as a society, don’t like rejection. I know I don’t. I’ve literally gotten to the point where it’s difficult to trust my instincts because I’ve been wrong on so many different levels. I’ve been wrong about men in my life. I’ve been wrong about financial decisions and wrong about closing doors that I never should have slammed. The beautiful part of this is that in being wrong, I’ve learned how to make better decisions, not shut doors on opportunities and begun to open myself up to my own issues so that I don’t bring baggage into relationships.
One of the first crucial things that we all need to do is to be aware of our faults. If we don’t recognize the issues we have within ourselves, how can we expect anyone to help us break out of our own barrier? For example, I’ve worked in customer service positions since I was fifteen. There was once upon a time where I felt that I should get other opportunities but I thought if I worked hard, that I would be given the chances. I was wrong. And the worst part was that I created those problems. I didn’t let it be known I wanted to be considered for promotions. And even worse is that I didn’t go out of my way to learn what I needed to in order to move up. I did my job and did it well. The unfortunate thing was that I watched as others who didn’t work as hard, moved up quickly and my resentment grew. Eventually, I would quit. I couldn’t force myself to see things through and that was on me.
I’ve been handling social media accounts for a few different clients now for a while. I really love what I do. I recently had to submit an increase to one of them, not because I wanted to, but because I wasn’t getting information in a timely fashion. I would have to work on every Saturday night, sometimes until midnight, because information wasn’t being sent to me in a timely fashion. That situation is being rectified and I don’t like to do anything to make others mad. At the same token, I don’t like to feel that my time isn’t valuable or appreciated either. There’s a fine line between settling and being taken advantage of. Sometimes you have to go with your heart and gut. This is where self awareness and allowing the actions of others can impact your mindset. Look, I’m not saying to not work with people or places. That would be an idiotic statement. What I am saying is state your needs, find out their needs, and compromise.
Take ownership within yourself. What are you doing that never seems to change? Are you feeling like a robot in the fact that everything you do is the same? What changes can you make to help keep your life invigorating? What are some of the goals and aspirations that you see for yourself? How long do you need to make them a reality? What are new things that you can try each day in order to keep learning and growing? What new folks can you meet in order to expand your network? How can you change your mindset when you are not allowing yourself to expand your horizons? All of these are questions that only you can answer. What are the things that are most important to you and what do you want to accomplish within your life?
When you start to take ownership of yourself and surroundings something amazing happens. You change. Your viewpoints take on a new meaning. Your cultural awareness grows. You aren’t as inhibited as previously thought. You are able to change the course of your life by just making a few minor changes. I went back to school in order to change my life. It was a positive and scary move all at the same time. I don’t regret it for a minute. What I regret is only focusing on school and not on other areas. I need to learn to be more accountable for time-frames. I’m working on it but it’s a work in progress.
Ask Questions. I can’t stress this enough. When we don’t ask questions, we don’t learn. You may not know the questions right off the bat to ask but that’s why it’s critical to do research. Be willing to put yourself out there by acknowledging you don’t have all the answers but are eager to learn solutions to complex issues. It can be challenging but rewarding.
Dare to dream. I’ve heard all my life that if you can dream something you can achieve it. Well, I believe that this statement is accurate.. Things that require changes don’t just happen. There are people in this world who shatter the norm. You may be one of them. I like to believe that we are all capable of significant change. Everything that is worth pursuing starts out as either a dream or idea. Nurture those dreams and ideas. Grow them like the mustard seed. Something small can grow into a big change.
Turn your dreams and ideas into actions. How can you start to turn your dreams and ideas into actions? Make a plan. Ask questions and connect with people who can help you achieve your goals. So what if you fail? At least you try. Some of the most successful ventures have occurred because people tried and that is crucial. Researchers, scientists, and every profession in this world do things that fail consistently only to find success at some point. It’s a part of life. Use those failures to create your success.
Stop procrastinating. I don’t know about all of you but this is one issue I struggle with a lot. It’s worse when depression and anxiety take over. The truth is that procrastination makes it more difficult to get motivated to accomplish things. At some point, it can even make it seem that settling becomes the best option because the procrastination has kept a person from accomplishing the goal they desired.
Life, as we all know, is very short. What we do with our lives is pretty much up to us. The question is what do we want to do with our lives? Do we want to be a difference in our lives and in the lives of others? Or do we wish to be indifferent. We live as we feel. When we feel that we matter, we see our self worth. We see that we are all unique, beautiful, talented, skilled, and creative individuals who are all leaving our marks on this world. Never allow yourselves to settle. At the end of the day, you are the ones who will look in the mirror to see your reflection and see how others view you. Stand tall, proud, and ready to take on whatever life throws at you. You’ve got this. And remember, no one has the right to make you feel that you must settle on anything. Go for your dreams. Let the light within you burn bright so that others can see they are worthy of dignity, self-respect and opportunities.