I have a thing with “settling”. It is NOT my jam. I hate it in fact. It is the kryptonite to my superman if you will.
Part of why I hate it so much is because I have done it before – and for long periods of time- like years even- and it sucks. If you’ve ever settled, you know what I’m talking about. It’s such an awful feeling that I am hyper-aware of anything that feels even remotely like settling.
Which also sucks.
Why? Because, I can swing the pendulum from “settling” to “avoiding” and both of those things get you nowhere. Staying stuck and just not moving are two sides of the same coin. Settling is awful because it deprives you of what you truly want and it holds you hostage. Settling makes you the victim. Settling is you giving up yourself and on your desires/dreams. It robs you of every ounce of life force you have. It is a vampire. Digging in your heels and avoiding might feel a bit more validating and rebellious- which can feel like energy- but avoiding also robs you of living large because you still aren’t going anywhere. It also holds you hostage.
Settling sucks and so does avoiding, so what can you do?
Here are my top 5 tips /strategies that help me:
1) Get yourself some solid & unbiased support. I have a therapist. His name is Charles and he is AMAZING. He is the one who brought this habit of mine to my attention – and called it what it is. Funny how we don’t recognize our own crap sometimes isn’t it?!?
He helped me see how I got to this place of hating settling and avoiding things because of it. He is the one who really helped me to see how I was avoiding potentially cool things because I was so against settling…and reminded me that “strategy is not settling”.
I also have a coach who helps to keep me to strategize + grow + work toward my big pie in the sky dreams.
They both call out the BS of mine that I try to justify or have justified to myself. Having an outside (preferably trained professional) is an absolute must if you want to grow + do big things and not settle for anything less.
2) Check in. Settling feels like $hit. Even if you can logically justify it, it just feels awful. It’s easy to ignore things or go with the flow, but if you intentionally take time to check in with yourself about things, you’ll get some clarity.
3) Don’t forget to include yourself! Settling is giving up and giving in. Settling is sacrifice. Compromise and strategy, on the other hand, are problem-solving tools. When checking in, double check if things in your life are settling, strategy or compromise.
What’s the difference?
Sacrifice (Settling) is one sided – it’s you doing all the heavy lifting and giving up things that are important to you or adjusting your values over and over again. It’s you giving up and giving in constantly and losing yourself in the process.
Compromise and strategy include you as part of the negotiations. This brings me back to #1 – having an unbiased person to navigate this is incredibly beneficial!
4) Get really clear on what it is you want/are working toward. It’s hard to settle when you know what the F you truly want. Get clear and make a decision that’s what you are going for. No matter what. Decide that you aren’t going to accept anything less than that. Sing it loud and proud. When you get clear + own what you truly desire, there is no room for playing small (i.e. settling / avoiding).
5) Being Adult Enough to Take It Back or Pivot– It’s easier to type out / say than it is to do. However, if/when you realize you’ve settled or been caught in a cycle of sacrifice/ giving in or avoiding– first, own it and acknowledge it. Say it out loud.
Then make a change. If you agreed to something that isn’t right for you or it’s time to step down or step back from something. Do it. If it’s time to do something else or to explore what it is you want, now is the time. If it’s time to make a change. Make it.
It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but the alternative of settling + staying stuck or avoiding is much worse. P.S. Refer back to #1 – because it helps having someone cheering you on as you do the hard work.
Here’s to you being the superman/superwoman/superperson you are – without settling or sacrifice!