Stop settling for less

Why do ‘we’ as in people in general, settle? Comfort, fear of the unknown, self-doubt, lack of confidence, laziness? I am sure there are many more reasons which I will not list today.

Settling means we are aiming too low, at the point at which we can do it with our eyes closed.  Settling means we are aiming for less than we deserve. As the saying goes if you expect less you will receive less.  Why should a person have less than they desire? If it were your friend or family member I guarantee you would encourage them to punch above their weight and not below it. Yet how often do we go for less and talk ourselves out of what we really do want.

We all have the ability to learn, granted some faster than others. Whilst one person will apply for a job knowing they do not meet all the criteria, another will only apply for jobs in which they meet every single one. Person A probably has the intention of learning the skills required in advance and on the job. Person B is not confident enough to put themselves in a position where they have to learn new skills.

What if they are too slow?
What if their colleagues discover they are less informed than they showed at interview and on the application?
What if they fail?

What they should be asking is;

What if I soar?

In relationships including platonic friendships, one can choose to settle for less by not addressing issues when they arise and for tolerating unreasonable behaviour.  I have been in this position and over time my eyes opened to the fact that I deserve to be in the company of those who add to my life and have my best interests at heart. In turn, I am the same with others. Whether a friend or family member, as an adult you have the right to decide who you wish to be in your life.  When one believes their feelings, opinions and general well-being does not matter they are likely to undervalue themselves. This then manifests itself in the dynamics of their relationships – usually “all give” and “no take”.

Tips to stop settling;
1. Be honest with what you desire – there is no need to discuss with anyone just write it down
2. Be willing to learn whether on the job or self-taught (so many free online courses)
3. Aim higher – if you are sitting an exam or test aim for the maximum score
4. Set yourself goals and identify the time frame in which you will meet them.

So whether you want to finally pass your driving test, learn to speak in Italian or move up to a more senior role take an action today which will bring you closer to achieving this.

Can you think back to a period in your life when you settled?
What encouraged you to come out of your comfort zone?
What would you advise someone who has a tendency to settle with less?


20 thoughts on “Stop settling for less”

  1. What a great post – I really enjoyed this read. I’m a firm believer in not settling and I’m always conscious in avoiding complacency whilst striving for better too. I know my worth and settling is not an option!


  2. Perseverance, hard work & continuous self-improvement opens new roads of opportunities. Then we do not need to search for new goals, they come to us naturally. We just need to do what we are supposed to at this very moment.


  3. “Settling” is one of the things that disappoints me about myself, sometimes. Funny, but those times I settled left me unsettled within myself later. I had sold my birthright for a bowl of soup, like Esau did in the Old Testament: poor bargain.

    And I agree that settling happens less now that I am older..much older. I guess I have been to too many funerals of friends and loved ones and wondered what was left undone in their hearts.


  4. This post made me think — I settled for less when I was younger, mainly because I was raised in a home where we were taught not to “expect.” But I no longer settle as I’ve aged. Like Doreen, I’ve had to let go of friendships that no longer met my needs. Life is filled with choices that we have to make every day. We shouldn’t choose to settle for less.


  5. Over the years, I consiously decided to settle whenever it concerns something that really doesn’t matter. It’s actually a good way to alleviate stress over the important things–which should never compromised.


  6. Wonderful article Phoenicia! Of course, I agree with you, especially your point about being honest with what you really want in life. Many people – especially women – find that a difficult thing to do. For some, it’s a matter of internal self-limiting beliefs and for others, there are tangible obstacles, such as the example Catarina shared. But even then, it’s only “settling” if the lawyer chooses to see it that way.

    Many people who migrated to America have found themselves in similar situations and gone on to find success working in other fields, but you have to be willing to embrace the opportunities in the detour.


  7. True. we have to aim for the stars which will prevent settling for less. Mind you there are millions of people in the world who have to settle for less because they have had to leave their county because of war. At the moment above all Syrians. One example is a Syrian lawyer I came across. But since he is educated in sharia his education is worthless in Sweden. He would need to take a Swedish law degree and before doing that learn absolutely fluent English both written and spoken. Well enough to be able to write an academic essay in Swedish and so forth. Will he and his family be able to afford having him studying for at least six years and the student loans necessary? He may very well have to take whatever job he can get in order for them to get a decent life. Not least since his wife is not educated.


  8. I love this post, Phoenicia. I have found that as I get older, I am less willing to settle. That means if friendships are not nurturing my soul and spirit, I am willing to let them fall off my radar. I do not have the time or energy to nurture something that does not nurture me.

    Liked by 1 person

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