While growing up, my family labeled this trait as “stubbornness” or having rigid standards, especially in my collectivist culture where being compliant (READ: a doormat) is a preferred feminine quality.
But their opinion did not dissuade me one bit, because I strongly believe that we get in life what we settle for, and most of the time people tend to settle for less than they deserve.
I believe in the great saying by Michelangelo which states that “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
The biggest reason why people settle for less is because they give in to the voices of their fears, insecurities or external pressure.
I often see people who have chosen mediocre or “safe” options in their careers, relationships and social situations. I can’t help but wonder which secret dream or passion they sacrificed in order to live in alignment with other people’s expectations and to experience this sense of “false security”.
They forget the power that they were born with the power to create whatever they want in our lives. The truth is that we are hardly ever victims of our circumstances but a victim of the past decisions we made that weren’t the best one’s for us.
In order to make more authentic choices we should remember that we are born with the power to shape our experiences, based on a dance between our personal will and how the Universe responds to our actions.
If we want to create an ideal future, we have to be willing to be proactive, and to take those needed steps based on our own inner guidance and desires. The Universe cannot deliver if you hang up your dancing shoes!
An exception would be if you are in a situation where you don’t have much choice due to pressing circumstances, and where survival is the main priority. During these cases, it does make sense to lay down the sword, but only temporarily until conditions become more favorable.
A classic example would be of someone who becomes unemployed during an economic crisis, looking for a job desperately to pay his bills and feed his family. In a case like this, it would be wise to be less picky, but I still see this as a temporary “learning experience” that needs to be endured until the economic conditions get better. It’s a minor detour from the walk towards his vision.
Now if you are in a situation where you have more leeway, then you will need a different strategy to figure out how to proceed. You need an “internal GPS” that will help you choose opportunities that will increase your growth and progress.
To begin this process, you need to tune into your inner counsel. Consider each option and see how your body responds- do you feel a sense of ease, comfort, and expansiveness? Or do you experience discomfort and niggling feelings of worry and doubt? Make a note of this.
Next, you also have to ask yourself “Am I convinced that this will help me realize the bigger vision and goals that I have in life?” If the answer is no, keep pushing ahead until you find what works for you.
The danger with settling for less than what you deserve is that you will regret it for the rest of your life. Unborn dreams and abandoned plans are like moths that will eat away at your spirit.
You might lead a comfortable life, but your hunger for meaning and purpose will never be satisfied. A feeling of restlessness and feeling that you betrayed yourself will linger.
So don’t be afraid to push ahead. Don’t be afraid of what others might say, because at the end of the day, the person you need to be most true to is yourself.
You should be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end your life and say: “You know what? No matter what I have achieved in my life, I know that I gave it my best and I’m at peace with where life has taken me.”
All my best on your journey,
Did you like this post? Sign up below and I’ll send you more awesome posts like this every week.