I write a lot about relationship readiness and the importance of knowing your vision, needs and relationship requirements.
And it’s really important for your relationship happiness to have a deep awareness about all those things so you know what kind of relationship that you really want.
But actually having the relationship that you really want comes down to a decision: to go for what you really want—or to settle.
To get what you really want, you must say “No” to what you don’t want.
It’s simple, but not easy.
What Does It Really Mean to Settle?
I’ve settled for less than I really wanted many times in my life.
I have to admit I still struggle with this sometimes.
My fear will get the better of me and I’ll give in to pacifying my fears even when my true self doesn’t really want to give in.
No one is perfect.
But being aware of my weaknesses AND having a plan to confront these challenges helps me get stronger every time.
But in retrospect, each time I settled for less than what I really wanted, I gave up a part of myself.
I gave up part of myself to accept that “OK” job, buy that “OK” car, enter that “OK” relationship…
Each time I settled, I gave up part of the vision for the life that I really wanted.
I gave up believing that I could have the life or relationship that I really wanted.
I resigned myself to “taking what I could get” because I didn’t really believe that I could get—or create—any better.
What Settling Taught Me About Life and Relationships
In hindsight, what could I have done differently?
Honestly, probably nothing.
I had lessons I needed to learn, a journey I needed to take that eventually led me to find a deeply fulfilling relationship.
But what did I learn from making all those choices that seemed right at the time?
Here’s a few things:
- Every choice has long-term consequences that are predictable if you’re paying attention
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- I listened to my fears and doubts way too much
- My choices and results are a direct reflection of how worthy I feel and how well I’m taking care of myself
- Life doesn’t necessarily work the way you want, need or expect, it works the way it works
Can You Avoid Settling?
Is it possible to catch yourself settling before it’s too late?
Yes, you just have to be highly aware of the NEGATIVE and DISEMPOWERING stories that you might be telling yourself; such as:
- I don’t want to be alone
- I REALLY want to be a relationship
- I’m tired of looking, I might as well choose this one
- I won’t find anything/anyone better
- I’d rather have this now than risk nothing later
- I don’t deserve true happiness
- 80% is good enough
In one form or another, I used to tell myself these stories.
Examining these statements now, it’s easy to see they’re all FALSE.
Looking back, I knew I was telling myself these things, but my awareness was dim enough, and my self-esteem low enough that I allowed these fears to dictate my choices.
If you’re wondering whether you’re settling in your relationship, I encourage you to take a look at the thoughts that are coming up for you.
When you feel stuck between choices and you’re feeling fear and anxiousness, what are you telling yourself in those moments?
What fears are coming up?
Those fears often point to beliefs that are unconsciously holding you back from what you really want.
What It Takes to Have the Relationship That You Truly Want
Having the relationship that you really want comes down to a decision: to go for what you really want—or to settle.
All the times I talked myself into accepting 80% prevented me from finding and experiencing 100%.
To get what you really want, you have to:
Be aware of what you want. Check your relationship readiness, and get clear on your vision, needs and relationship requirements. These set the foundation for relationship success. What is your “100%”?
Believe in the possibility that you can have what you want. Beliefs influence our thoughts and our thoughts influence our actions. Check the stories that you might be telling yourself.
If you don’t believe that you deserve it or you don’t believe that you can have it, chances are you’ll never take the action necessary to attain it.
Go for what you really want. Go for your 100%. Not 90%, not 80%—go for your 100%.
How would your life be different if you had the relationship that you truly wanted?
How would your energy, health, level of happiness and outlook on life be?
The way we show up in our most intimate relationships often has repercussions in the way that we show up and live in other important areas of our life.
If we settle in one area, we tend to settle in other areas of our life.
And as a result, we don’t live our full potential.
And it’s tiring, draining and a poison to our health and self-esteem when we continually deny our own growth and self-expression.
It hurts when our soul doesn’t want to settle for less but our fears tell us we can’t get any better.
The truth is, when you settle for less, you get less.
Who or what are you truly living for if you’re not living to create a life that’s deeply fulfilling and meaningful to you?