When your current position doesn’t match up with where you want to be, you have two choices. One is to make the decision to pursue the dream and the other is to pretend it doesn’t matter and attempt to ignore it.
In the names of responsibility and sacrifice, we often neglect our deepest desires. This differs from putting aside frivolous wants. Settling is about abandoning the most authentic expression of who you are. Here are five telltale signs that you may be settling for less than you deserve.
1. You are constantly drained.
People often think of settling as being able to check out and coast along. However, if you check in with your internal barometer, you’ll find otherwise. Engaging in activity that is misaligned with your purpose is ultimately exhausting — physically and/or mentally. Only when you are in flow is your energy replenished.
2. You make dangerous compromises.
This is especially true when it comes to relationships. We say we want one thing and end up with the opposite. When dealing with another person, of course, accommodations are made. However, make sure you compromise on preferences and not on values. Settling will result in you not being able to recognize yourself because you will have violated your core.
3. You feel stuck, or restless.
The funny thing about settling is that you don’t necessarily feel settled. There is a feeling of nothingness, even though you often try to count your blessings to convince yourself otherwise. Being grateful for what you do have is a great practice but it cannot erase the emptiness of purpose that is unmet.
4. You are secretly envious.
The success of others may be a serious irritant. Even if you outwardly offer congratulations, you may be secretly seething inside. Settlers can never be completely happy for someone who is bold enough to live out their dreams.
5. You rationalize playing small.
Settlers are brilliant rationalizers. Excuses are often made for why the road not traveled wasn’t all that appealing. There are a multitude of reasons for why things didn’t turn out and, “I was scared to try” is never one of them. You may also try to minimize the great turnout of someone who did venture in that direction. It’s not always about living a grand life. It is about living the fullness of what life has to offer you.
Understand that leaving behind your soul’s desires is never without consequence. Settling may masquerade as practicality, but nothing is worth the prolonged erosion of your truest self. Remember, you wouldn’t have the longing if you didn’t have the capacity to see it through.