Not A Break Up But A Shake Up
“Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” Mandy Hale
That I know is true!
Many of you reading those opening words from Mandy Hale might assume that they refer only to the heartbreak of an intimate relationship ending. However, it is applicable to just about every heartbreak imaginable. The loss of a job or even the end of a career that you worked years to climb the rungs of the ladder. A longtime friendship that crashed and burned. The repossession of your dream home or car. Just about anything that you cherished. If you invested time and energy nurturing it, you feel broken that comes to an end.
It hurts like crazy and you have no idea how or if you will ever recover from the suffering you are undergoing. Time, however, if not heals will at least put a scab of the wound. Job opportunities begin opening. You meet new people and one or two stand out as possible friends. You are encouraged to go online and check out dating sites – at least to browse and ease the lingering heartache.
Settling For The Bird In Hand
Months later, who knows maybe many months later, a year even, you have a job offer. Not quite what you had hoped for and your skill-set is way above what is needed. You give it some thought and ponder whether you should wait until you have a couple of offers at least. But, you are not sure. The bills are piling up. You have scaled back your lifestyle so much that the seams are showing. Your best friend keeps reminding you that a “bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” Uncertain how long it might take to have a comparable offer – you accept the job. You tell yourself that it is an “in the meantime situation.”
After much tears and dark thoughts that you never fathomed could enter your mind, you let your friend create a profile for you. Weeks pass and while your inbox is filled with all sorts of offers to meet, have coffee or more – your thoughts are never far from your lost love. And then that message comes on the day you decide to take down that online profile. “It must be synchronicity,” you think. Well, the height is a bit off and they smoke but you notice so many mix-matched couples these days, so you let that slide. As for the smoking, there is always the patio. Your dear friend’s words pop in your head again. She and those damn birds! Without thinking too much because you know what happens when you do, you go for coffee.
At the start of the year, I shared a video post on this topic – “Satisfied Vs. Settling,” and asked readers to share their thoughts and experiences. I was curious to know whether in certain circumstances it is okay to settle on being satisfied. Check out that post here and notice the difference between the examples shared then and today’s conversation about settling.
Here is the bottom line: Settling is grounded in fear of the unknown and that includes not knowing who you are and what you deserve.
Confronted by loss and major changes or upheavals in our lives, like a drowning man we reach out for anything to save ourselves. As we sputter and splatter about, desperately trying to make sense of our lives, anything that comes with a seeming promise of “less pain,” we latch on to it.
Many argue that addiction rates are skyrocketing due to our decreasing ability to handle change. Children are no longer being taught the life skills they will need to cope, especially in this fast paced world. Frankly, parents are finding it hard to understand the changes in society over the last few decades so how can they be expected to fully equip their offsprings? So we see millions settling for the drugs and alcohol to help them make sense of things.
Then there are those who are settling for the next warm body that comes along to ease the pain of losing their significant other. Sex has become meaningless. That is not meant to be religious observation. It is a sad fact.
Knowing What You Deserve
Out of fear, we do, say and hold on to what distracts us from what most needs our attention – our soul or inner person, if you prefer. We have forgotten who we are and so settle for the first pony that gallops into town.
Many months ago, I offered a technique that might help more of us reach in and meet with ourselves, reconnect and flip the fear into fearsome. Check out the SWAP© technique and flip your fear, and stop settling for the “bird in hand.”
Rob Liano says it best:
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it.
If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less.
You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here.
Life starts now, live, love, laugh and let your light shine!”
Do hope you find my SWAP© technique useful. Share your thoughts below in the comments section of this conversation, your own experiences with settling and any suggestions you might have for our readers.