Imagine that you want to buy a pink car so you go to the dealership and they show you this amazing range of cars including pink ones which you express your interest in and now you’re super excited.
But when they later present a car to you, it’s not pink.
You feel a little disappointed but then wonder if maybe you were expecting too much afterall ‘do you really need a car that’s pink?’, blue is okay too.
You decide to accept the blue car because you really wanted a car and it’s what the dealership offered you.
But when you’re driving around, something feels off because you know that this car isn’t what you wanted, you settled.
We settle for all kinds of reasons:
- We allow people convince us that our wants/expectations are too much
- We don’t want to offend people
- We don’t believe that we deserve the things we want
This isn’t a post about cars (of which I know next to nothing about), it’s a post about settling and for a lot of us if we do it (even in small ways) much more than we realise.
I once new someone who’s infamous line was ‘But why?’.
It made for a difficult relationship when you were questioned every time you said know. It would go something like can you (insert favour here)? I’d reply no, then be hit with but why, I’d say I don’t want to and be hit with but why again.
It was incredibly frustrating and even years later I’m irked greatly and become incredibly sharp when people don’t take no for an answer.
What really got me was that I was terrified of ever rocking the boat so saying no was a big deal. When my no wasn’t accepted it felt like it wasn’t ‘safe’ for me to be myself because when I tried it was being rejected.
So I suppose I’m still moved by those past experiences. But what I’m learning that the lesson is to be okay with saying no without any attachment to how the recipient responds because you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.
I’ve never been a career person. But I’ve always thought I had a purpose, some thing I was meant to do. I have no idea what that was meant to be.
I don’t have any particular talents outside of daydreaming, keeping a journal and being an ideas person although they are things I’ve been doing for over 10 years so perhaps they are merely practices rather than talents.
But I was work bound a few days contemplating my purpose in life knowing that it couldn’t have been the building I was heading to for the day.
I started thinking about how there’s little chance of me achieving much if I stay in this very limiting box that I often put myself in as a result of being anxious.
I’m much more out of the box than I used to be but what I’m learning is that your purpose, your joy whatever that thing is for you in life will only be found when you’re being your true self.
When things aren’t going your way in life its easy to feel like things are out of control. Afterall if you had your way things would be going swimmingly, right. We often get caught up in thinking that life hates us, that we’ve been hard done by or that it’s only us that things are going through challenging things.
Sometimes we end up playing this victim role declaring how everyone treated you poorly, when perhaps you didn’t set boundaries or that nothing is going right, when you didn’t stop and access if the way you were doing things was the best action to take.
I’ve played the victim role in the past but these days I’ve shifted my perspective because I know that I play a big part in how my life plays out whether things are good or not.
Its much easier when you take responsibility because if I ‘messed things up’ then I can also fix things. But if it was someone else that caused all the bad stuff in my life then I’d probably grow to resent them and expect them to fix things.
I’ve seen the victim mentality in others and I do my best not to judge because I haven’t been through what they’ve been through and I once had that same mindset. But what I always try to do is remind people that they can change things themselves.
Once you become aware of something that’s the beginning of coming to realise that you don’t just have to allow things to happen in your life that you aren’t okay with.
Maybe that means finding a job that doesn’t drain you, spending time with people that treat you well, spending time with yourself, seeing a councillor/therapist or letting people know how they’ve made you feel.
Most importantly for me was reminding myself that I can’t control anything other than how I respond to things. If I want better in life, then I have to do better. It’s silly to be discontent with your life and think that it’s everything around you that needs to change.
It’s okay to admit that if you change certain things in your life you’ll be happier.
When you start with yourself you’ll notice that everything around you will start to change too.
I’ve been thinking about how when you give yourself space from people you can end up realising that actually you’re quite content without that person being in your life.
And then days or weeks later when the space is no longer there you find yourself holding back because in that time of space you realised that what you have with this person is nothing more than familiarity.
The old things that would draw you in don’t have the effect that they used to. The things that you ignored even though they bothered you are no longer things you’re willing to over look.
Space taught me to remember the things that I have learnt. For it is in moments of solitude that I am reminded of how much I love myself and all the things I want for myself and it’s okay to settle but it’s not okay to settle for other people.
I was recently reminded that no, I do not always need to push through and continue on as normal if I’m not feeling well.
I decided to take a much needed break and just rest. I lay in bed and drifted in and out of slumber, reflected on how I was feeling within myself and drank ginger tea.
It felt amazing to not have pushed on with working, studying and writing. Granted writing doesn’t take much out of me physically but I also needed to give my mind a rest which I don’t do enough.
As I lay in bed with my fleece on and a blanket at my feet with no phone, book, laptop or pen and paper, I realised that this simple act of nothingness had become a rarity in my life.
It was like a sort of informal mediation. It was much needed and I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was that it took me feeling unwell to simply take a moment for myself.
I used to think that I was jealous of people online because they had more than I did. More money, more friends, more clothes, more holidays, longer hair etc. I used to think that I wanted what they had or that I wanted a life more like theirs.
But that isn’t the case, the truth is that there are tonne of people that I see online that have things that I don’t have. However I don’t truly want what they have.
I’ve learnt that the feeling of jealousy is actually just my own discontentment because I’m not focusing enough on myself. If I have plans and aspirations but I spend my evenings after work watching other people live their lives and perhaps even doing things I’ve wanted to do in my own life, of course I’m not going to feel good.
As much as I think it’s great to consume stuff online, in my personal experience getting too interested in other peoples lives can allow us to neglecting our own.
So maybe instead of watching youtube for an hour, work on something for yourself. Exercise, read, write, cook, start a new project or maybe finish one.