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How to Stop Settling for Less in Relationships, Work, and Life

Do you ever feel like you live a mediocre life? You may take the path of least resistance because it feels safe. You have a steady-paying job, but you don’t like it very much. You have dreams of switching careers but you are too afraid to make the shift. You may even find your marriage, relationships, or friendships mediocre. It’s not that you’re terribly unhappy; it’s that you feel unfulfilled. There’s a greater purpose out there but you can’t seem to reach it. It feels like that is for other people, and not for you.

Many people settle in life, only to regret it later. While no circumstance is perfect, it’s not healthy to always choose the opposite of what you want. Most of us live non-extraordinary lives, and there’s no need to be rich and famous. This is about pursuing those things you want and rejecting those you don’t. Read ahead for tips on how to stop settling.

1. Be Brutally Honest About Your Circumstances

First, you need to be completely honest about your feelings. Pretending you are happy when you aren’t is not going to help matters. Think about your job, your relationships, and your goals. What parts of those are you unhappy with? What regrets do you have? What would you change today, if anything was possible? Answering these questions without judging yourself will help you get acquainted with your true feelings. This is the first step towards healing.

2. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

We settle primarily because we are afraid. Humans are creatures of habit and we get comfortable doing things a certain way. We are afraid to step outside the box. Maybe we feel we are too old or not educated enough to get ahead. These are lies we are telling ourselves. While it’s true that some changes are easier to make when you are young, time will keep moving on regardless. There have been those in their 80s who have finished high-school diplomas and those in their 50s who have made risky career moves. You may feel afraid, but once you take the first step, the rest will be easier. As FDR said, the only fear is fear itself.

3. Realize That You’re Just as Capable as Anyone Else

We tend to think people are smarter or more capable than us and that’s why they get ahead. While intelligence is important, it’s drive and discipline that put some over the top. The next-door neighbor didn’t finish his degree because he’s smarter than you. He finished it because he stopped making excuses and went ahead and did it. While we all struggle with unique circumstances that make it harder to get ahead, there’s always a path forward. We just need to recognize that we are as capable as the next person.

4. Nourish Your Body and Create Better Habits

Your body, mind, and spirit are all connected. One cannot be fully healthy if the other three are functioning at half capacity. This is why psychologists tend to advise exercise and a healthy diet for their patients. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about gaining a sense of control and keeping the body in check. When we are unhappy, we feel sluggish and unmotivated. Exercise and diet play a huge role in our confidence levels and motivation. Furthermore, start creating better habits today. Turn off upsetting news. Minimize time spent on social media. Use this time to focus on achieving your goals. Anyone can learn to be more disciplined; it just takes practice and patience.

5. Ask for Help

If you continue to settle and are unsure of how to fix your self-confidence, consider seeking help from a therapist. A therapist can help identify why you suffer from these issues and help provide solutions. He/she can also be a great listening ear and an unbiased source of advice. Many therapists use cognitive-behavioral strategies to help patients overcome irrational fears and phobias. Research therapists who specialize in anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.

Do you always feel like you settle for less than you deserve? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.

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