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The dangers of settling

There are few things I’m absolutely certain about. 

First, that peanut butter and banana is, and always will be, the most dynamic duo. 

And second, that to SETTLE, is one of the greatest ‘dangers’ we willingly (or unwillingly) gravitate towards. 

Values

This is all to do with our values, which are the ‘behaviours or actions that are important to us, and guide the choices we make’. (See how to find your own here – skip to 4.30). 

This is especially true for values of COMFORT and SECURITY. 

I’ve made countless decisions in the past that were affected by comfort for the present moment. Coupled with my need for security + certainty of knowing how life would pan out, I avoided life changes that could’ve increased my fulfilment. 

Vague, give examples please

For example, my jobs in the past. 

I’ve realised that retail and I are acquaintances, no more no less. I nabbed a retail job at 17 and decided to continue in this field because I had the experience now. 

I wasn’t planning on climbing the ranks in retail, and couldn’t see myself staying long term. Neither did I completely hate my work; though my value of freedom clashed regularly with theirs of routine and structure. 

Despite knowing I was unsatisfied, I decided to stay because:

1. It was easy and predictable work (I could spend actual brain energy on uni) 

2. Social time (I had friends who kept my shifts fun) 

3. Good pay for the work + responsibility I had (Aus minimum wage is a godsend) 

4. What would happen post-quitting was uncertain, but at least my current ‘meh’ situation was certain (fear of the unknown)

5. Nothing was that bad for me to quit (the silent but most pervasive killer) 

You can see how comfort and security oozes out of these reasons. I ignored my other values for growth and learning because I was comfortable. I wasn’t happy, nor was I unhappy. 

And that, I find, is the most dangerous of all. 

Threshold

There’s been too many situations where I’ve found myself settling, and it’s not until after that I’m able to realise just how silently harmful it was. 

When things are REALLY bad, we’re able to abort mission because it’s so against what we can tolerate. This quick “hell no” forces us to quit and accept lack of security, before seeking something else more fulfilling. 

But when things are just ‘ok’, there is really no reason to change, because while not ‘happy’ or ‘fulfilled’, we’re comfortable. 

There's a difference...

There’s a difference between finding value from something, and trying to convince yourself you are. 

If you know that something out there is better for you, and the only thing holding you back is the comfort and security of the present moment…then don’t settle.

A very good example

We are all different

What we settle on is completely relative to us. 

For example: 

Me: Settling = staying in retail because I am not satisfied with retail work. 

Someone else: Settling = not applying for a manager role in the retail store I’m in, because I enjoy retail work. 

Essentially settling is staying in a comfortable situation that serves no personal purpose and causes us to miss out on things we actually enjoy. 

Being aware

It looks like I was very self aware during my retail days, but…

I didn’t know a thing about values, and the tangible reasons why I was so unsatisfied with work.  I just knew I wasn’t happy. 

I avoided making decisions for my future, and most pervasively, I avoided how work was making me feel and truly questioning whether I was finding value in any way. 

Through avoidance, I truly didn’t realise just how conflicting this job was with my personality, and how moving onto something else would serve me a lot better. 

So what to do?

 

REFLECT. 

These are questions that would’ve helped me realise that I needed to leave. 

These include:

1. Do I enjoy my work? Why or why not? 

2. Is there any long term gain for staying in this job? 

3. What is holding me back? 

Because I avoided reflection, I needed an external push from exchange to finally call it quits. Without it, I would’ve been in limbo and slowly, but surely, would’ve quit anyway. 

So spend some time now to reflect, instead of enduring and realising the inevitable later.  

I'm fine

I know many people who don’t see the point of change. Why should they do something new if the old one is ok? 

If it actually works, and you get something out of it, then why leave? 

Instead, this post is to you guys, who consciously or unconsciously know that you are settling, and that change is necessary. 

Good luck, 

Jo

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