How to Stop Settling For Less Than You Deserve

At certain times, many of us have the realization that we deserve more than what we’ve been giving ourselves. It could be about a relationship, a job, or life in general. But we come to realize that we’re done tolerating the status quo. We’re through accepting what we think we deserve and are ready to choose what we truly desire.

There’s a tiny voice inside us that recognizes that we’ve been cheating ourselves from living a too-good-to-be-true life. When we have that realization, life doesn’t suddenly change for the better.

Quite the opposite.

That little voice sparks the ego into survival mode to keep us in a constant state of fear and lack. In fact, the moment when we recognize we could be doing better causes a great deal of discomfort:

  • We may feel pain
  • We may not think we truly deserve happiness
  • We might not know how to sustain it

I see the same patterns in my life and in my work with clients. There are 3 common signs that we’re settling and actions we can take to choose differently, even if it feels new & scary.


3 Signs You’re Settling For Less Than You Deserve:

1. You’re exhausted from doing things you don’t want to be doing.

I spoke to a client about her holiday weekend and was surprised to hear how drained she was. Her whole weekend was social “obligations.” In addition to not making time for herself, she spent the weekend with negative people because she felt she needed to. She settled for companionship rather than true friendship. Often, one hour with a negative person is more physically and emotionally exhausting than an hour at bootcamp.

The solution:

Choose where you invest your energy. Still feel the pull of an obligation? Ask yourself, what would someone with self-love do in this situation? Sometimes we need to act “as if” until we build the “I deserve greatness” muscle.


2. You choose others over yourself.

I recently saw a friend who I hadn’t seen in years. She made a few snide remarks that pissed me off. In an attempt to make the evening drama-free, I kept my mouth shut. Afterward, I had an emotional hangover. Not because her comments got to me, but because I turned my back on my truth. I had chosen to silence myself and my intuition. I accepted what she handed me, choosing her over me.

The solution:

Compromise on little things, not on your value as an individual. See your current situation with true awareness. That means being able to fast-forward to the point when you’ll tell yourself “hindsight is 20/20.” Think about how you’ll feel an hour, a day, a year from now. Act on intuition, not on fear.


3. You choose the certainty of where you are over the fear of the unknown.

As humans, we often choose certainty even if it’s painful than risk the unknown. If you’re unhappy in your current situation, no amount of gratitude or affirmations will help if you don’t actively choose to make it better. And if you are rationalizing not following your dreams as “being practical” or if you’re still thinking “things aren’t that really that bad,” just remember most people only take action when the pain of their current circumstance becomes greater than their fear of change.

The solution:

You can wait to hit a rock-bottom, or you can cut to the part where you embrace your potential. If you aren’t happy, it’s not sustainable. Something will have to change. Why not make it on your timeline? I often think back to the metaphor of the flying trapeze. There’s a moment between releasing one bar and catching the next where you’re in the air, holding onto nothing. And in that gap is where all the magic happens. You simply have to trust that there’s something else on the other side.


You don’t need to wait for life to change to believe you deserve more. When you believe it, you’ll see it appear in your life. What action can you take today that declares, “I deserve more!”?

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