Why? Why do people settle? Why? The more I look around at people, the more I ask myself this question. People settle in relationships, jobs and just life in general. It is like all hope is gone. Don’t they know that they can do better? We’re all guilty of settling at some point in our lives and sometimes it is good to settle but for the most part, it is not! People even come up with plenty of justifications or as I like to say excuses as to why they settle. That just makes it even more unbelievable.
The most common place where people settle is in relationships. People usually have an ideal mate in their head but somewhere in their minds they either talk themselves out of that person’s existence, they get tired of waiting, or they think they don’t deserve that type of mate. Then they settle for someone else who comes along so they will not be lonely, or bored. Thinking in their head, I’m just going to date them for the fun of it. In their head, they want a nice, educated, Christian mate but they settle for a nice, non-educated, ruff-neck!
People also settle in their jobs. They continue in a job that is high stress, does not pay well or it provides little to no satisfaction. But they stay there, convinced they aren’t worthy of a higher pay check or a better job. They think to themselves, it could be much worse or I could be laid-off.
Lastly, people settle where they are in life. They are content staying in the same situations they have been in for years. They don’t even look for an exit. They develop an attitude that things will never change and they just accept it. Some situations you do have to accept but the ones that you have the power to change, you should make every effort to do so.
There are several reasons why people settle no matter what area of life they settle in: People like their comfort zones, they lack identity and self-esteem, or the biggest reason is fear. People love their comfort zones. They are a place of safety and refuge. You always want to stay with what’s comfortable. They are afraid to venture out and try something new. Some people also lack identity. They truly do not know who they are or what matters most to them. They have not taken the time to really get to know their selves or their values or they are disconnected from their identity and values. Most importantly, they don’t know who they are in God. Lastly, people spend way too much time operating in fear. We all know that fear is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real but we still succumb to it. They constantly worry about the negative that could happen instead of having faith in the positive that could await them.
When people settle, it leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. In relationships, settling has long term effects. It can result in a broken heart, a broken marriage, or a broken relationship with God. Do you really want to spend time in a relationship, job, or live a life that is doomed or brings limited satisfaction?
So what do people need to do to stop settling? People should live life purposefully not passively. That means to find out what your passion and purpose is and operate in it. Do not just let life happen to you. Excel at being who you are. Ask yourself is this situation (person or job) the best for me? Does this situation (person or job) bring out the best in me? Does this situation (person or job) allow me to grow in my relationship with God? See yourself as God see you – beautiful, valuable, and precious.
Another thing people can do is create some standards. Create a list of your “must haves”. What do you value most? What can you live with? What can you live without? It’s OK to be picky and create a list, just make sure that you are picky about the right things.
Be patient and trust God that He will give you the desires of your heart. When you are anxious, you tend to create something out of nothing. You try to turn something that is totally wrong for you into something you want to believe is totally right. Or you try to take things into your own hands as if God needs some help keeping His promises. Abraham and Sarah were perfect examples. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and Sarah had been barren. They decided to take matters in their own hands (Genesis 16) and they ended up with Ishmael. Ishmael was great but he was not what God promised. (Genesis 17: 19-21)
Lastly, make a plan and take steps to go after what you really want. Each step you take is a step closer to achieving your goal. Make improvements to yourself to attract the thing that you desire. Read some books on the subject. Connect with the right people who can help you. Whatever you do, just make a step. Opportunities are all around you take advantage of them and use them for your benefit. Don’t waste time.
As my friend Amber so eloquently put it, “(do) something, anything, you can’t keep saying “when the time is right or this is better than nothing.” As Albert Einstein said, you can’t keep doing the same things, expecting different results. That’s insanity. But make sure you do something that is wise. Focus on your vision, create a goal and set a plan into action that’s beneficial. You don’t want to enter into a situation where you create an Ishmael in your life. Love yourself enough not to settle for less than what you deserve. God wants what’s best for our lives and we should want the same.