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This post has nothing to do with settling down, but it has everything to do with reasons you might not know you are settling— there’s a difference. When I use the word- settling, I mean settling in your life; for instance, settling in the career you have, living lifestyle, or relationships (romantic or not) you are currently in. When I use the two words- settling down, to me that means settling down from the life you had before; for example, being in a committed relationship with a home to share with, and a family. There is nothing wrong with settling or settling down. BUT if you are currently unhappy where you are in life, or feel like you are settling, then this post is for you!
(Let’s take a second to recognize that I used the word ‘settling’ 13 times in the paragraph above… yikes! I had to though in order to make sense of it all. Forgive me for that one!)
Reasons you might not know you are settling in your life:
1. You are consumed in a routine.
Routines can be dragging. When you find yourself doing the exact same thing ever day, then you don’t make room for something new to explore. You simply don’t know what’s out there because you rob yourself from an opportunity you could have experienced. A routine can be considered a repeat of you daily life being. For instance, waking up + going to work + working out + lastly, going to sleep. That’s just one of the many habits people make up for themselves. I’m not saying a repeated lifestyle like that can be bad, I’m only saying that it is OKAY to switch things up sometimes.
I encourage you to not settle and stop routines by getting out of your comfort zone little by little; for example, waking up an hour earlier to walk around the block, or read a book. Once you do, you’ll have a different outlook in your current life, learn more of what you’re are capable of, and grow as a person. It is possible that some people can get too comfortable in a certain situation. This can happen because he/she simply didn’t try to do something else instead.
2. You are easily influenced.
Influences from family, friends, or even strangers have a big part in this as well. I’m sure some people in your life have the best intensions for you, but they don’t know exactly what’s best for you. Only you know what is best for yourself. So try to avoid the extra negative noise around you (words that might make you believe you are not capable of getting the job you want, making new friends, or ordering something different on the menu) and keep moving forward.
I’m not an expert on cultures, but I am aware of the latin culture. In my culture, (at least as a first generation in my family) it was not “normal” to leave the house by 18 years old to go away for college. Because of that influence and expectation to stay home from my family I did not leave my house for one whole year, but then after explaining my wants and desires, I was fully supported and left the city for college. Sometimes settling and holding onto old habits are hard to break, but all you have to do is try to have your loved ones understand you might not always agree with their way of life. Try to find the courage to know that it is okay to say ‘no’ sometimes. It’s your life, so live it the way you want to.
3. You tend to overthink sometimes.
What if I waste my money? What if I stay single forever? If I get fired? If no one comes to my get together? Or if a shark eats me?! — Stop reciting ‘What If’, and Just Do It! You’ll never know if you don’t take the chance. I don’t know about you, but to me money is never a waste if you spend it well. You won’t be single forever, and if you do, then what’s so bad about that?! You can always look for another job. I’m sure at least one person will go to your get together (quality vs quantity). And a shark won’t eat you… hopefully.
If you let your worries cloud your mind it can get you to retract something you could have done. It’s worth taking risks by doing something out of your ordinary. Sometimes when you overthink, your emotions can get the best of you and then you find yourself being too shy or scared of trying new things. It’s okay to be shy sometimes, but not to a certain extreme that makes you miss out on opportunities. Go ahead and meet new people, find new hobbies like arts & crafts, a book club, cooking classes… whatever it is! Just take a chance and don’t be shy to try something new/ meet people. If you miss out on a social interaction or don’t put yourself out there, then you can lower your chances of a great opportunity you could have had.
You just never know until you get out of your comfort zone & try! Honestly, what do you have to lose?! If you let fear interfere then you’ll never know what you can accomplish. Overthinking can ruin a good thing.
4. You care too much what people think.
Unfortunately people lower their standards because they are scared of what people might think of them. In today’s society people are quick to judge someone else’s way of living. For example, it’s not typical for a person to decline admission from graduate school, but if that’s not what they wanted, then they have every right to do so. If you’re too worried about what people think of the person you’re dating, moved on “too fast”, got divorced, have to co-parent, had a “cheap” wedding, got married in court, didn’t graduate school, live in a certain area, being too emotional/sensitive/vulnerable… etc, then chances are you are settling.
You shouldn’t give too much power to others who have no business judging you. And sometimes the odds are that while you might think people are judging you, the truth is some people might not even care. So don’t stress over things you cannot control and move forward with your decisions if you feel it’s right for you.
5. You keep making excuses!
I’m too busy. I don’t have time. I work a lot. Don’t have money. Can’t wake up early. I’m tired. I’m sleepy. There’s too much traffic. That’s too far. I’ll wait till Monday. — Excuses Excuses Excuses is all that comes to mind when someone starts off a sentence like that. Sure there’s some truth to it, but everything in moderation, right?!
If you keep making excuses you’ll find yourself wasting the short life you have by doing absolutely nothing you truly wanted to do. What a waste! No matter what you believe, you can always make time for what you really want. Your work doesn’t take up your whole life, and if it does then you should probably rethink your job situation.
I’m sure you need to save money (housing, college, children, insurance, savings, etc), but there are ways to spend while on a budget. For instance, I so badly wanted to learn how to surf, so I did the research and found out that at Deerfield Beach they offer free lessons Saturday mornings. In fact, I found many free things to do here in South Florida.
How to get out of your comfort zone
The moment you realize that you could be settling, is the day that you’ll start taking action and living. If you are not happy and feel like you could be settling in your life, then I invite you to this 30- Day Challenge (available below this post) in getting out of your comfort zone.
Try not to be so consumed into an everyday routine, don’t let others influence your wants or desires, don’t overthink, don’t worry about what others might be thinking of you, and please, oh please, stop making excuses. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you truly and deeply wanted to make a change with your current life, then you would stop making excuses & take a chance. You want to know a secret? There’s never a perfect time for most things… ever, so just start now.