You Get What You Settle For

Sunday, March 17, 2019



Last November, I was wandering through a bookstore in Denver with my friend and came across a daily tear-off calendar called "I Am a Feminist" filled with "quotes that empower." After flipping through it, I immediately added it to my Christmas list (because when my family asks me what I want for Christmas, that's the type of thing I write down – calendars, kettlebells, a smoothie cup. Very cool.).

Lo and behold, I got it for Christmas, and it now sits on my desk at work, a nice way to start my mornings. I come in, put my purse and coat away, start up my laptop, and reveal the quote for the day. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these. I love them.

One of the quotes in February was, "You get what you settle for" and it's been in the forefront of my mind ever since.

It actually puts into words something I've always believed and tried to articulate, which is basically that if you want something to change, you have to work for it; otherwise, you'll keep getting what you've been getting, and you can't complain about it.

When I hear someone complain about something, my first thought is, "Have you asked for anything different?" Because you also can't expect people to read your mind. Whatever you accept is now acceptable to you. People will think it's OK, and you can't blame them for that.

You get what you settle for. If you don't like it, stop settling for it.

If you don't like how a friend is treating you, say something. If you don't like what fitness level you're at, work on it. If you don't like your financial situation, come up with a plan to start saving. It's all easier said than done, yes, and it won't be an overnight change, but it's worth it.

I think about this every single day and am striving to apply it to my life, namely at work.

When I encounter a problem, my immediate reaction is to figure out how it can be fixed, even if that's not my specific responsibility. I want to problem-solve and make things better. And I don't want to settle for anything less than that anymore.

Internally, I actually feel different. I feel empowered. I feel strong. I feel happier.

What surprised me was that the shift in my mindset made a difference that was apparent to others as well. Recently, a coworker told me that he was impressed with my "intellectual articulation" in recent meetings. I was sticking up for myself more, and pushing for what I knew would be the best route but hadn't always spoken up about because sometimes it's easier to just follow along, to avoid rocking the boat. What I'm realizing is that speaking up doesn't have to mean rocking the boat, if you do it right. It can be thinking out loud, collaborating, working together.

I told my coworker about the quote that I had read, saying I had felt inspired by it.

"It shows."

Internal changes become visible on the outside eventually. Focus on what you deserve and don't settle for anything less.


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