We all have goals for every area of our lives, what we want to achieve in our career, relationships, finances and so on. Periodically, we find ourselves in a dilemma wondering whether we have settled in that relationship, job or are slacking towards a certain goal. Usually, when we settle, we constantly feel weighed down, frustrated and short-changed.
Settling and being realistic are two words that are often confused and used interchangeably yet they mean different things.
One of the reasons why we choose to settle is because we want to remain in our comfort zone or safe place. “We often settle for what’s available and what’s available isn’t always great. You are destined to achieve greatness!”― Farshad Asl.
According to the Oxford dictionary, settling is when you accept or agree to something that you consider to be less satisfactory. When we decide to settle it means although we are unsatisfied or frustrated by a relationship, job or career, for one reason or another we will still decide to stay or continue because maybe we are scared to move on or explore other avenues that might actually bring us the fulfillment, we so earnestly desire. The fear of the unknown is another obstacle that keeps us stagnant times as we opt to stay with what’s familiar instead of exploring what’s out there and discovering limitless possibilities out there. The challenge with settling is you will always have a void inside of you that will only go away when you are true to yourself.
As we come towards the year, my advice is it feels like settling then its time to say goodbye, be realistic and search for what will bring us fulfilment and wholeness.
The picture above shows different zones in our lives. With reference to this article, if you are settling you remain in the comfort zone and if you are being realistic you accept your challenges, shortfalls and frustrations and make a decision to move towards the growth zone.
The definition of realistic is someone who has a good grip on the reality of a situation and understands what can and cannot be done, something that is a practical, an achievable idea, or something that resembles the actual truth about life.
When we are being realistic it means we examined our situation in a rational manner and come to a conclusion. When we are being realistic, we have to be honest with ourselves and perceive the situation differently. Sometimes it takes us looking at the bigger picture and looking at the situation as if it was someone else and we were giving advice to them. Taking yourself out of the situation and looking at it from a third party’s perspective will make us see clearly without any filters or emotions. If it was someone else in your situation, what advice would you give them?
When we are being realistic, we accept that our current situation is not ideal and fulfilling and go on to decide based on reaching our goals even if it means quitting or walking away. For instance, one can say, “At the moment this is the job l have and it is bringing some food on the table but l desire more and my plan to achieve my goal is to start my own business and my exit strategy is this…”
At times we compromise. We tell ourselves that this is not perfect, but it will work for me. Compromise usually happens in relationships when we meet someone who makes us happy, supports us and loves us as much as we love them. Even though they might not tick all the boxes, their shortcomings are not deal breakers and we choose to stay because they are the one. In compromising, if it ever feels like you are the only one bending yourself over then you are settling and that’s your cue to leave.
In conclusion, before settling or being realistic. One sees the situation for what it is but the difference is what they chose at the end. When we settle, we opt to stay in our comfort zone or in a place of familiarity. However, when we are realistic, we accept our current position and make a pact to make necessary changes.