The moment I realized this, I committed to a journey to self-love. Through my increased sense of worth, I acknowledged and released the things in my life that were not aligned with my new direction. It became easier to say no, and to be confident that better things would come. Once I knew what I wanted and needed, the fear dissolved. Recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it.
So, here are five signs you might be settling for less than you deserve.
1. You’re bored or unchallenged.
When we’re doing things that don’t align with what we want or who we are, boredom is inevitable. I had an absolutely fabulous career in marketing, but I eventually stopped feeling challenged, and began to resent my job. That’s when I decided to go after my dream of becoming a life coach. I’m now working in a career that truly motivates me.
If you’re bored or unchallenged, examine the area (or areas) of your life that aren’t aligning with your desires. Then, take a risk that will move you closer to the life you truly want to live. It might be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, but the payoff will be worth it. And, besides, if you’re unhappy where you are, what do you have to lose?
2. You feel stuck.
We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. We feel helpless to effect change, and that makes what everyone else is doing seem so appealing. I used to feel stuck in my destructive party lifestyle. I was surrounded by toxic people and in an abusive relationship. I felt as though I had no choice other than the life I was living. But here’s the secret: We’re not helpless. We have the power to move. We have the power to change our lives.
I finally came to that realization and began taking baby steps in the direction of the life I wanted to live. Rather than expecting myself to change everything immediately, I committed to creating small, regular shifts in my life. I took up healthier habits, started cutting out toxic people, and eventually, all the small shifts added up to a totally new life. The key is to remain dedicated to your journey.
3. You’re anxious.
Anxiety can be a result of us acting in ways or participating in things that don’t align with our true desires. Before my career change, I began to experience extreme anxiety. There were days where I found it difficult even to type on my keyboard because I was so anxious. My body would lose control and I'd shut down. I blamed my anxiety on stress, thinking it was a normal result of my workload.
In reality, I was just in the wrong career, and my body was reacting to that. When you experience high levels of anxiety, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Find out what your body needs in that moment, whether it's rest, movement, or meditation. Do what you need to do to calm your nerves. Once the anxiety has passed, start creating a plan to help you shift out of the toxic situation.
4. You're feeling insecure.
We aren’t always willing to admit we have needs, or acknowledge that they aren’t being met. If you’re in a relationship where your partner isn’t providing you with the level of support that you truly need, it's a definite sign that you have settled. It’s OK to need things in your relationships.
Ignoring your own needs and desires is telling yourself that they don’t matter. This is a surefire way to damage your self-esteem, and it means you need to course correct fast. Acknowledge that your needs exist, then step up to the plate and communicate them. You’ve got to learn to get comfortable with admitting your needs, and the only way to do that is through practice.
5. Your gut knows something’s wrong.
If the situation you’re in doesn’t feel right, don’t push those feelings aside. Listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t. If you’re experiencing one or many of these things, take the time to explore areas where you might be settling. Reflect on your goals and aspirations — is your current path bringing you closer to accomplishing those things?
Write a list of the things that aren’t working and acknowledge the areas of your life in which you're settling. From there, begin creating an action plan to step into a life you truly love. Don’t overwhelm yourself with huge shifts. Instead, create small, actionable baby steps that will lead you to where you want to be.
Connect to your true self-worth and start to listen to your inner voice by taking time to sit with your own thoughts, without any outside influences. You deserve to love your life.