It’s not easy to figure out when you’re already settling for less than what’s possible.
It’s taken me a long time, most of my adult life to figure out that I’ve made compromises and gone with what was safe or easy.
The only thing that I didn’t do the easy way was getting married and having kids.
I made no compromises in my choice to get married, and over 14 years later, we’re still happily married and have four beautiful kids.
The rest of my life hasn’t been nearly as uncompromising. I made a lot of easy and half-assed choices that ended up taking me down a road where I’ve felt defeated and beat down by life that I thought I could never escape.
I got in the rut of looking for the easy way and fast lane to what I thought was “making it.”
I didn’t find it. Very few ever do.
Around the middle of 2017, as I left the most “immature” job that I ever had (details are personal), I started thinking about what had gone wrong, and why I wasn’t getting anywhere in life.
As I thought about it more, I realized that there were certain trends in my choices, habits, and behaviors that explained why I wasn’t getting any closer to making dreams come true.
I would like to share these thoughts with you.
Perhaps some of them may resonate with you. Hopefully, if you realize that you’ve been feeling the same way that I was, you’ll begin to think about the ways in which you could change for the better.
Always Being Tired
Perhaps it’s really hard to get out of bed in the morning. You’re hitting your snooze button more than once. After lunch or at some point in the mid-afternoon you might have the intense urge to take a nap. Do you find yourself nodding off at your desk, or having a hard time keeping your eyes open if you are sitting for more than 20 minutes? That was me. It’s partly due to the lack of excitement in your life.
Excitement is different for everyone, but I know that excitement can mean waiting for an Amazon package to show up when USPS says “out for delivery” when I look up the tracking number — Even if I know exactly what I ordered.
Excitement could be the anticipation of your next vacation, business trip or time with the family.
If you find yourself always tired and rarely having the gumption of doing anything, it’s highly possible that you are severely lacking excitement in life.
Always Feeling Discontented
It doesn’t matter what you have planned for the day, whatever it is, you’re not there mentally. You’re focusing instead on what you could be doing, what you “should” be doing or what you’ve done wrong.
You’re planning and dreaming while life and its little moments are passing you by. All too soon, you’ll find that you’ve missed so much and gained so little that it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore to aspire to be better than “just average”.
Waiting for “After” or “Someday” To Happen
You know the phrases.
- “After this happens, I’ll be able to make it…”
- “Someday, I’ll be making a lot of money and be somebody.”
There are many variations on these, but in the end, you’re waiting indefinitely for something to happen so you can get started making your dreams come true.
That day is never going to come if you don’t make it come yourself.
It’s never the right time. There’s always an outside force stopping you. You don’t have the resources. They’re all EXCUSES. Period.
The Fear. Irrational Excuses Made. Actions Not Taken.
For as long as I’ve created websites, I’ve wanted to start daily blogging or vlogging. I was scared to death to do it though. I thought people would make fun of me, think less of me, or think I was totally nuts for sharing my thoughts, feelings, and snips from my daily life online.
Worst of all, I didn’t think that anyone would believe that I could do it.
The sad truth is that I believed everyone would think I would fail because I believed that I was going to fail.
I had no faith in myself, and I was justifying it by thinking that no one else would have faith in me or that they’d ridicule me for the attempt.
There may be people that do, but after I made the decision to go ahead, despite all my fears, I am not going to let those people laugh at my efforts or shun me for what I choose to share.
Overthinking but Doing Nothing
You scheme and you dream. You spend countless hours plotting and planning. Your dreams consume you, but in reality, you do very little or nothing at all to move forward.
It was one of those things where I knew exactly what I wanted and all the details to achieve the goal, but here’s the kicker…
It all hinges on taking action.
I very rarely did what it took to even get started. If I did start, I’d make the safest and easiest choices that essentially got me nowhere.
Let’s say you make a move to make a dream a reality.
You start in with all the enthusiasm in the world. Every fiber of your being is excited at the idea that you’re finally going to make it, but what happens?
A couple weeks later, you’ve discarded any ideas of continuing your journey, and you find yourself in the same spot, looking desperately for the next easy win.
I have chronically been great at starting things but never seeing them through to the end. I always jump in with two feet, sometimes blindly, and then after some short period of time, I’d quit, lose interest, or just outright fail.
Of course, always quitting and always failing leads a person to believe that they’re a failure, and the idea of reaching out and trying to do more fades away.
The Turning Point
This is the turning point for most people. It’s a period of time after a series of dropped projects and failures that one begins to accept the notion that they will never be more than what they are in life.
They accept things that happen to them and begin to focus on the things that are keeping them from being successful.
This is also a time when blaming others and external forces become internalized. You begin to think that you’ve done everything that you can to make a difference in your life, but no one’s giving you a chance and the stars are just not aligning in your favor.
You begin to focus on negativity.
Once you reach this point, it is a slippery, steep slope that there’s almost no hope of returning from. Your life is spiraling downward in a series of bad choices and negativity.
Once you’ve reached this point, only time and a lot of determination, blood, sweat, and tears are going to get you out of the hole you’ve put yourself in.
This is the point where you either need to seek help or really re-evaluate your life, your choices and your thoughts.
Coming back from the hole can take years, and the longer it takes, the more time you’ve wasted.
Knowing ISN’T Half The Battle
For this problem, just knowing is only about 10% of your battle. About 80% will be taken with actually finding the motivation, determination, and consistency to do what’s needed to get out of the hole.
The remaining 10% is actually coming up with a plan that is feasible and will work for you within the life you currently have.
One of the biggest problem that people who have compromised or settled for less face is that they’ve set their sights too high. They dream of being millionaires but don’t look for ways to increase income. They might dream of being famous, but they don’t put themselves out there so they can be found.
The best way to get out of the hole is to focus on small wins. Having goals that are realistic really do make a difference. For me, it was going back to blogging every night so that I could publish a new blog post every day.
When you set realistic goals, and you begin to accomplish them, you’ll feel better and your confidence increases. As you keep reaching your goals, you’ll be setting bigger ones and meeting those as well. Each time you win, you’re a step closer to your larger, bigger dream.