Settling is a challenging thing. Sometimes it’s just fine to accept what is available. Sometimes it’s very costly to settle for less than we wanted. The distinction is whether or not the thing has to do with a core value place in us. Additionally, it has to do with how long you will have to live with the decision. How much does it matter?
If we settle for something that is “good enough” instead of our “heart’s desire” we are sending ourselves some very negative sticky messages; things like “I don’t matter”, “I don’t deserve”, or “I can’t”. If the issue is what I’m having for breakfast, settling isn’t going to have a long term effect on me. If it’s something that you truly care about and it will have a long term effect on you, like, say, your next car, it does matter. I can’t say what those things are for you, but for me they are things like furniture, relationships, and chocolate.
I had a friend long ago that it was about pianos. My friend Diana wanted a baby grand piano. She had a place staked out for it in her living room.
She had a photograph of it. She knew exactly which one she wanted. She didn’t have the money for it. And yet she was very clear on what she wanted. Along came another piano. Someone had a nice upright piano they wanted to give her.
She thanked the person for their kind offer and said no. What Diana knew was that if she accepted the upright piano, she would never get the baby grand. The piano space in her house and the one in her heart would be filled with the upright. There would be no more room. And there would be the added complication of needing to get rid of the upright before she brought in the baby grand.
There is one caveat in not settling; sometimes it takes longer to get what you really want. Sometimes you have to wait a while. Diana did. As I remember she waited a couple of years, and then she actually had it, the beautiful baby grand she wanted. I’ll bet she still plays it, and never regrets having not settled.
We regret when we settle, not when we hold out for what we truly want. How could you stop settling? How might that be?