Are You Settling for Second Best?

            We usually hear the term “settling” with regard to romantic relationships. Did you settle for someone because you didn’t want to be alone? Are you settling because you don’t want to put your relationship history under the microscope?

            But settling can also happen in your work life. Maybe your boss or colleagues have pointed out that you seem to have lost your mojo. Or perhaps you’ve had that gnawing feeling that you haven’t quite reached your potential. Ask yourself if you have ever experienced any of these seven signals that you’re settling.

  1. You have a dream or goal stuck way in the back of your head, but you never seem to take any action toward it. Maybe it’s asking for a promotion, changing careers, or starting a business. It’s like an earworm, that catchy melody or unforgettable lyric that you can’t get out of your head long after the music stops playing. You try to ignore it, but it’s always in the background.
  2. You’re living the someday syndrome, keeping your goal in the later-on-in-life category. Guess what? You don’t know how long you have on this earth. Do you really want to wait around to see if you manage to squeeze in something you know in your heart of hearts is truly meaningful to you?
  3. You’ve let the green-eyed monster of envy and jealousy take up permanent residence in your gut. When you see other people succeeding, you find some way to attribute it to their education, money, nepotism or just dumb luck. Even if some or all of those are true, so what? By convincing yourself that if only you had all the great stuff those successful people do, you’re letting yourself off the hook from facing the reality of your situation, whatever it is, and doing the work.
  4. You’ve got a shrink-to-fit personality. You may have big dreams, but you tell yourself they’re just not realistic. Instead, it’s okay to keep plugging away at this safe, boring, little job. Or sticking with playing small rather than risk ruffling anyone else’s feathers. Or worse, failing at something. It’s like those amusement park Whack-a-Moles, if you just stay safely underground, no one can ever smack you.
  5. You’re a substitution junkie. Rather than get your high by fulfilling your dreams, you become obsessed with food, alcohol, television, news, social media or other diversions. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a proud foodie, but I don’t kid myself that earthly pleasures (including TV and movies, two more of my faves) are a substitute for purposeful work or meaningful relationships.
  6. You’re a perpetual blamer of others. If you can’t have what you really want, it’s somebody else’s fault. It’s your boss holding you back. Or the government, the job market, your childhood. You can find a million excuses outside yourself for not getting what you want, but you know that the only one to blame is you.
  7. You’re hope-starved. Rather than feeding on positive ideas and inspiring people, you let the negatives of the world – and there are plenty of them – become your constant diet. You tell yourself that you don’t have what it takes, you don’t know how to get ahead, you don’t have the right skills or certifications, you're too old, too young, too dumb, too smart, or too whatever. The truth is, you’ve let your positive vision of the future get buried under other people’s negative rubble. It’s time to start digging out.

            It took me until my forties (I know, late bloomer) to figure out who I was and what I wanted in my personal and professional life. That’s when I left my corporate job, started my own business, published my first book, lost thirty pounds and started over.         

Awareness is the first step. Are you ready to take the plunge? What will your re-boot look like?

If you'd like a complimentary coaching session to see if it can help you reach your goals faster, contact me at Libby@LibbyGill.com. I look forward to speaking with you!