Are you currently working at a job where you feel like your boss doesn't really appreciate you? Are you always doing favors for them but feel like you're hardly getting what you give back in return? Have you been working there several years but have hardly gotten any pay raise?
Or how about this... Are you currently dating someone who you feel doesn't really "see" you? Do you feel like the two of you don't quite meet as eye-to-eye as you feel you should? Do you feel like they don't really value you and what you do as much as you would like your partner to?
Or how about... Are you always just barely getting by financially? Are you always settling for a less-than-stellar pay from either your clients or your employer? Are you always just settling for "anything you can get" rather than setting a high standard for yourself cause you know you've done enough work to deserve it?
If you relate to any of these above, then you've got a bad case of "struggling with settling for less than you deserve." We've probably all related to this to at least some extent at some point in our lives. In fact, I know that I can tell you openly and honestly right now that I have related to all three of those scenarios in some way at some point in my life.
We all tend to catch this bad case of "struggling for less than you deserve" at some point or another. And, honestly, it's a hard bug to beat. Our minds like to play tricks on us. Our minds like to go into overdrive with thoughts like:
"I need to settle with this job even though I hate my employer because otherwise I won't be able to financially support myself."
"I need to stay in this less-than-satisfying relationship cause I fear losing the security that this relationship brings. I fear having to go out and date again."
"I fear making more money because then family and friends might judge me and consider me to be a 'rich snob' since they have always told me that rich people are bad and greedy."
The problem with all these thoughts is that they are just thoughts based on fear. They are limiting. They are debilitating to our being. They hold us back from really truly following the calling of our soul; To live a life filled with all the joy, love, and fulfillment that we have ever dreamed of experiencing.
So how can we end this pattern? How can we stop settling for less than what we know we deserve and give ourselves exactly what we know we really truly do deserve? Here are five steps. Get out a sheet of paper or journal to write out your answers to each of the steps below.
Step 1: Identify an area of your life where you have been settling for less than you deserve. Is it financially or relationally? Is it in your career or is it in your eating and exercise habits?
Identify just one area to focus on clearing first because identifying several at one time can be overwhelming and confusing and, therefore, less effective. So identify how you have been setting for less in an area of your life and recognize how you have been settling for less. So, for instance: Have you been taking on some clients that you probably shouldn't have because they drain a lot of your time and energy? Do you find yourself always putting up with bad employers? Do you find yourself always dating people who are (somehow) on a different life path than you are?
Step 2: Recognize and acknowledge that you do want instead. Many times we can know what it is that we are unhappy or unsatisfied with but we may not really fully know what it is that we want instead because we are so disconnected from it due to our fear.
So ask yourself: What would I like instead? And don't worry about being 100 percent sure about it. Just take a guess at first that might seem kind of radical in a way. Such as: I would like a job where I can earn $500,000 a year, or I would like to be dating a guy who is as spiritual as me and shares my passion for travel.
Just write down whatever you feel you might like. Even if in your head you notice thoughts come up of "Oh that's too much" or "I don't think I really need that." Just go along with the fairly radical desire in order to reflect and notice what comes up for you.
Step 3: Imagine that you have received what you want instead and recognize your reactions to the change. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How does that make me feel? Notice any feelings that come up. Recognize the initial thought that comes up in reaction to potentially receiving this thing that you want instead -- that higher income, that pay raise, that amazing employer or boyfriend, that feeling of higher energy and more in-control of your health, or whatever. Write down all thoughts and feelings that come up as a reaction to potentially receiving what you really desire.
- How will this effect the quality of my life? How will having this one shift change your life? How will you feel once you experience this change? Write down your thoughts.
- Do you have any fears about how this will change you and your life? Are there fears about how people will think about you? Are there certain groups of people you feel like you will no longer be able to relate to after this change?
- Would you rather people know or not know about this change? Do you feel the need to hide your change from others or not?
Step 4: Create a battle plan! In order to make this happen in your life, what do you need to do? Do you need to quit your job and get a new one? Do you need to ask for a pay raise? Do you need to change your rates? Do you need to hang out with new kinds of people? Do you need to hang out at new places to find a partner that is more on your life path? Do you need to create a diet plan? Try to visualize in your mind's eye how that change will unfold in your life. Write down whatever you foresee and whatever feels "right" to you in how you can take action right now.
Step 5: Take action! Seriously: We can reflect, ask questions, and create plans for change all we want but if we don't actually do it then we will never experience the change in our lives that we desire to experience. So whatever plans you made for yourself, write it in your calendar. Take the time today to do something that involves beginning to implement your plan.
Answer the questions above for yourself (if you haven't already!) and then in the comments below, share what you will do today in order to move forward in the plans you wrote down to create lasting change in an area of your life.
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com. Her mission is to help women tap into the love that they possess within themselves to create more loving relationships in their lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.