Have you ever been in a situation where you say to yourself, “I want more?” I spent my entire life settling. I never felt like I was able to have everything I desired, so I continued to go after things that I would excel at. This was a common pattern for sports, friendships, jobs and relationships. I desired more but felt like I would have to face rejection, resentment or even failure. And because of these fears, mediocracy continued to become a standard in my life.
One aspect of my life that was consumed with mediocracy was my professional life. When I was hired, I tried to negotiate my salary. I was told that I was not worth the money that I was asking for. I made the choice to accept what he said and settled. I spent the next two years feeling stuck and miserable in a job that I loved but felt so undervalued. So what did I do next? I tried to prove him wrong for over two years. I outworked everyone, took on assignments that was not in my job description. Worked overtime and literally poured everything I had to make the department reach the top programs in the state. So when an opportunity opened for a senior position, I just knew that I would be on the top of their list of candidates. I was wrong. He said, “This is not the right position for you”. I found myself passed over for a promotion again. I was completely heartbroken. I sat in the bathroom with my director’s voice ringing in my head, “this is not the right position for you and you are not worth what you are asking for.” All I kept thinking was, “how can it not be right for me when I helped the team reach the top program in the state?” This loss in professional momentum led to me to believe his words. I started questioning myself. I started asking, “Am I good enough?” “What is wrong with me?” “Why can I never just get what I want?” I did not even realize, I was crying over a job that did not value me.
See, my job was not a terrible environment. My supervisor allowed me to adjust my hours so I could complete an internship and finish my master’s degree. I was able to network with thousands of businesses, and I was given an opportunity to present new ideas and projects weekly. I thought to myself, “I have all these opportunities. Why should I want more?” If I’m being completely honest, I was content at best. I thought that because my job was allowing me to finish my degree, I owed them something. I accepted being overworked and underpaid for a long time because of this mindset.
Truthfully, whenever I said, “I want more” I felt like I was being ungrateful for what I already had. I had to learn that choosing more for yourself is not about how comfortable you feel in the moment, but it is making the choice that will dictate and elevate your next season.
Are you feeling stuck in your life? What is stopping you from truly being happy? For me it was a fear of stability. I did not want to move on because I did not know what was on the other side. You know the saying the grass is not always greener on the other side. Yea, I allowed that fear to keep me bound. I stayed at a job I had outgrown for too long. I settled in dead-end relationships because I didn’t think that I deserved more. I even lessened the life I wanted for myself because it was safer to accept the circumstances around me rather than doing something about them. This is how most of us normalize problem areas in our lives that should never be tolerated.
So back to me crying in the bathroom…I got up, I wiped my face, walked to my desk, and logged in my computer and finally started to search for another position. I refused to settle anymore, beginning with my career choice. When I interviewed for my next position, I confidently told the hiring committee that I was in my last semester of school and needed to finish. This point may have tanked my opportunity for the job. However, due to my honesty and opening the door to vulnerability, they offered me the position while agreeing to accommodate to my school schedule.
It did not just end there. I left a toxic ministry that I was in shortly after leaving my job. I was able to navigate through some relationships that allowed me to settle and connected with people that pushed me to purpose. I really just started LIVING. I started to realize that if I settled in one area then the trend of my life is to settle in other areas as well. I do not know about you, but I am sick of just existing. I am tired of “good enough”.
If you have accepted the feeling that “this is as good as it gets,” I am here to tell you, you are wrong! There is always more. There are always new opportunities. There is someone looking for everything you have to offer. Now I am not saying don’t be grateful for your life and everything that you have. I am saying go after what you desire and take your shot!
So I leave you with this, why are you settling for good enough? You are more than enough, so do not stay in a place of misery because you are afraid of stability. Take a leap and do not over compromise who you are to please someone else. If they cannot see your value, you do not need to “prove” yourself.
BE YOU and remember #Don’tSettle