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Why You Can't Afford To Settle

Hey ya'll. Recently, I had a situation where I had to make a difficult decision. I could have chosen what was familiar or chosen what was new. I can remember sitting there with having the whole "angel vs demon" conversation. One part of me wanted to stay in what's familiar with a pretty persuasive argument. I know what I am going to get. I know the patterns if I stay. I know what to expect. Contrarily, if I chose the new, I wouldn't know what I was getting into. I remember feeling the difficult feelings inside of myself. It was like an internal war. But with where I am in my life, I am ready to fight for the new thing.

We are creatures of habit. We don't like change. Socrates said, "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new". You can't afford to settle because when you do, you are investing in the old way. I've said before that revelation is the vehicle for progressive and forward movement. In order to move forward, you have to understand what you are working towards. What is your goal? What is your motivation? How do you see the life that you want to invest in? These were questions that I asked myself. Here are some lessons that I learned in realizing that I just can't afford to settle.

  1. Settling is about your need to be in control.

When I thought about the decision that I had to make, I realized that the change was primarily about my need to be in control. When Tahkyra is in control, I feel more confident. Trusting. I had to realize that because of my need to be in control, I actually settled for a lot of things. Most often, well let me speak for myself and even clinical experience as a therapist, that need to be in control can be a response to trauma. When I experienced my trauma, my control was a way to confront the powerlessness and helplessness that I felt. So when something new comes along, it triggers those same feelings. That anxious feeling of "loss of control" can be overwhelming.

As a response, our behaviors line up with settling. What does settling look like: staying in situations that you know you want to be out of, making excuses as to why you should remain in that situation, increased anxiety whenever you think about the situation, panic attacks, increased heart rates, difficult breathing at times, feeling that loss of control, feeling on edge, feeling overwhelmed to name a few. All of that is not worth it. Not anymore. One thing that I've learned is that I am going to be uncomfortable whether I choose the new or choose what's familiar. I just choose to go into the new, knowing that things are going to change in the direction of the life that I want to invest in. No matter how uncomfortable it is.

I had to learn to an internal level of trust that meant I felt safe within myself no matter what was happening. Even in choosing what is unfamiliar, there is an internal sense of self-control that gave me the freedom to interact in external things that I didn't have control over. You can't control anyone else. You can't always have control of the things going on around you. Most times it's because the things going on around you involve people. You can only control yourself. Realizing that I had to let go of control of others gave me more liberty to be me. I wasn't in control of their outcomes anymore. Self-control helped me to know that I can control how I respond in difficult situations, instead of letting the difficult things control me. That in and of itself, helped me to make the best decisions for myself.

2. Settling keeps you stuck in negative cycles.

Listen, cycles. We all have some form of a cycle or pattern that we have in our lives. Settling is rooted in a negative form of thinking. Those negative thoughts about yourself, others, and the world around you keep you in the same dysfunctional patterns. Because I think negatively about myself, I stay in the same type of relationships, accept the same type of negative behaviors, and come to the same conclusions. This is the unfortunate pattern of settling. Here's the thing. You can't change what you don't identify. Here's another thing, some people like this pattern. They like the familiarity. It's comfortable. When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, then you want to break and end that cycle. You notice the disconnect between what you want and what you are actually doing. You have to make the decision to not just want to want, but you have to want it with action! Do something about interrupting the cycle. You may recognize this pattern, but how do you plan to interrupt it? Someone has to stop the wheel from turning. Someone has to stop the cycle from repeating itself.

How are you planning to change your thinking? Are you willing to invest in the principle of changing your thinking to change your behaviors? How? That's probably what you just asked me. How Tahkyra? I've thought this way my whole life? Great! I'm glad that you acknowledged that. Now we can come out of agreement with it. Changing your thinking means that you are stopping, looking at, and exploring alternative ways of handling your situation? What's the evidence that is in support of the change- not focusing on your feelings? What about the facts? Can you do an inquiry into what it is that you are hoping to accomplish coming out of this negative cycle? Is it worth it? Then identify one or two things that you can do to start working towards it. SMART goals will be your best friend at this step.

3. Settling keeps you from you!

In doing my cost/benefit analysis, I noticed that I deserved the good things that were coming. I noticed that for the first time in my life, I was being selfish. I had to walk away from a mindset of suffering. I had to walk away from not only acknowledging that I had needs and wants but accepting that I had them. There is a big difference between acknowledge and acceptance. Acknowledge just means that I know that it's there. Acceptance denotes that it's there and I believe that it's true. It's that additional step of belief that makes the difference. When I settle, I find that I am putting everyone else's needs before my own. I neglect myself. The interesting thing is that I acknowledge and accept that I am a resource and help for everyone in my life. I couldn't come to that same conclusion of being a resource and help for myself! Just as I am good enough to help others get their needs and wants to be met, I had to accept that I deserve just the same.

It was a hard process because my trauma had taught me that it was the norm for me to ignore what I needed. To let my body and mind be at the disposal of others. I had to unlearn that. I deserved the fullness of who I am. And I worked on it. I went to counseling, got life coaching, AND I had spiritual mentors who assisted me in the journey. Tahkyra getting Tahkyra back meant that I had to confront the very thought patterns and need for control that drove the behaviors leading to settling. I had to reconnect with myself. Trauma keeps us disconnected from ourselves. Connecting to myself literally solved the riddle for why I settled. My profession and personal experiences required me to get out of my own head and let someone come alongside me and help me. There goes that trust thing again right? I had to let people be there who had the capacity and understanding to be there for me.

Here's what it all boils down to: You can't afford to settle because the real you is waiting on you. Settling keeps you involved, participating, and existing in your own life as an imposter. Your authenticity is the answer you need for breaking free from settling. Everything you need is inside of you to grow! I've written books. I've started a coaching program that helps with all of that. At the end of the day, you can't afford to settle anymore because it's keeping you from living. Your life is worth living. You can't afford to settle anymore. What would it feel like, look like to live your life on your terms? As the real you? You are not the summation of your experiences. So don't let those experiences continue to author your decisions.

It's your girl Author Tahkyra TK Terrell and I'm just #MindingMyVision

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