Benjamin Franklin once said,
Sadly, this is true for more than just some people in today’s world.
In many ways, people cease to live by settling for mediocrity in their lives.
The relationships they have, the jobs they work and the people they spend time with can all be lackluster or even unhealthy.
People, however, fail to realize they’re settling for less than their best only until they’ve lost something significant.
This could be years of their lives, money, health or happiness.
So, how do you become aware that you’re selling yourself short?
How do you recognize you’re slipping into a quality of life that is less than what you deserve?
Here are five signs that may indicate you’re traveling down the beaten road of mediocrity:
1. You have a long string of failed relationships.
Have you ever met someone who jumps from one relationship to the next, with each ending in catastrophic flames after only a few months?
We all know that person, and maybe it’s you.
The problem, however, is that these people are settling for people who aren’t necessarily the best for them.
Sometimes the people they’re with are immature or even abusive.
People settle in this way for many reasons, including low self-worth, insecurities, an old traumatic relationship, etc.
Perhaps the most prevalent reason is the need for attention and validation from the outside world in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
This doesn’t just apply to intimate relationships; people can subject themselves to horrible professional and personal relationships for many of the same reasons.
If you find you’ve had many relationships with indecent people or just people you knew weren’t the best, perhaps it’s time to examine why you repeatedly let them into your life.
You could realize you may be settling for low-quality people.
2. You put up with things that make you unhappy because they have one redeeming quality.
We’ve all found ourselves settling for something we knew wasn’t going to make us happy, yet we stuck with it because it had one redeeming quality.
Perhaps it was that job you absolutely hate, yet continued working at because it paid well.
Maybe it was that boyfriend or girlfriend who treated you poorly, yet provided you with a place to live so you decided to put up with him or her.
What many people fail to realize is this form of settling can be extremely draining on our health and happiness.
Spending your time and energy on something that is not fulfilling simply because it has one payoff can lead to depression, fatigue and resentment.
Realize that no one thing — no matter what benefits it comes with — is worth sacrificing your time, health and happiness for.
3. There’s a constant voice in your head telling you you can do better.
We’ve all had experiences in our lives where we knew we could do better, yet we settled for something that was less than our best.
There are various reasons for settling, as we have already discussed.
But deep down, we know we can do better, have better and be better, yet we don’t listen.
If you ignore your instincts and instead choose to settle for what’s in front of you, someday you’ll find that you haven’t progressed very far in life.
You’re equipped with gut instincts and emotions for a reason: They’re there to help you navigate through life.
If you know something or someone isn’t good enough for you, then listen to yourself and keep searching for something that is.
4. You choose comfort over uncertainty.
Life presents us with many opportunities to explore, grow and pursue our goals.
The most rewarding of these are often far beyond our comfort zone and filled with uncertainty.
Indeed, some of the most successful people in this world are those who stepped toward the things that were unknown and uncomfortable.
What’s unfortunate is that many people aren’t willing to venture in that direction.
The reality is, most of life is uncertain, and realizing that is the first step to pushing yourself beyond your perceived boundaries.
If you find yourself choosing what is safe and comfortable all the time, then odds are, you’re settling for whatever feels most certain and familiar.
While there may be nothing wrong with sticking with what is most known to us, we need to uncomfortably step toward the uncertainties that life comes with, in order to take risks and expand our horizons.
5. You tolerate bullsh*t from the people you spend time with.
Tolerating bad behavior from people you spend time with is another sign you’re settling for less than your best.
The people in your life should be positive, encouraging and supportive.
If anyone is constantly giving you bullsh*t or creating drama in your life, then realize that person no longer deserves to be in your life.
Cutting negative people out of your inner circle or significantly reducing the time you spend with them is a skill that takes practice.
Yet, accepting anything less than quality people to share your time with is truly unfair to yourself and to your progress in life.
These are just a few signs that may indicate you’re settling for less than your best.
Becoming aware of these signs and recognizing you deserve more than average in all areas of life is the first step to escaping mediocrity and creating a life worth living.