5 Things You Should Never Settle For Once You Enter Your 20s

by Kristen Bousquet
Vera Lair

There's a little saying we've all heard before that tells us, “Never settle for anything less than you deserve.”

Chances are, you've scrolled by it hundreds of times written in an aesthetically pleasing font on Tumblr, or you've liked it on Instagram.

After being in and out of a terrible relationship, this quote spoke to me.

Of course, being with someone who treated me like crap really made me realize how much better I deserved, so I decided to start living by this quote and making it my motto. I did this not just in relationships, but in all aspects of life.

In many cases, it's hard for people not to settle, and it's usually because they don't know their own worth. Maybe they do know they deserve better, but don't want to make themselves vulnerable again.

While this is quite understandable, it's also important to take into consideration the fact life is short. We should be living our lives to the fullest and never settling for boring or uninspired things in any aspect of our lives.

I always thought I was doing everything I could to live my life to the fullest and get all the things I deserve to have, but after applying the “never settle” motto to different areas of my day-to-day life, I realized I was living my life all wrong.

1. Your Friendships

After graduating from high school, you begin to realize who your real friends are. The ones who were in all your classes and hung around with you at lunch and in between classes are suddenly nowhere to be found.

While this happens to many friendships after grade school, it's harder to tell who is a real friend and who is not when you step foot into the real world.

How many of us have that friend who only asks us to hang out when there's nothing else to do, or when they need something? Or that friend who blames you for every fight you get into?

It seems we all do, and frankly, these are the shitty friends who don't deserve to be in our lives.

If you're a good friend, you deserve to be surrounded by only the best quality friends as well. Remember the golden rule you learned in kindergarten?

Ask yourself this: If you were stuck in a rut and needed someone to be there in a snap, who would be there? Those are the people you should keep in your life.

Sorry to say it, but everyone else is truly a waste of your time. Never settle for someone who wouldn't do the same for you as you would for them.

2. Your Goals

We've all had that moment when we sit down and go over our life and where it's headed. Then, you have the realization you hate the place you live, you hate your job and you hate everything that surrounds you.

You have goals to make it big, live somewhere beautiful and constantly be surrounded by what makes you happy.

If this is the case, then making “never settle” your motto when trying to reach your goals will help motivate you to get to your ultimate destination in life.

When I was in high school, I pictured myself as a fabulous 20-something living in New York City working at a magazine or something remarkable of that sort. I applied to a couple schools in my home state and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Surprisingly, I got an acceptance letter from FIT. Because I feared leaving everything behind and heading to the Big Apple by myself, I settled on putting my deposit in at a mediocre school outside of Boston.

After I had made my schedule and finished orientation, I had the realization one day that I was settling on Boston.

I knew deep down I had dreams of making it to NYC, and after being accepted to the school of my dreams, I let fear take the wheel and settle on Boston.

Because I knew I was capable of more, I withdrew my deposit, pulled a “just kidding, FIT” and ended up heading to NYC to pursue my dreams.

I can't imagine where I'd be if I had stuck with settling on Boston. I love New York City and had so many life-changing experiences there that I could have never had in Boston.

I know that was where I was meant to be, and I'm glad I made that last-minute decision.

Of course, I was scared about leaving my life behind, but in turn, I created a whole new life for myself that is better than I could have asked for.

3. Your Love Life

This one I can't stress enough. I can't tell you how many times I've seen my friends hurt by terrible dudes. And I can't tell you how many times I have been hurt by terrible dudes.

Not that we're the ones to blame, but sometimes we put ourselves in positions where we allow ourselves to be hurt.

Sometimes, girls (myself included) think we aren't good enough for one of those incredible guys. As unfortunate as this is, sometimes it takes dating someone who really makes you feel terrible to realize you're worth so much more than many of the guys you've been with.

It took me having the worst relationship of my life to realize I will never, ever let someone treat me like anything less than a queen in a relationship ever again.

We have all dated those guys who constantly make you feel like the bad guy, depend on you for literally everything and have probably never paid to take a girl out to dinner in their lives.

Believe it or not, there's someone out there for all of us. It just takes going through multiple crappy guys to find your Prince Charming who will treat you like the incredible person that you are.

We all want to (and deserve to be) showered with roses, told we're beautiful and loved every single day and feel like we're the most important person in the world and honestly, you're wasting your time settling for anything less than that.

If you can look at someone and say, “I know I would never want to spend the rest of my life with this person,” then what are you wasting your time for?

Stop settling for a mediocre relationship just because you're comfortable there.

4. Your Career

I constantly hear people complain about going to work (again, myself included) and talk about how much they hate their job.

We've all been there (or are still there), and settling for a career you hate going to every day sounds like a lifetime of sadness and regret. I want to have a career in which I go to work every day with a smile on my face and an excited attitude to work on whatever projects I have going on.

Of course, we all have bills and responsibilities, so you have to choose something that makes you happy, but also makes you financially stable.

I'm sure we'd all love to just quit our shitty jobs and travel the world with no worries, but since we have those things called responsibilities, it's not exactly realistic to just up and quit.

Refusing to settle in a career that makes you unhappy takes time because you have to try many jobs before you find the perfect one. It might take years, but when you find a job you can walk into each day and love, then it will all be worth it.

5. Your Happiness In General

Chris Brogan, media and marketing expert, says,

Don't finish crappy books. If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you're not on the right path, get off it.

I remember reading this quote and smiling. It's funny how we all settle into these everyday routines.

“Never settle” even applies to the little things in life, like staying at crappy restaurants, settling for crappy meals and forcing ourselves to finish a book we're not wrapped up in.

The way I look at it? Life is short. You should try your best to be happy as much as possible.

Obviously, sometimes life gets in the way and there is sadness or frustration that can sneak into our day-to-day lives, but trying to have as much of a positive outlook on life will make you the happiest in life.

And isn't that what it's all about?