I've settled for less than I really wanted many times in my life, and each time my awareness of just how much of myself I gave up to accept that "OK" job, buy that "OK" car, enter that "OK" relationship that was less than I really wanted came much later, when it was too late to do much about it.
Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, what could I have done differently? Honestly, probably nothing. I had lessons I needed to learn, a journey I was destined to take that led me to find the love of my life and the life that I love.
What did I learn from making all those choices that seemed right at the time? Here's a few things-
- Every choice has long-term consequences that are predictable if you're paying attention
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- I listen to my fears and doubts way too much
- My choices and results are a direct reflection of how worthy I feel and how well I'm taking care of myself
- When I defend against what others say about me, they're always right and I'm always wrong (damn!)
- Life doesn't work the way you want, need or expect, it works the way it works
Is it possible to catch myself settling before it's too late? Yes, I just have to listen to the garbage I tell myself; such as-
- I don't want to be alone
- I REALLY want a relationship
- I'm tired of looking, I might as well choose this one
- I won't find anything/anyone better
- I'd rather have this now than risk nothing later
- I don't deserve true happiness
- 80% is good enough
What could I have done differently? Simple. Require 100% and not settle for less.
All the times I talked myself into accepting 80% prevented me from finding and experiencing 100%. This hit home for me when I broke up an 80% relationship and then met the woman I was destined to marry just a few months later. It's like I finally passed a cosmic test of some kind.
Five years after writing the book "Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World" and two years after finally finding my soul mate, the biggest secret to finding true love that I've learned is to love myself enough to fiercely go after 100% of what I really want and truly believe that it's possible.
Fiercely believe "I deserve to love and be loved."
Fiercely believe "Seek and ye shall find."
Fiercely believe "Build it, and they will come."
And, fiercely believe "I'd rather be single than settle!"
David Steele, MA, LMFT is the founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the ground-breaking book for singles "Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World," now in it's second edition.
For more information about David's personal conscious dating journey visit www.darleneanddavid.com For free access to his audio program "Conscious Dating for Relationship Success" and other free resources for conscious singles visit www.joinconsciousdating.com