We All Need To Quit Settling For A Mediocre Life

woman with outstretched arms
Ariel Lustre

I can’t tell you the amount of times I have watched dear friends of mine suffer through less than ideal situations that were totally up to them. In other words, they had a choice in the matter. I’m sure you’ve seen this happen in your own life. You saw one of your friends stay in a relationship that you knew was not delivering what they needed. You saw one of your friends stay at a job that was sucking the life out of them. Maybe you saw someone give up on a dream. Or maybe that someone was you. I don’t know.

You can do anything you want to do. You just have to want it bad enough. You can get out of debt, you can find a job you like, you can dye your hair blue, you can save up for your dream car. You can travel and live simply. Figure out what you want and go after it.

Identify the bullshit and get rid of it. Do you know what that means? It means saying no to some things. It means having a crucial conversation to iron something out. It means forgiving someone. It means picking up the phone to offer an apology. It means having a backbone and standing up for yourself. It means picking your battles wisely. It means having a voice. It means cutting out some things. It means adding in some things.

So often, I see people stay in a mediocre, “okay”, “alright” situation. They stay in this lukewarm state of living for fear that what’s out there might be worse. It isn’t. I promise. When you move forward in life, with intention, with aim, with purpose, it will not be worse. It may be harder. It may mean compromise. But it does not mean worse.

There is no room for good stuff to flood your life when your life is clogged up with “alright” and “not-so-great.” You might have to let go of the “okay” in faith, not really knowing what good will come to fill its absence. You might have to be okay with a temporary void, or loneliness. (Loneliness is better than negative company, I believe).

A few months ago, I was in a relationship that was not the healthiest for me. It was taking a toll on my mental and physical health, depleting me emotionally and taking my focus off my goals. When I was with that person, I felt like all my goals were on pause. I felt like I was on the back burner. That isn’t to say I didn’t learn from the relationship, I definitely learned what it was like to sacrifice, to put another person first, to help someone through a tough season, but there was ultimately a time when I felt like I had learned the lesson and harvested what the relationship had to offer. It was all so lopsided. In total fear but also in total commitment to the good that was to come, I broke things off.

I felt like I was Swiss cheese, walking around with a bunch of holes and not really sure where to go. (Who orders Swiss cheese? I felt useless.) A few months after the break-up, I decided to stop wallowing in my hurt. I decided to find the positive.

And do you know what happened? Good things started flooding into my life. I was alerted to opportunities and endless possibilities. With a wave of new inspiration, I decided to start preparing my life for whatever good was going to come into it. I decided to make room for it. I thought to myself, “If I was going to walk into my life, what would I want to be different? What would I see and think ‘this girl needs to get her shit together?'”

Looking at your life from an outsider’s perspective can make you realize how backwards some of it is. How pathetic some of it is. How your excuses really don’t hold up. And it can help you to stop making them.

I started cutting off ties with boys I was only sort of interested in, I stopped applying for jobs I was only sort of interested in. I made phone calls and reconnected with old friends. I started reading more again. I started hiking by myself (but always with a phone just in case). I kicked it up a notch at the gym, and turned down a few dates. And it felt good.

Here I am, a few months later, to tell you it gets better. I have a job I like, and I’m head over heels in love. I have a safe place to voice dreams as well as my fears, and someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone who shares a vision for life with me, someone with the same goals and same intentions. Even though there are still plenty of uncertainties in my life, there are so many things I am thankful for that I choose to focus on which help get me through.

Ditch the okay and have faith that the great will show up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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