Sometimes it’s easier to just “settle.” Maybe you’ve been waiting for that special someone for as long as you can remember, but nothing seems to be turning out right. Or even, you’ve been looking for a job that goes beyond your wildest dreams, but all you can find is a job filing papers in what seems like a dead-end career. For a while, it might be okay to go for your “second best,” especially if you need money or support, but in the long run, isn’t it better to aim high and wait for something or someone “right” for you? Even if it takes a long time, the phrase “good things comes to those who wait” really is true. You’ve got to keep the self-esteem high in order to see that the puzzle pieces will fall into place when they’re ready.
What do you do while waiting, though? Here are some tips to keep your moral high when things are getting tough:
1. Don’t think too much about what you want. Sometimes, when you concentrate too much on “finding” what you’re looking for, nothing goes the way you planned. For example, if you focus on the fact that you’re on a date or job interview, you may become too nervous and make the situation awkward. The best things happen when you least expect it or when you’ve all but given up, so just put your best face on and go with the flow, at least for a little while. See how it feels to relax and let things happen – it might even be to your benefit.
2. Know when to intervene into your own life. While it’s good to take a step back and not think about what you’re looking for, it’s a balance: you also have to know when it’s good to take action. Maybe you have an opportunity to jump on a job interview, but you’re nervous that it’s not exactly what you want. It’s not worth it just to sit back and watch opportunities go by. What have you got to lose besides a possibly a life-changing moment?
3. Keep your options open. For example, you might have the opportunity to interview for the “perfect” job, but there’s also another job opportunity. To use a quote most people know, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” You never know what’s “perfect” until you actually have the opportunity to test it out.
4. Don’t be snobby about your self-worth. You know you deserve better than “second best,” but even so, don’t rub it in other people’s faces. Everyone deserves something or someone that empowers them. It’s nothing new that everyone is an individual, unique, and worth more than the leftovers of someone else’s dream. It might sound cliche, but it’s true: be respectful to others and treat them the way you want to be treated. Life is what you make it and you have to think about others or it all falls apart.
5. Be yourself. This is the best advice, since how do you expect to be able to find something that “makes sense” unless you are true to yourself? If you don’t know what you want, you might just find what you need if you don’t change yourself unnecessarily. If you forget you’re looking for anything and just act as normal, life is bound to fall into place. Reference #1 if you doubt this logic.
This topic reminds me of quotes from two movies with similar titles and completely different plots, but the same outcome: if you’re not looking for something special, it’ll most likely surprise you in an unlikely place. Here are the quotes:
“Next time…we will laugh more, we’ll love more. We just won’t be so afraid”
– Queen Latifah’s character in Last Holiday. Basically, this quote is implying that you always have second chances, but you have to remember what you deserve and need. Life can change winds at any time and you have to embrace every moment to your best potential if it’s going to be worth it.
“…in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”
– The Holiday. This movie is about reclaiming yourself through change and realizing that you deserve better than what you’ve been accepting. In order to be the strong, independent woman you are, you have to keep your moral alive and be the best person you can be. Don’t accept anything less.
In general, it’s important to focus on what’s best for you in the long run. As long as you treat others with respect and keep your cool, patience pays off and you can go about life knowing that you’re not “settling for less.” You just got to know when to intervene to make things right. -BV