Stop Settling for Less

"If you must compromise, compromise up."

--Eleanor Roosevelt



~*~ Topic of the Week - Stop Settling for Less ~*~

My inspiration for this week's broadcast comes from an experience I had
while traveling this past week. When I arrived at the airport for one of
my flights, I discovered that the gate attendant who handled my seat
assignment had mistakenly booked me in a center seat at the back of the
plane -- the last place a frequent traveler like myself wants to sit.

I was originally told that the plane was much larger than it turned out to
be, so I thought my assignment would be okay. But when I arrived at my
seat, I could see that I was about to spend five hours cramped in the back
and I really wanted to make a change. When I turned around to head up
front, I was faced with a long line of passengers waiting for me to put my
luggage in the overhead compartment so they could get to their seats. I
sat down feeling frustrated and annoyed.

As the passengers continued to board, I started a conversation in my head
that went something like this: "Well, one trip in a bad seat won't kill
you, Cheryl. The flight seems full, there are too many people trying to
board, and you'll only cause problems if you change seats now." I even
tried the "Just breathe and use this situation as an opportunity to
practice acceptance." Then I snapped out of it.

When the aisle cleared slightly, I left my bag in the overhead bin and
quickly moved to the front of the plane. I politely explained the
situation to the flight attendant and asked if I might have a better seat.
The flight attendant (who was lovely), asked me to step aside and wait.
Several minutes later she returned and led me to the aisle seat in the
bulkhead section of the plane -- one of my favorite seats. I sat down
with a sigh of relief feeling deeply grateful to this woman.

What's the moral of this story? Don't settle for less.

My initial reaction to being placed in the wrong seat is an example of how
we talk ourselves into settling for less. We tell ourselves things like:
Don't rock the boat, be nice, always put the needs of others before
yourself, or don't make a scene. All of this translates to: Settle for
less.

Think about it. Have you ever asked for a meal to be prepared in a
special way at a restaurant only to be served the wrong dish and eaten it
anyway? Or have you ever stopped short of buying something you really
want because it costs a little more than you think you deserve? Maybe you
still charge the same fees you've been charging for more than three years
because you're afraid of what others will think if you raise them. Or
maybe you continue to stay in a relationship you've outgrown to protect
another's feelings rather than protect your own.

The bottom line is, we always get what we settle for. When you risk
rocking the boat, disappointing others, or giving yourself more than you
think you deserve, you automatically raise your standards. And when you
raise your standards, you naturally start to attract better things into
your life - better relationships, experiences, and even material
possessions.

By the way, if the idea of settling for more sounds selfish, remember
this: When you want more for yourself, you naturally want more for others
-- a win/win for everyone! I spent too many years settling for less
because I didn't want to upset someone or appear inappropriately entitled
or arrogant. But the truth is this: That's not who I am, and it's not
who my readers and community members are either. Most of us tend to lean
in the opposite direction, giving more to others than we give to
ourselves.

So, in the spirit of healthy change, the next time you find yourself
having a "settling for less" conversation in your head, remember that
settling for a bad seat in an airplane or the wrong meal in a restaurant
may only be a small example of what you settle for in your life.

Are you ready to settle for more?


~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~

This week, pay attention to where you settle for less in your life. You
might even want to make a sign for your home or office that says, "Are you
settling for more?" to remind you to raise your standards. Whether it's
food in a restaurant or the way you allow yourself to be treated in a
relationship, challenge yourself to speak up and ask for what you want.
That way, you'll start receiving the very best.

www.cherylrichardson.com

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