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11 Warning Signs That You’re Settling For Less In Life

11 Warning Signs That You’re Settling For Less In Life

Studies show that two-thirds of Americans are unhappy. That’s ridiculous. Whether you want to get out of a bad relationship, move across the country, start a business, dye your hair green or go to the moon, check this list for warning sings than you’re settling for less than you deserve.

1. You are always tired

If you get eight hours of sleep and are otherwise healthy, you shouldn’t be tired at one o’clock in the afternoon. Excitement about life gives you energy. If you get tired early in the day or have trouble getting out of bed, your life isn’t giving you the excitement and energy you need to make it through the day. You’re bored. Do something.

2. You keep saying “after”

You delay going after your dream until after this happens or after that happens because you are afraid you’re going to fail. You believe that if you don’t start, you can’t fail. That’s a great way to avoid failure, but a terrible way to live a satisfying life. The time is never going to be perfect. In fact, the timing probably will never even be good. Waiting for a time that is never going to arrive will keep you settling for less. Act now.

3. You blame other people

People do mean, harmful and illegal stuff all the time. But that’s not the reason you haven’t achieved what you want. Every successful person got dirt kicked in their face at some point — probably several times. They were successful anyway. Whether it’s someone who maliciously harmed you, the government, the economy or any other force, blaming them gives your power to them. Don’t do that. It’s like giving your opponent brass knuckles in a fight.

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4. You don’t think you can

Nobody who did anything ever said it was easy. It’s always hard and always worth it. Don’t mistake hard for impossible. When you catch yourself saying, “I can’t do that,” punch yourself in the face. Then ask yourself if you actually can’t do it or are just saying that because it’s hard. Do hard things.

5. You think a lot, but do little

You think a lot about what you want to achieve, but you take little or no action. You dream about it, but don’t do it. If you consistently think about something, you really need to do it. It’s stuck in your head for a reason. Nobody on their death bed ever said, “I’m really glad I thought about that thing my whole life but never did it.” Think less and do more.

6. You keep saying, “someday”

“Someday” is worse that “after.” You keep saying that you’ll pursue your dream someday. It really means “when some unknown thing happens, I’ll do that thing I really want to do. You’re punting life. Kick the ball as hard as you can.

7. You rip on successful people

You hate other people only because they have achieved something — their lifestyle, their money, their relationships. You think people who have succeeded are greedy, lucky or dishonest. This keep you settling for less, and puts up an artificial barrier to success. You are training your mind to believe the lie that success is for greedy, lucky and dishonest people. Since you are probably none of those things, your subconscious mind is learning that success is not for you. Celebrate other peoples success.

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8. You are playing small and you think it’s OK

You tell yourself that settling for less is OK. You make up silly excuses for why it’s OK to keep playing small. You believe that playing small is safer and more practical.

“So many of us choose our paths in life out of fear disguised as practicality”

Jim Carey

At the end of your life, do you want to reflect on how safely you played the game? Play the game to win. You might lose. Losing is part of winning.

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9. You read stuff like this

If you read about Kim Kardashian’s latest drama or other worthless celebrity gossip, you are settling for less. You only have 24 hours in each day and limited time on this earth. You might argue that you enjoy celebrity news or gossip, but is that what you most want to do? If there is nothing else you’d rather be doing, continue reading that stuff. If not, use that time to take steps toward your goal.

10. You are jealous

Everyone else seems to have a better life. They are happier, wealthier, have better relationships and are generally better off than you. You’re a little (maybe a lot) pissed about it. Take note of even the most subtle anger or negativity toward successful people. If you are pursuing life with everything you’ve got, you’ll be excited to celebrate the success of others.

11. Food, alcohol, or TV are the highlight of your day

You know what I’m talking about. All day long you’re thinking about that beer, glass of wine, burger, or the latest episode of Breaking Bad. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things unless they are consistently the highlight of your day. Unless a cheeseburger, beer and the latest episode of American Idol is all you want out of life, you are settling for less than you deserve. Go after something you really want.

Each of these is a result of fear. You believe that if you fail, your dream will die. Yet that dream is what keeps you going every day. You don’t have to accept failure as an option. You can keep going after your goal no matter what.

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“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
― Babe Ruth

The alternative is settling for less for the rest of your life. You deserve better. Take one step today.

Featured photo credit: photo credit: FatMandy via photopin via media.lifehack.org

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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