Why We Settle | Challenging Self-Doubt

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Why do we settle? Especially when we know we are not where we want to be in life. Why do we compromise and invest our precious energy into accepting where we are more than we do changing it to reflect for of what we want? The answer is easier than you think.


You may be asking yourself if this is truly accurate, because you may not consider yourself the insecure type. If you are that person you have done one of two things:

1) Fooled yourself into thinking/believing that you are more confident than you really are

2) Rationalized the notion of "settling" to look more like acceptance and less like denial

Now that I have your attention, let's talk about why this is true.

Simply put, confident people don't doubt themselves. They fervently chase after what they want and they are always growing because in their mind, their is never a goal too far out of reach.

People who doubt themselves are often stuck. They do not change much or actualize/manifest many of the goals they have or had. Picture if you will a person standing at the edge of a cliff. The self doubter doesn't jump. They step the edge and then back again. They hype themselves up and then back down. They do not leap. The confident person may be scared, but they eventually jump. Until you take that leap, you are struggling with self doubt and are settling. You are choosing the option that is most familiar, safer.

You may think you are a confident person and to an extent you may be. However, the reason you are stuck is because you have settled. You have become accustomed to the pain and discomfort in your life as a result of settling and you have moved into the place of "acceptance". You see your goals/dreams, but you have shut the door and instead, watch them through the window of self doubt.

Now let's talk about self doubt. What is it and why do we experience it?

Self doubt is the verb form of insecurity. It is the action (or lack thereof really) of your insecurities. It is the manifestation of all these things that you think and feel that are born in negativity. Most insecurities are formed throughout development. They come as a byproduct of social learning. Have you ever met a toddler that didn't they were the center of the universe? God's gift to man? Of course not! Toddlers think they're great because they don't know other wise. But once we start to move into the portion of our development where we are aware of others around us; their views and perceptions of us, insecurity moves in.

Most of your insecurities come from poor or even traumatic experiences in your life. Someone said something about you, someone told you that somehow you did not measure up, or that your dreams or goals were dumb. Someone who's opinion meant something to you wounded you in a way that left you feeling subpar in that area of your life. Maybe that happened a lot.

In fact the two so strongly correlate that it's the rule rather than the exception. Why is this? Something called resilience. Resilience is still something that baffles psychologists because it doesn't seem to follow any patterns as far as why some have it and some don't. However, not all hope is lost because resilience can be developed with practice, much like any other skill.

Resiliency is the key to confidence.

Confidence is the key to overcoming self-doubt

I want you to think hard: what you're insecure about? Now, think of all those times people ridiculed you for it, put you down because of it, or made you feel less than regarding whatever it is. Those messages have become your inner voice. If you are consumed with self doubt, your inner voice is not even your own; it's someone else. Someone else pulling the puppet strings, yet you continue allowing them to pull these strings and dominate where you go or don't go in life. When you think of it that way, doesn't that sound disempowering? That's because it IS! You are leading an incredibly disempowered life when you allow yourself to be consumed by self doubt and insecurity.

How many times have you allowed that inner voice to talk you out of things you want in life; dreams, goals and vision of living better and being better? How often are you telling yourself you don't deserve it or "it'll never happen"? How often have you CHOSEN to listen to this and make it your truth? Probably a lot.

Do you use passive language like "try" "maybe" "possibly" "hopefully", etc. You're probably thinking, "What's wrong with those words?"

I'll tell you what's wrong with them:

Those are words fueled by insecurity and self doubt. They are words that lack any semblance of control. They are words that allow room for excuse, blame and lack of ownership. Those are words that leave room for outside circumstances or even other people to take what's yours. These words leave the gate wide open for the robbing of your joy and inner peace; in the end, you have no one to blame but yourself. (yep, I said it). You're thinking, "wow, that's harsh". But it's the truth. We spend so much of our time fooling ourselves into believing that other things have that much control over us--it doesn't. Nothing does. Placing blame is like trying to build a house with a jack hammer. It's purpose is not to build but to destroy.

Do you want to know why it's important to take responsibility for those thoughts? For those outcomes? Because it's your life, your future, your goals, your joy, your inner peace--no one else's. No one owes it to you; no one can make it or break it; no one can take it; no one can create it or dismantle it. You are not responsible for the attacks against you, but you are responsible for surrendering to the enemy and becoming it's slave. The enemy is anything that seeks to destroy you. People, circumstances and life will try to defeat you, but they only succeed if you let them.

When that enemy succeeds, it poisons every thought you have. It defeats every ambition and effort. When you listen to those thoughts/voice, you willingly enslave yourself. You bind yourself up in its chains and surrender to remaining captive in those thoughts.

Do you know what a lot of us do instead of shaking those chains lose? We embrace them.

You're thinking, "no I don't!"

But the sad truth is, we do. Our brains crave consistency--autopilot. We seek a state of homeostasis where we can be comfortable. As crazy as it sounds, even in places of continuous misery, we can find comfort because it is what's familiar. Often times the idea of making ourselves accustomed to pain feels easier than the thought of overcoming it.

Welcome to settling.

This is why we stay in relationships we know are toxic; jobs that don't fulfill our purpose, mindsets that don't benefit us and lives that don't give us joy. We spend more time accepting it than we do changing it.

If you find yourself unhappy in life, in your job, your relationships, with your health, body or just with yourself. You are cycling through this loop. You are spiraling uncontrollably further and further into this black hole until it feels like you may never get out.


STAY TUNED for skills under this resource tab to learn more about overcoming this inner voice and regaining control to begin leading the life you deserve.

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