by Khushal Piracha – Follow @browngirlmag
Compromising is something we do every day. It can be as simple as choosing chicken because steak wasn’t available. We, as logical people, choose the next best option available. Life decisions however, are not as simple as a choice between chicken or steak. They’re complex and take time to process. Yet, sometimes we don’t compromise but rather, settle for less.
Compromising is applied to one particular moment. You compromised by getting chicken because the restaurant ran out of beef. Settling for less is knowingly choosing a lesser preferred option even when your preferred option was available. This is choosing a job you don’t like only because it pays well. This is having to be quiet about harassment at work because you don’t want to be fired. This is playing a sport you don’t like only because your parents want you to. This is sacrificing your satisfaction in the short term to hope to be satisfied in the long run.
So why do we do it?
Why do we settle for less knowing that it’ll impact our long-term happiness and satisfaction?
Let me be very clear. People go through dilemmas every day and problems require careful thought to solve. It’s situations where the overall satisfaction pointed towards one decision, but individuals still choose another option. Here, I discuss 4 instances where settling for less should not be an option.
1. Mental Health
In the past few years, mental health has come to the forefront in shaping overall health. Problems such as depression, anxiety and panic affect your physical health if symptoms are prolonged. Symptoms include erratic sleep habits, dramatic increase or decrease in appetite, loss of interest in daily activities, and even body aches. Long term depression can raise the chances of heart disease, blood pressure problems, insomnia, and even memory loss. So when you make important decisions, always think about your long term satisfaction so it doesn’t result in health problems.
2. Workplace Tension
I think have all had experiences where we’re not fond of another co-worker, manager, or even boss. The reasons are as random as they can be. So long as these reasons don’t personally affect your growth, you’ll be fine. But it so happens that professionals and colleagues will feel the need to discredit you to succeed. It can be simply taking credit for your idea or deliberately not informing you of an important meeting. Start by talking to the individual in question and reach out to them to know if there’s a misunderstanding. Also try to approach Human Resources to talk to them about how the workplace environment is tense. If all these tactics don’t resolve your issue, plan your exit strategy.
3. Moral Conflict
Morals are a slippery slope. From a young age we’re taught to speak the truth, not to hurt someone’s feelings, and use our judgement to do the right thing. As we grow up, we have lapses in judgement and don’t always make the right choices. In many sectors nowadays, illegal and immoral practices are promoted. At your workplace, if you’re ever pressured to do something outside of your moral comfort zone, that’s your cue to plan your exit. If you silence that inside voice telling you the difference between right and wrong, that will not be the last time you do it.
4. Self-Image and Impact
Your biggest strength and weakness is how you view yourself. It’s how would you describe yourself to another person. When you work, you want to be the best version of yourself. Our self-image is often distorted when we are expected to act a certain way that is contrary to our beliefs. It shatters confidence and fuels insecurity. “Am I doing it right?” is a constant question. It also affects our impact and legacy. What do we want the world to remember about us when we’re gone? You want your life to be meaningful. You don’t want it to be stories about how you broke every rule to accomplish something. Rather, what all you contributed to your family and society.
Know your worth and settle for more.
Khushal Piracha is a Supply Chain Management graduate from The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently running a small startup based in Karachi, Pakistan called Honest Market, aiming to provide healthy and environmentally-friendly products.