Why Do People Settle For Less?

Whypeoplesettleforless_zpsae0c670b“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  Have you ever asked yourself, why am I settling for less?  As a matter of fact, if you have asked yourself that question it’s a good sign, because people who are really settling for less never ask themselves such question.

So, why do people settle for less?  In fact, we all have settled for less at one point or another and no matter where you are in life this information can help you if you feel that you are settling in your life.

The Reasons Why People Settle


I have grown up around people who have settled for less (most of us do), and never have asked themselves the question, why?

It was just the way it was, and they just never even began to think  I could do better with my life!  It was just not something that ever came to mind for them.  The main reason for this is that when the brain is well conditioned it will go to a point where the person never, ever, questions anything.

Such people are not dumb, stupid, or uneducated; as a matter of fact, they can be very bright and talented such I the people I know and grew up around, but they are just conditioned by their upbringing.  As sad as it may sounds it was very common in the past, and even though it has gotten a little bit better, it still is widely spread.

In other words, my career as a life coach is still very promising. So, so many people need to wake up from their “comatic state”.  But they can’t do it alone for the most part.

Please, don’t get me wrong now, I am just stating the truth.  I had to wake up from my own coma myself, so I know what I’m talking about.

So, let’s analyze why people settle for less.  Why YOU settle for less.  And how you can improve in this area.

Low Self Esteem will Make you Settle for Less

The number one factor for settling for less is low self esteem.  Low self esteem will make you settle for a less paid job, for not daring to start your own business, for staying with the wrong partner, for letting someone abuse you in any way, and more.  All in all low self esteem prevents people for moving forward even if they have the talent to do so.  Low self esteem will keep you status quo.

However, low self esteem is something that is learned. No human being was born with low self esteem.  So, if it’s learned it can also be unlearned and we will see how below.

Fear will Make you Settle for Less

Fear is the first child of low self esteem and it’s a pure poison that will tie you up stronger than physical chains.

Fear is also a conditioning of the brain that starts after we are born.   As I read once “your fears are a manifestation of your personal perception”. That’s the very reason why for example, “person A” might be fearful of something while “person B” isn’t, and vice versa.  It’s all about how they “perceive” what they are scared about.

In other words the fear comes from them, not what they are scared about.

A good example is that someone might be scared of flying, but yet they drive over 70 MPH on highways.  The odd that they will get killed on the highway before they get killed on a plane are very high.  Yet, unless they start reasoning about their fear, they will still be scared of flying.

Fear is also curable, and we’ll see how below.

False Sense of Comfort will Make you Settle for Less

There is an extremely widely spread false sense of comfort out there and that’s what is keeping people from taking actions and encouraging them to settle for less.  You feel that you are secure in that job of yours until you get laid off.

I know a handful of women who had stuck with their less than perfect husband until their husband left them.  False sense of comfort is the twin brother of settling for less, and it’s a liar.  You believe that you are in a comfort zone while you are really in danger.

False sense of comfort has a cure and will see what it is below.

Your Specific Beliefs will Make you Settle for Less

Beliefs are pretty much entrenched and if you think about it, most people spend their whole life without challenging any of the beliefs that they were raised to believe.

If you do, you don’t belong to the majority, but you should cherish that gift.  I am always so thankful for this myself.  I’ve always questioned things since I was a child, and I always had a darn hard time to compromised that used to drive my mother crazy.

Here is an example of entrenched belief.  I was speaking with someone yesterday who told me that he was a bit overweight because as you grow old your metabolism slows down.  I challenged him on that by saying; another thing that will slow down your metabolism is if you put this in your mind.  If you belief that it is so.  My metabolism has not slowed down, mostly because I refuse to believe those things.  But guess what? He kept saying that’s how it it. So, of course for him it will be, because it’s a deep entrenched belief of his, and he can’t get it out of his subconscious mind.  Look at the quote at the top of the post again!

Because I’ve always been a little rebel that way and love to challenge the common beliefs of the masses, I am free from such an handicapping mindset.  But depending on what your beliefs are they will make you settle for less.

There one thing about beliefs, though. They can be changed, we will see how, below.

Learning How To Not Settle For Less

Improving Your Self Esteem

There are several exercises that you can do to improve your self esteem.  While it would be impossible to mention them all here, you can start with affirmations that are meant to boost your self esteem.

The same way someone can lose their self esteem by being criticized and put down all the time, self esteem can be stimulated by positive affirmations.

Repeat your affirmations in your head, out loud, in front of a mirror, in the shower, before you get up in the morning and before going to bed at night.  While you do this, be mindful of your breathing and take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling as you speak your affirmations.

Such exercise will start improving your self esteem as long as you turn them into a habit.

Overcoming your Fear

Try to challenge you fears by doing something you might be scared to do.  I know it’s not easy, but just take one step at the time and start with little things and increase the challenge as you go.

Meditation can help a lot with fear.  Meditate about the real cause of your fear.  Look at your fear like if you were looking at a person. Then see it becoming smaller and smaller until you can just smash it with your foot.

Visualizations such as this can reprogram the brain to overcome fears.

Seeing you False Sense of Comfort for what it Really is

Analyze one by one the things that give you this false sense of comfort and try to imagine what you would do if you didn’t have them.  How would you feel if what you take for comfort wasn’t around anymore? Would the world stop turning?  What if it was gone tomorrow?

By analyzing you sources of false comfort and asking these types of questions you can really start seeing them for what they really are.

I’m not saying it’s not a long process, it can be depending on YOU, but this is where you start.

Challenging the Beliefs that don’t Serve you  

Look at your life and look at your beliefs.  Your life is a reflection your beliefs for the most part.  Challenge your beliefs by asking yourself the question; why do I believe this?  You will be amazed at what you will find out if you keep asking those questions to yourself.

As the Bible says; ask and you shall receive.  It’s only by asking this type of questions that you will receive deep and profound answers.  By challenging your beliefs you will be able to get rid of all the beliefs that don’t serve  you.

There, you have it. Now it’s you turn… let’s see what you have to say about this!



Subliminal-Power - Reprogram your inner subconscious mind

43 thoughts on “Why Do People Settle For Less?”

  1. Another great and inspiring post, Sylviane! These are all exactly the reasons we keep ourselves down and don’t get or achieve all we could. I especially relate to the false sense of comfort… my husband is still around, thank goodness 🙂 But I know what you mean. It’s very easy to get comfortable with something that you’re used to, and that combines with fear of the unknown so you think you’re fine where you are. And you don’t take a step outside your comfort zone. Sometimes life forces us to do that but it really pays to take some chances on our own so we know we’re strong enough to deal with new things and changes.

    You used the perfect word: “challenge”. We have to challenge ourselves to do things we’re not sure of, or to take risks, even if they’re small. We have to challenge ourselves to do things we fear because chances are we’re only afraid of vague things that aren’t going to hurt us anyway. I mean, we’re not talking about jumping out of a plan here, we’re talking about doing things that usually make us uncomfortable like meeting new people, talking in front of a group, taking on a tough job.

    The biggest obstacles we often face in life is OURSELVES. Forget the bad economy and the car that won’t start and the annoying clients and all the little things we complain about. You said it, it’s all about our beliefs and how we deal with those things.

    And it’s something that at least for me, I have to do every day… keep challenging, keep thinking and avoid the traps.
    Carol Lynn invites you to read..Don’t Let Your Facebook Business Page Be An Embarrassment To Your CompanyMy Profile

    1. Hi Carol,

      Well, I would have sworn that I had replied to your comment here, but the evidence proved me wrong. Sorry about that!

      I am so glad when people seem to enjoy these types of posts, and I’m glad you are one of them.

      false comfort is so wide spread it’s not even funny. As humans we are masters at stetting for what we don’t really want, or even what we absolutely hate. I think that’s so sad. What a wasted life that is.

      That’s why we need to wake up from this and take serious actions that will bring us joy and a taste of what life really is supposed to feel like.

      Thanks for your excellent input.

  2. You hit the nail on the head here Sylviane!

    I often times look back and try to figure out why I stayed where I was for so long and I admit I didn’t know any better. Once I did start to understand that I don’t have to settle but the fear of the unknown and not thinking we’ll be good enough was the kicker for me.

    It’s taken me years to work on myself and move past those fears and I’m still working on them. But, I’ve come a very long way.

    Everyone in this world has potential. They truly can be more then who they are now and have more if they want it. It’s the believing that they’re worthy is where most people are.

    I know that anyone who is ready to take that plunge could definitely use your services. You explain things so that a fifth grader could understand them. That’s what I love about the way you teach.

    So here is to us never settling for less ever again. I’m game…

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I’m so glad that you can relate to this post. Most people can, because as I said in the post, we all have at least at one point or another settled for less. If we eventually ever become “aware” of it it’s more than most people will ever be able to do.

      I often wish that I could have taught these things to my own mother, but that’s too late for that. So I hope I can help as many people as possible.

      A friend of mine told me not too long ago that I have a way to make these things understood by anyone, and I love to hear that. If even a child can understand what I’m talking about, then most adults should, and that’s great. Thanks for telling me this, Adrienne.

      That’s right, let’s never settle for less. Ever!

  3. Sylviane,
    I could write a novella to comment on this post. I grew up in a state of low self esteem, fear, and would settle for anything or anyone who accepted me.
    I lived this way for 20something years. I call it my “dark days” because I was so unhappy and was afraid of people, especially authority.
    Coming from this place, I attracted the same thing in my first two marriages – the were short and not sweet!
    Then, when I hit my AHA moment, I sought help. I started therapy because I knew deep inside there was some way I could get out of my prison.
    From there, it has been a wonderful journey that I am still on.
    Thank you for bringing this up because if it “hits” one person and they use this to enhance their lives, you have changed the world my friend.

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    1. Wow, Donna, you’re always saying great things to me 🙂 Thank you so much.

      Looks like our 20 something years of life are pretty much similar. Everything you describe here sound so familiar. Aren’t we glad it’s behind us now, and we will never settle for less ever again.

      Thank you for bring your own experience here, Donna.

  4. All great stuff in this post Sylviane. Self esteem definitely affects the income and life of many. Rebuilding self-esteem by removing limiting beliefs one has about themselves would be a great place to start.

    I know so many people who were thin in high school and now they are a lot heavier than they used to be. I don’t believe we should gain weight as we get older. It’s a choice once we become aware that we are making it.

    Take Care.
    Justin invites you to read..Self Improvement Gifts 7 – Free Personal Development ProductsMy Profile

    1. Hi Justin,

      I am so glad that you agree that getting older doesn’t mean getting heavier. Actually getting older doesn’t mean a lot of things that lots of people believe. But it’s a choice as you said.

      As an adult I have been only one size and one size only, and that’s a few decades now 🙂 I firmly believe that it’s due to my beliefs, along with me life style of course, but even your life style is part of your beliefs.

      I have never been good at compromising 🙂

      Thanks for your input, Justin.

  5. Hi Sylviane, You are so right! My personal theory is that low self-esteem is the root of all evil. When you’re around people who are comfortable with themselves you realize what a difference it makes.

    I am so glad you not only explained why we settle for less but also offered solutions for solving these issues. When we strive for the best we get the best!
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    1. Hi Carolyn, and nice seeing you here.

      knowing the problem is one thing, but having the solution to get rid of it that’s what people need, so I made a point to describe the issue first and give the solution later.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

  6. Yet another wonderful post Sylviane!

    I loved the way you also provided the solutions for each of the problems we all face 🙂

    Yes indeed, most of us can relate to either one or more of the reasons mentioned as to why we settle for less. Speaking of myself, its the sense of comfort that makes me settle for less. However, it’s not related to my hubby who is a wonderful person, but because I remain happy and content in whatever little I have. Not that I am unhappy if I get more, but I don’t tend to get overjoyed if I get more or saddened if I have less – so for me it’s always been being happy in all kinds of situations, something which I try teaching my kids too now.

    I liked your example about the specific belief that person had about not being able to loose weight because of his metabolism, which is so very true! I too have been guilty of such beliefs, till I learnt to fight my way out of them and make the impossible – possible. I guess it works best when you have undergone them yourself – isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this important topic with it’s solutions with all of us. 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thank you for sharing your own experience with us. Actually, your comment gives me the opportunity to clarify that I wasn’t speak of people being happy with less, but those who settle for less while they are leading a rather unhappy life. That’s two very, very different things.

      You could decide to sell all your goods and live in the desert by choice, and be happy an content. In such case you wouldn’t be part of those who settle for less, but those who for one reason or another DECIDE to live with less.

      The later is a totally deferent state of mind from the other. One decides, the other endures while they’re unhappy.

      I just wanted to note the difference since in your case, I wouldn’t classify you as someone who settle for less, but who is happy as you are 🙂

      So, what happen to your blog? I haven’t see a new post in a while :)?

      1. Ah…I understand that much better now and thanks for the explanation too. Yes indeed, it’s always a choice you can make – isn’t it?

        The blog is taking a little time with the new theme now, so I too am not rushing with a new post till it’s fully done. You would get to know as soon a new post comes up 🙂

        Thanks for asking 🙂
        Harleena Singh invites you to read..How to be Happy in LifeMy Profile

        1. Great Harleena,

          Nice to know that I haven’t miss a post, then. Can’t wait to see your new design 🙂

  7. Hi Sylviane,

    Sometimes when I read your posts my mind recall incidents that truly match with your descriptions. I was one for settle less though I was doing more than enough when someone asks for.

    If you remember I asked why I afraid to ask for money from my clients recently too in a post of yours. That’s was deep inside me dear. I know even I try to change that, it was really hard to do. But now after all, I’m taking the right pathway while clearing my doubts here when your posts relates with my experiences. I was a boy with low self-esteem and everyone around me knew about that too. I think I’ve made lot of changes for myself after being online and start blogging even to offer my own online business to offer services.

    First off, I was called “I’m gonna forever alone” and never will make money 😀 lol… People call anything comes to their mind and I was able to earn and take my blog to a custom domain. Afterwards again I’ve got couple of projects to work on and wasn’t settle for less though. I think you might have that experience as people always looking for cheap services and ask why you take this much when someone doing it for free or around $5. But we know what we do and we value our services, right? 🙂

    I’m grateful for you and as always for meeting you dear 🙂 I feel I’m so refreshed and taking step by step to where I wanna go while many others don’ believe what I do. I’m grateful to ’em for encouraging me too.

    Have a wodnerful week Sylviane 🙂

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    1. Hi Mayura,

      I’m so glad that my posts speak to you that way. If you recall things from your own experience when you read them, that is just excellent and I am certainly not wasting my time.

      I am sure that you have greatly improved in many areas since you’ve been working online. That is such a good therapy, isn’t it?

      Keep up the good work as you are a very talented young guy. I really appreciate you 🙂

  8. Hi Sylviane,

    This post has been sitting in my email box for over a week. It is one I saved because of the title “Why Do People Settle For Less?” I can relate because I also had my share of “dark days” as Donna described. I was raised with a very controlling mother and a step father who had difficulty being a dad to a child who wasn’t his. I experienced low self esteem, fear, and guilt. I was conditioned to believe that my self worth meant very little. I spent most of my lifetime trying to please others to make up for it. So when it came time to marry, without making a long story too long, I settled into a comfort zone which took years and years to recognize. I didn’t understand the power of belief and that I could change my life when I decided I could do whatever I needed to do to crawl out of it. I didn’t understand that I was responsible for attracting a “settling for less” partner. Settling was the easy way to get away from the pain and prevent further pain. It’s ironic because that type of relationship eventually intensified all the feelings I was trying to escape. He is not a terrible person. We came together for the wrong reasons. It’s a little repulsive to me now thinking how I was willing to settle for crumbs when I could have a hot, home backed loaf of bread!

    I have learned to break those ridiculous beliefs. I’m free from the chains of guilt and at this point in my life, I will never “settle for less” again. I’m referring to relationships, environment, and finances. Your article describes some of what I had to go through to change my beliefs, and I didn’t quit until I did!

    Wow, my perception of everything has changed drastically and I am a happy, content person that enjoys my own company, knows when to say no, and I know my boundaries. Ever since I took control of my life and put in the work I HAD to do, life has been a wonderful journey, rather than a plot to figure out how I would get through a day without feeling fear or guilt. I wish I could have taught my mother the same principles, but it is too late for that. I would encourage anyone who is in this rut to start working on yourself. Low self esteem and fear are learned and conditioned concepts and they can be changed!

    Once again, thank you for a very insightful article. The quote “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” by Carl Jung
    is profound and I’m putting it on my wall as a reminder to never settle for less in any area of my life!

    Raena Lynn
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  9. Hi Raean,

    First off, don’t feel guilty, Raena, this post was just published yesterday, so it wasn’t in your email for a week 🙂 Maybe it just seemed that way to you for some reason.

    I can see that like me and many other readers of this blog you’ve come a long way. We may all have grown up in different circumstances, but in each case, there were some mistakes made that messed our self confidence up big time. However, how thankful we are that we finally discovered the truth, and be totally relieved from a what kept us in the dark.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me an the readers of this blog 🙂

  10. Hi Sylviane,

    This is a great post Sylviane as if you read exactly what I want to hear and understand.

    Yes, I can relate to all these factors that made me settle for less in so many things in my life since I was a child. I was brought up with that mentality, “you can’t have all what you want in life” or “no one is perfect, we have to accept others’ weaknesses” kind of thing.

    But I am glad to hear the good news here in your post that all these can be changed or improved and it is never too late. After reading this, I don’t think I will accept to settle for less anymore.

    Thanks for such a great article Sylviane, very targeted.

    Be Blessed,

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    1. Hi Neamat,

      Then my goal has been accomplished 🙂 It’s always so encouraging to read that some people were very touched by my post. That shows me how this type of information is important and well received.

      I usually meditate before I decide on the topic of my post, and whatever comes to mind is what I need to write at that particular time. I’ve had good feedbacks so far following my intuition.

      Most of us are pretty much raised like you were, and all we can do it snap out of it and learn that it’s not true.

      We don’t have to settle for less 🙂

      Thanks for your visit, Neamat.

  11. Hi Sylviane

    A great post and very important topic. I think most people settle for less and for one or more of the reasons you have said. Many people are afraid to stand out.

    I will add one more which happened to me. I grew up with a belief I could do pretty much anything. It was not a result of my parents but more encouragement by my grandfather. So I traveled, entered a career which was pretty much male dominated by then.

    My confidence lasted until we had a major business failure. We had about 40 employees and many people who were indirectly affected. It shattered me and I know I am still settling for less. I have done a lot of “work” on it so yes I am aware of it but my very strong sense of self was badly damaged.

    Thanks for a great post Sylviane.

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    1. I totally understand that Sue. Among the different reasons why our subconscious mind acts a certain way can be a sudden shock or negative experience that may have happened when you were already an adult. I can see that this was the case for you.

      I’ve seen this happened to my mother when she lost my father in a car accident when he was only 34 years old. After that she was always afraid of something happening to us (my brother and I). It has never left her after that.

      However, I hope that this will not be the case for you and that you will totally recover emotional and mentally from this.

      Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂

    1. Wow, you’re a night owl, Hale. What are you doing up so late? Or early, depending on what it is.

      I’m glad this made you think. That’s the purpose of such posts, isn’t it?

      Thank you for coming.

  12. Very inspiring post! This made me realize that life is too short to settle not for the best. We only live once so we should make the most out of it.
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    1. Hi Sarah,

      While I don’t believe that this physical life is all there is, we should make the best out of it. Making the best of the life as we know it is very important, indeed, because it helps us finding our purpose.

      Thanks for your input.

  13. Hi Sylviane,
    Very nice topic Sylviane and you have justified it very well with the explantions of reasons why it happens with people and what should they do to come out of it.

    The reasons you gave self esteem and fear are the main cause.Fear that they will not be able to achieve that.Inner believe that that cant do enough and they happy what they are getting. some people don’t really what they are worth.

    I am a person of other side, I have planed big for me.I never fail to try , i never fail to think. Infact my self motivation is so high that people around me lose their confidence.Lol

    But i think one should not fail to try atleast.

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest
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    1. Hi Shorya,

      Very nice to hear that you have a lot of self confidence. That’s great and it means that you must have had a very healthy upbringing.

      Keep up the good work.

  14. HI Sylviane,

    As I was reading your post, I could relate to everything what you have said here and that too point by point. Infact I was thinking that this was specifically written for me.

    Overcoming fears is what I have started to work on, I meditate a lot and I know gradually most of the things will fall in place for me.

    Thanks Sylviane for your post.
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    1. I love to hear that Sapna.

      If you felt that it was written for you, it’s because it was, and I am so glad that people who need it are attracted to my blog when a post is just for them.

      Makes me feel great! I hope this was helpful to you and reminds you not to settle for less 🙂

  15. Hello Sylviane great post, I think most people settle for less because they think that’s the way is suppose to be, setting limited’s on what you do is never a good thing and should be the last thing on your list.

    Fear could be your worst enemy if you allow it to,taking chances is what life is all about and if you don’t you’ll never be successful in anything you do.

    Take chances and welcome them as a new venture that you will overcome.

    Love your article very well presented, Have a wonderful day always a pleasure Sylviane. Rob
    RobG invites you to read..How-to Convert Your Blog Into Your Online Business, The Starting LineMy Profile

    1. Hey Rob,

      Nice to see you hear. No doubt that fear is a biggy for most people and prevents us to take chances. Therefore, it makes us settle. I think that living life as if it were our last day can help us to make a move.

      Thanks for your imput.

  16. Hi Sylviane,
    You have explored an issue which a lot people face at some point or the other in their lives. Some give in while others are able to resist the temptation to do so!
    It’s often the fear of the unknown that makes people settle for less. They look for guarantees where there are none.They feel that what is the guarantee that they will get something more or different from what they already have.However,to aim for more, we should be able to embrace and live with the uncertainties of life!
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    1. Hi Gaori and welcome to my blog!

      You are right on, the main reason why people settle for less is fear of the unknown and the fact that people like to feel secure. The unknown is not secure, for sure.

      What they do forget, however, is that life itself is not a sure thing, it can be taken away at any second of a day, so that makes it worth it to take chances. But people tend to forget that.

      Thank you for your input. Much appreciated.

  17. A truly motivating post, Sylviane. I feel many a times we underestimate ourselves for a number of reasons and we feel satisfied in whatever we have without even giving a thought that we could have been more deserving. Some believe it to be their destine and accepts it. We can at least try to give things a shot rather than settling for less and regretting it later. I have been like that before and for me fear was the main reason. I have overcome it now. I wish a lot of people benefit from this share of yours. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Abhishek,

      That’s right, people spend a lot of time settling for less and then they regret it later. Better changing things now and taking chances and have no regrets in the end.

      I’m glad you like this post. Thanks you for coming, and hope to see you again soon.

  18. I think many of us settle for less because we stay in a “comfort zone.” We are afraid to jump into something new and leaving what’s been comfortable for us behind. It’s hard leaving a well paid job full time for your own business if you have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed. But others have jumped into it and done very well for themselves too. Is it because they have more self-esteem? Interesting thoughts Sylviane.
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    1. Hi Lisa,

      Exactly, you said it well, Lisa.

      It takes a serious lip of faith to leave a well paid job to jump into having your own business that will ultimately free you financially. That is the probably the most well spread “settling for less” reason there is out there!

  19. Hey Sylviane,
    Another Illuminating share . Delightsome read . Considering the choices that we make in our relationships , in personal life also we settle for someone who is not what we wanted in life . It is due to the low self esteem that overpowers us after being put down and criticized by people in life . I feel that we should realize what we deserve in life rather than settling for something that we regret throughout life .

  20. I agree! Low self-esteem will not do you any good. It will affect your life, your dreams, your blogs, anything. It will eat you alive if you let it. Thanks for such an inspiring post! 🙂

  21. This is a very inspiring post, Sylviane. Low self esteem can rally make you stagnant. I myself have been told of having a low self esteem. Getting rid or boosting self esteem can be quite hard, but still I have managed to get over it little by little. I guess one of the reasons why people settle for less is because they don’t want or find it hard to step out of their comfort zones. Getting out of comfort zone can be really good for growth and learning. And what’s more fulfilling is if you have done it yourself and found that it’s actually great to be out sometimes.

    1. Hi Arianne,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed this post and was able to improve and gain more self esteem.

      Unfortunately, we all had to deal with low self esteem at one point or another. However, We are fortunate when we are one of those who actually get to know about it and do something abou it. Some people never do.

      Thanks for coming and for your input.

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