I am sad to report that we live in society that settles. In the last two years since I have been in Houston (and even in my return visits back home to Missouri), I have spoken to so many people who seem content in complacency. Raised by my independent, strong-minded mother, settling was never an option. Not in our words or actions.
Obviously, I do not believe that I am alone in the fact that I had parents who encouraged me to live life, push myself, and never settle; but I am more aware that as we get older and leave our childhood behind, we settle deeper and deeper.
Remember when you were a kid and you thought anything in this world was possible, simply because you believed? We had the wildest dreams of being astronauts, doctors, and ballerinas; even a princess seemed like a rational career for some of my girlfriends at the age of 5. Young boys in my class wanted to be superheroes, police officers, or pilots. And when someone shared what they wanted to be, in a unified chorus we would all say, "Cool, I want to do that too!"
When did we stop wanting those things? When did we stop dreaming and start settling? When did we stop living?
Not soon after we are encouraged to be imaginative and dream big, we then learn as we grow up that imagination is not for adults and that dreaming is not productive. Sometimes we even get in trouble for day dreaming or having "foolish and outlandish" ideas. We are told that we need to be rational and realistic. The very same people who told us to dream big dreams, years later tell us to stop. So, we do.
And now I pose a question: Who told you that you had to settle?
Although I am only in my twenties, I have learned quite a bit through my life experiences. One great lesson that I learned was that the minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get less than you settled for. One you drop the standards of what you want in your career, in romance, in your fitness goals, and your success, it is easier to drop the bar a little lower... and a little lower.
You promise yourself that you will not ever go below a certain level, but then you find yourself lowering the bar once again.
As I continue on pursuing my goals for fitness and health, I have had to be conscious not to settle for mediocrity. Sure, it might be easier to eat this quick unhealthy option over preparing healthy meals, but what is the outcome? It may be easier to cut myself short a few reps with the barbell, but what do I gain? It may be easier to finish my cardio a few minutes early, but what is the point? Why not just give it my all? Why not just commit and do it right?
So I asked myself the other day, "Who told me that I could not compete in my first figure competition?" Not Lee. He is 100% in my corner and has even changed a few of his eating habits to support me. Obviously not my trainer Wes, he believes that I can do it, and offers great advice and coaching. Not anyone in the gym. Not anyone in my family.
No one told me that I could not do. Except one person. Myself. Because when I fail to push myself and settle for less than the best, I am the only one telling me that I cannot. Today that changes.
Never settle for less than you deserve. Demand the best and accept nothing less.
In Fitness + Health,
~ Q. Olivia