Accepting versus Settling By Angela Mugo

This season of my life is called learning. Therefore, most of the things I will share with you are about lessons I...

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This season of my life is called learning. Therefore, most of the things I will share with you are about lessons I have come across through these sessions. 

Lately, I have been going through soft skill set sessions. Typically, these require a lot of self-evaluation. The thing with self-evaluation is, you discover a lot of weaknesses. It’s meant to bring out both strengths and weaknesses but due to human predisposition, we end up focusing on our weaknesses.  So lately, so many of my shortcomings have been brought to my attention. It can be very discouraging when you thought you were a rock star only to discover you are barely average. However, I have learnt the difference between settling and accepting from these exercises.

So what is accepting and what is settling? Accepting is when you acknowledge a weakness and choose to leverage it, improve yourself. Settling on the other hand, is choosing to be comfortable in your situation.
You go as far as accepting but never work enough to make you better. The thing is, you cannot improve yourself if you do not accept your weaknesses. You have to own them, love them and work daily to diminish them. The beauty in having a weakness you have accepted is that you can never be ambushed. Settling on the other hand, gives you an illusion of satisfaction while constantly nagging you and telling you that you are not good enough.

Let me share with you an experience that demonstrated this fact to me. I love singing, I always have. When I listen to someone singing their lungs out, I could die through jealousy. I am so impressed by the rawness of
emotion in music. So often, I will sit and sing a song I like. A while ago, feeling like a rock star, I was having my very own private karaoke session.  It wasn’t a world class performance but in my head, I was pretty sure I was nailing it. My cousin must have walked into the room without me noticing.  When she heard me sing, she told me that I wasn’t as good a singer I’d thought. She complained that I sang off tune. I never knew this, I was completely blindsided. I had the option of ignoring this and taking it as someone being mean. However, I spent some time figuring out, how I could sound better. I may never sing in a concert however, I feel more confident singing with other people in a room.

The reality of life is that you can never be perfect. You will be confronted with the reality that you have a shortcoming. With this reality comes the other fact that someone will most probably point it out to you.
One of the best skills you could have, is the ability to accept and act on criticism. This skill will not only make your relationship with others better, it will also help you become a better person. It will help you
confront your weaknesses and give you a chance to improve. So after receiving such constructive criticism, I am singing at this year’s office Christmas party I hope.  

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