I have to admit, I’m a bit of a “bottler.” I tend to bottle up how I’m feeling about something until it pushes me to the point that I explode.
Maybe you can relate? But I really hope you can’t, because that is no way to live your life. And truth be told, walking around with bottled up emotion or unexpressed opinions actually blocks you from receiving what you’re asking for.
Because when you push your voice down and act like what you think or have to say doesn’t matter, it’s like you’re sending a message to the Universe that says, “I don’t matter” and “I’m not good enough to have a voice.” And that unworthy feeling will only attract more things that you feel unworthy about.
One area where I tend to shut up, even when I’m having a bad experience, is customer service. I tend to have a bad experience with a service provider and then instead of speaking up and letting them know that I’m having a bad experience, I just shut up and continue to let the bad experience go on.
It’s annoying, really. Because then not only do I get bad customer service, but I also block myself from receiving what I actually want.
But today, I didn’t do that.
My old MacBook has been at the computer shop for three weeks. I was told it would be there for three days. Then they didn’t even fix it (too much water damage, wasn’t worth it). I’m not sure what the hell they did with it over the last three weeks.
And then I was told I could come by this morning to pick it up at 9:45 a.m. So I dragged my ass out of bed even though I slept like shit last night and I went to pick it up.
But when I got there the shop was closed and the guy who runs it wasn’t there to meet me like he said he would be.
Normally this is a situation where I’d just shut up and not say anything. But a friend of mine reminded me the other day of why it’s so important to have standards and not be willing to negotiate on receiving what you want.
And what I wanted was good customer service from the guy fixing my computer. I felt I deserved it, especially considering how much he was charging me and he didn’t even fix the computer.
So I spoke up. I shared my truth, and that is, I am paying a lot of money for your service and I deserve to be treated better than this.
I actually said this to him, as nice as I possibly could. I didn’t say it in a mean way and I didn’t call him names or anything like that (that’s the wrong way to speak your truth). I just let him know that I feel that I deserve better customer service than he was giving me.
And then again, at Starbucks this morning, which I went to after the computer pick up fell through, I couldn’t get what I wanted. They were out of the gluten-free sandwich and didn’t have the syrup flavor I wanted.
Ordinarily I would’ve just picked something else from whatever they did have. But, again, I knew that would mean I was settling for less than what I wanted.
So I left and went to another Starbucks. The second Starbucks had what I wanted, and I also had a great conversation with the barista who I could tell actually wanted to be there and actually cared about what she was doing.
Something my friend made me realize this week is how often we’re willing to settle for less than what we really want. Because we’re afraid we can’t have it or can’t get it or because we believe that it’s rude or not “nice” to speak up or have standards.
I used to think and believe that stuff too. I used to tell myself that it was wrong to expect more or to want more. I used to believe that you have to settle if you’re not getting what you want right in that moment.
But you can’t live the life of your dreams if you’re always settling or if you never speak up and share how you really feel about something.
You don’t have to be rude and you don’t have to make a big deal about it. Just hold yourself accountable for speaking your truth and for not settling and not bottling up how you really feel.
My friend really inspired me. She’d been house-hunting for a while and had a list of things she wanted in a new place. Her realtor told her that she probably wouldn’t get all of it and to be open-minded.
But she knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t willing to accept anything less.
As the days wore on and as she looked at more and more houses that were close to what she wanted but not quite everything, she began thinking about settling. In fact, she almost did settle, for a house that was very close to what she wanted.
But something in her knew that she deserved more and believed it was possible for her to get what she really wanted.
So she held off. She decided to wait it out. She made patience her new best friend.
And not long after that, she found the perfect place. It was exactly what she wanted. It checked off every item on her list. And they even gave her a killer deal on it, which was a bonus she hadn’t even asked for.
It all came out of her willingness to not settle until she got exactly what she wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, compromise is a part of life and sometimes what you want isn’t available in that exact moment. So you may have to hold out. It all depends on how important it is for you to get what you want right then and there or if you’re willing to compromise or wait it out.
But you always get to choose. And you don’t have to settle for anything less than what you really want.
Dream life or bust,