Can we live without compromising?

It is said that in order to succeed in life or to live as we wish we have to compromise, otherwise it’s impossible.

Many people are programmed to believe since childhood that only a few lucky ones can achieve what they want in life, that they can therefore fulfill their dreams and live in a different way than in struggle, suffering, regret and renunciation. Thus, those who consider themselves to be born under an unlucky star, should resign themselves to the little life offered them, should stay in their place, shouldn’t dare to dream because "dreams" won’t quench their hunger, and for them to succeed is to demonstrate that they are powerful through everything they are willing to endure, through the sacrifices and compromises they made. For them, to succeed is to run from or tolerate an unpleasant existential situation, a situation that strengthens their anguish and confirms the idea that they can’t do anything, that they have no power to change anything. So, instead of moving forward to something, they run away from something or they look for compromise solutions that make them tolerate better that situation.

For example, this unpleasant life situation may include a marriage where there is no love and respect, full of abuses and darkness, where compromises, giving up on yourself or pleasing your partner at your expense to avoid a conflict or hoping things will get better are ways in which some people say they lasted so long together, they survived their marriage. This is their recipe for success - they become martyrs and they take pride in the sacrifices they’ve made, they wear their pains in their chest like bravery badges.

It may also include a stagnation in one’s own existence, where a person hides behind some limiting beliefs that come from their fears or simply their fear of the unknown. From the fear of getting out of their comfort zone, of looking at themselves as they are, recognizing their weaknesses, learning to accept themselves as they are and change what dissatisfies them. They become therefore a fugitive in life’s race - they run from themselves and tell those around them “this is who I am and I can’t change” to justify their lack of action and their unavailability to make any effort to become that person worthy of their own admiration and to have the life they dream of.

Thus, those around them who won’t tolerate their disturbing behaviors or even their toxicity become in their opinion intolerant, mean and selfish people on whom they will take their frustrations out and they will try to persuade them not to leave them, first talking nice to them and then most likely they’ll turn  to emotional blackmail, manipulation, reproaches or threats.

A person who doesn’t want to change, evolve, will try to prevent people around them from evolving because they being better is a confirmation of their own weakness which they are neither willing to assume it nor change it.  They become a victim who blame everyone and everything for the way they feel and live. They compromise themselves simply because they aren’t willing to take responsibility for their life, neither they assume their mistakes or their share of responsibility in a relationship.

Those who know how to deal with their own mistakes (be it personal or professional) usually do the following: they recognize their mistake early and inform all those involved what the consequences of that mistake might be; if necessary, they publicly acknowledge the mistake; they take responsibility personally; demonstrating what they have learned to prevent that mistake from happening and they move on, they don’t remain stuck. Mistakes can be seen as opportunities to learn, but for this to happen it’s important to take responsibility for them and to realize if and how your mistake is harming or influencing another person. Perhaps because you don’t assume that mistake it is attributed to another person who has nothing to do with the whole story.

An assumed and upright person, aware of their inner strength will do the best they can to follow their own way in life, as ecologically as possible. This means that they will trust to act in the direction of their dreams, but without hurting others to get where they want. There will be times when it will be hard to continue, maybe they’ll face obstacles apparently impossible to overcome. Even if they want to give up, they will think if this desire is caused by their fear of confronting the unknown or because they fear leaving their comfort zone, or indeed represents the best choice, given that the chosen strategy isn’t right and must be rethought, the resources must be reconsidered.

Perhaps there will also be times when they will be tempted to choose the easy way - to make certain compromises or to break their principles and values in order to get their needs satisfied as quickly as possible, or simply because it would be much more comfortable this way. But by doing so, they will deny their authentic self, they will deny their wishes that have made them go in the first place into this adventure of self-knowledge, exploration and creation. Because, yes, they are the creator of their own life.

But with every compromise made, they lose their integrity and dignity. If you make compromises or "buy favors," all this makes you look in other people’s eyes a person who lacks uprightness. And it doesn’t matter so much the way others see you, but it matters how you see yourself. You can lie or delude yourself that it's ok, but your subconscious knows you did something against your will, you gave up something dear or important to you. When you compromise your values and principles to achieve certain things, your self-esteem decreases. Repeated compromises ruin your self-confidence and make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, diminish in your own eyes and even sabotage yourself. In addition, compromises don’t guarantee your success as you imagine it because they are based on self-renunciation, on a minus, not on a plus.

An ecological egoism is preferred instead of a life of compromise and sacrifice - when we take care of ourselves and our needs, when we are honest with ourselves, when we don’t give up our authenticity, when we realize that our happiness depends on us, when we respect and love ourselves, we can be at peace with ourselves, with our choices. We won’t have anything to reproach ourselves for, and we will be able, moreover, to offer others from our overflow, thereby enriching each other's lives.

To achieve what you want, you don’t have to compromise. You have to think that you can and, in fact, question your beliefs. Why do you think if those around you choose to be content with little, you have to do the same? Why do you think you have to repeat, perhaps unconsciously, the patterns that guided your parents or those who have been your childhood models? Why do you think you have to become reconciled with something that, deep down, you know that you aren’t at peace with? Self-denial, giving up on yourself and your dreams weaken your strength and your confidence. I know that you are aware of all the compromises you make, and yet you are afraid to give up on them for various irrational reasons that you still repeat in your mind.

Are your habits, actions and behaviors consistent with your dreams? With what you want to achieve? With the goals and plans you have set for yourself? For example, if you want to open your own business or lose weight, it becomes useless if you always let others distract you from your plans; if you don’t take those few minutes or hours per day for yourself and for your dreams because all the time others seem to not be able to handle themselves and need you to help them.

Failing to accomplish certain goals, desires and plans has as cause, among other things, an inconsistency between what you say and what you do, between your actions and the results you want to achieve. You come to compromise your life and, living this way, you lose your self-confidence and it will get worse if you don’t do something today. Act today differently! Have the courage to say no, have the courage to take ten minutes only to yourself daily. Maybe it's time to take control over your life again. I trust you will succeed! Choose wisely!

Dr. Ursula Sandner


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