You feel like you lack the imagination to dream anymore. You feel hindered by past disappointments.

You have come to the conclusion that you are withering on the vine?

You have been hindered by those around you and those you trusted to encourage you.

You can't figure out what happened. You used to be so vigorous and so goal oriented.
 
What happened? Life got in your way and now you are off track.
 
Don't drop the microphone yet. Let's throw a question your way. Have you settled?

We bet you have. Once you give up and settle into wherever you are in life--your energy force dissipates and you become inactive. When "you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life, I find," John F. Kennedy said.

"We were not created to live a life of chance, but one of purpose as God intended."
Kennedy knew what happens when we allow ourselves to settle in life. It could be that we settled into the unhealthy comfort of fear, disappointment or self-doubt. We can make the decision to not allow circumstances to annihilate us or we can find another path towards the life we want.

After all, we were not created to live a life of chance, but one of purpose as God intended. Let's examine what you settled for and how to change it.

You settled for disappointment.

We can make the decision to not allow external circumstances to crush us. Perhaps you never measured up or you suffered from abuse in the past. No matter what the disappointment was--you may have made this emotion or event your world. King David said in Psalm 16:2: “I say to the Lord “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Apart from God, we can't thrive. Why? Maybe we didn’t get the answer we’re looking for or we didn't get the guy that we wanted. When we focus on how greatly we are unfulfilled, we can't focus on the One who fulfills us. Then, we settle into our disappointment. Reshift your thinking towards God and give him your disappointment. It no longer has to be a lifestyle for you.

You settled for a poor environment.

"Our environment either inspires us on who we want to become or challenge us on what we must avoid," pastor Sarah Jakes Robert explained. You are the company that you keep. This can be in your personal life or your professional life--if you are in a foul environment, it really impacts you. This just feeds into your vulnerabilities. There is a reason that God wants us to be with other believers, so we can be built up.

You settled for criticism.

If you fear criticism, you're also self-protective. Once these things come into your mind they will stop you in your tracks. People will object and say things that are painful to you. You can acknowledge the hurt feelings, but don't have it control your life. Instead of “I am a failure," replace it with healthier thoughts to counteract the negative ones. For example, you can remind yourself that you are victorious repudiate negative chatter. Remember that you are not alone. Moses had many conversations with God as others were so judgmental of him. Imagine if he settled into this trap of criticism?

You settled for unforgiveness.

If you want to stop moving forward in life, harboring bitterness and forgiveness will do that for you. Permitting painful experiences to simmer in our lives allows us to settle into grudges and resentment. "If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice," the Mayo Clinic reported. Unforgiveness creates a prison cell for us. You are letting yourself off the hook by forgiving.

You settled for mediocracy.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7–8 to "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Maybe you just don't care or just don't have the energy today to dream or ask for anything. We all have regrets, but we tend to allow this to create an inner wall in us that shuts down our hope. When this happens, we settle into mediocracy. Set up short-term goals and build on them. Find a new hobby, a dream or take a leap of faith by starting your own business. Ask God to direct you on the steps that need to be taken to get out of your rut. Seek Him for a new vision and a renewed energy.

You settled for low self-worth.

In a culture where people want to be affirmed, people are nervous to be themselves. Decide to be who you really are not what you think others want you to be. This might be something that you have fought during your entire life. Confidence takes depth coupled with an ability to truly love who you are. When we don't love ourselves, it impacts our relationships, your career and your future. You are powerfully wonderfully made. Meditate on Scripture and review all your attributes. If you need help, reach out to a friend or a counselor to help build your self-esteem. Proverbs 3:26 explained it this way: "For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught." Make the decision today to not settle for a low self-worth or allowing your past to create your future. 

Permit yourself to not wither away in life or on any vine. Settling into things that are contrary to what God has for us will make us stale and even depressed. Life will try to beat you up. However, you have the keys in stopping what confines you. We have a choice to flourish or to just settle into whatever we are handed. Stop this cycle and settle for better in life.
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