Recently, I was speaking with a friend who is going through a court case, and he was telling me that they had finally given him a settlement date. So I asked him if he was going to settle. His response was, “If it has enough zeros, I’d be willing to settle.”
I’m not mad at him, he knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to take a stand. But then it got me thinking about why are most companies eager to settle out of court and how we settle for things in our own lives.I’m guilty. I can think of a thing or two that I have settled for in my life, but I don’t dwell on it. I have resolved that my time has passed for those things, and I am hoping that there are areas in your life that you still can make a difference.
So let’s look at five reasons why cases settle before they go to trial.
1. It is less expensive than a trial. Bringing in experts and witnesses to testify contributes to higher costs. Sometimes we go cheap in our lives too. We know what we need, but we don’t want to stretch to invest to get there. We think about all the reasons why we can’t afford something that will make a difference in our lives while still spending money on things that won’t matter in the next year. Perhaps you wanted to lose weight. You’ve tried everything, but to get to that next level, you need a personal trainer. Do you invest or settle?
Journal Question: If money was not an issue, what is one area in your life that you would have invested in during 2018? If you had invested, what would life look like for you now?
2. A trial can be risky. You never know how a jury will decide a case. Uncertainty is the killer of dreams. We want to see the full picture, and this is a significant reason why we don’t trust God and take Him at His word. I am a very methodical person, and I always want to see the big picture, so I get it. I am the type of person that will go online and read the synopsis of a movie before I watch it because I have to know what is going to happen.
When we settle because it appears to be too risky, we forfeit our future. God said He knows the plans that He has for us, but apparently, that isn’t good enough for us. I’ve learned along the way that the journey is far more critical than the actual outcome. We have so many opportunities to learn and grow, but when we settle we miss out on all the lessons, we should have gained. Don’t be afraid to create your future even if you don’t have all the answers be willing to take a chance on yourself.
Don’t ever settle for less than you deserve, because once you start to settle you always will.
3. The plaintiff’s attorney may push to settle because they aren’t sure they can win. Perhaps the evidence is looking as if it is stacking up against you. Maybe you don’t think that the case you are building for your life is strong enough. When we settle for less than we deserve we consciously decide we are not good enough. We believe that we don’t have what it takes to win. Get out of your head! It’s time to stop being comfortable with just getting a participation ribbon; it’s time to go for the gold.
Journal Question: What is the negative case that you are building against yourself? How can you rewrite your case and win? Is the evidence you have accurate or a false belief?
4. Settlements tend to be private. The public does not know precisely what happened or the terms of the settlement. When there are areas in our life that need fixing it may require that we seek the guidance of others. I often say you have to know from the day you are born that you want to go into politics because people will find and use what they can against you. This type of fear is what causes us to settle for a mediocre life. So what if you haven’t led a perfect life. Honestly who has?
Has anyone else walked in your shoes except you? We settle because we don’t want people to know that our marriage isn’t working, or we are spiritually or financially bankrupt. Don’t settle, get the help you need. I’ll continue to repeat it, my therapy sessions are one of the best things I ever did for myself.
The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
5. A defendant does not need to admit liability. We settle, so we don’t have to admit to ourselves our true state. We don’t have to accept the fact that we are living an unfulfilled life. Maybe there is an area in your life that you have been tolerating because you don’t want to deal with it. We all probably know someone who portrays to be someone on social media all the while their life is in shambles.
Journal Question: What is one action that you can take today to change the quality of your life and stop settling for things you don’t want.
Today, I would like to take the opportunity to file a legal brief with you and remind you that you don’t have to SETTLE. Never settle for being a character in someone else’s story when you are meant to be the author of your own. When we settle we lose a piece of who we are and the potential of who we could be. Never settle on a life you don’t want when God is trying to give you a better life.
Never settle for that which is easy and comfortable or the necessity of seeking that which is difficult and uncomfortable. – Frederick Lindemann