The Biggest Killer of Your Dreams

by Carol Hess on March 22, 2012

There are two kinds of settling.  One denies your significance, and one celebrates it.  Which kind of settling are you doing?

I spent most of my life doing the first kind of settling, and I don’t recommend it.  I settled for second best when it came to everything.  Actually, now that I think about it, I was settling more for twentieth best.

But you know what?  I didn’t know any better.  I was just being what I had been taught to be – realistic, practical, modest, self-effacing, thoughtful of others, polite, patient, nice.  In other words, I was being a good little girl.

“A good little girl.”  That’s Polite Speak for put everyone else’s needs before your own.  Don’t ask for anything.  Be perfect.  Don’t rock the boat.  Know your place.  Stay small.  Stay quiet.

And if I occasionally pulled on my good little girl leash, I was quickly and effectively yanked back.  “Get off your high horse, Young Lady.”  (It’s amazing how being called Young Lady can feel so brutal and frightening.)  Sometimes I even managed to slip the leash completely but not for long.  As I was releashed and retethered, I was asked the question I was never supposed to answer.  “Just who the hell do you think you are?”

I didn’t have a clue who I was then.  But whoever or whatever I was, apparently it was too much.  So I obeyed the yank of the leash.  In fact, after a while, there was no need for the leash.  I kept myself exactly where I was supposed to be.  And how did I do that?  By settling for second best.

Sound familiar?

Time went by, and I fell in love.  I mean really in love – the real thing.  It wasn’t just about being in love with him.  It was about being in love with me, with everyone around me, with life itself.  You know what I mean, right?  It’s a sweet, sweet way to live.

When that relationship ended rather abruptly without warning or explanation, my love for myself and the people around me and my life ended just as abruptly.  But I didn’t forget that sweet way of living.  I grew very discontent.  Settling for second best became more difficult with each passing year.  In fact, it became close to intolerable.

And then I fell in love again.  Someone held up a magical mirror that stripped away all the unimportant stuff about me – name, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, nationality, occupation, marital status.  And what was left staring back at me was — well, I’m not quite sure how to label it.  My soul?  My Higher Self?

I guess it doesn’t matter what we call it.  What matters is I fell in love with it, her, me.  And it felt just like the time I fell in love with Mr. X, except far more profound because my love was focused within on the person with whom I have spent and will spend my whole life – me.

And I admit I settled again.  Only this time I didn’t settle for second best.  I settled into First Best – a First Best vision of myself, my dreams, my life.  Nothing less would do.  Nothing less will do.

So how about it?  What’s the second best you’re settling for?  Why?  Are you ready to settle into First Best?  Do you know what First Best is for you?

(If you’re used to settling for second best, sometimes it’s very difficult to know what your First Best is.  That’s why I developed the Star Polisher Dream Catcher Coaching Package — to discover your First Best and figure out how you can get it.)

by Carol Hess


Categories Dream Catching, Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing, The Mind Game

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jane Morrison March 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm

You make me weap, you make me sad, happy and proud of you. I love the way you share your life experiences that makes me able to relate…some of it is so true for me too and I wonder how we turned out so darn AWESOME! I delete alot of emails but never yours….keep up the meaningful sharing, you make a difference.


avatar Carol Hess March 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thank you, Jane. Isn’t it amazing how similar the human experience can be? And I agree with you — we are downright awesome! But you know what? I think we’ve always been awesome from the day we were born. Life just has a way of making us forget our awesomeness until we start to wake up and rediscover ourselves and how magnificent we really are.

If you want to read a wonderful blog post about just that — awesomeness and how we can mirror it for each other — then check out Daniel Collinsworth’s latest post at

It’s always great to read what you have to say, Jane. So glad you are part of the Star Polisher community!


avatar Nikki March 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Carol — question :: are you ME in a different body?

I could have written this post – almost word for word.

Ugh, the burden of being a good little girl, of only speaking when you’re spoken to, of not expressing your opinion or doing anything than what you’re told to.

The crushing disappointment of a relationship abruptly ended (x 2, actually) without any real explanation, with everything feeling as though it were my fault, my fate, my face.

My love affair with me is THE best thing that could have ever happened to me.


avatar Carol Hess March 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

You know what, Nikki? I also think your love affair with you is the best thing that happened to us too. Because we get to experience the all and the best of you, instead of some watered down good little girl version of Nikki. Lucky world, here you are! Woo hoo!


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