How Your Childhood Experiences Can Reveal That You Are Settling for Less

Don’t settle for the initial high of acceptance to meet a mountain of pain in the long run.

Sujona Chatterjee
4 min readFeb 8, 2023
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”
― Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

The way we are today, right this moment, is a result of our childhood. The habits we formed, to the experiences that instilled the values we firmly believe in. Our perceptions and how we view the world. The relationships we embody and our behaviour in maintaining them, they all stem from our childhood.

Thus, what we have seen, lived and woken up to every morning, day after day and then ventured into adulthood, we kind of supress our old patterns and locked it into a cupboard and chucked the key. Until we face situations that leave us in crippling anxiety. Its then that we wish to look back and figure out the root cause of such feelings.

As a child, I grew up playing with my brother and his friends. Cricket, football, hide and seek to every game you can possibly think, I was a part of it. Therefore from a young age I knew that women could be a part of everything and did not require permission to be a part of any game, career or activity.

But I also saw my mother raise two kids all by herself as my father would travel extensively for work to provide for his family. I saw how she willingly gave her all to ensure my brother and I become independent thinkers and compassionate individuals. I saw how she provided me knowledge about the world through books that were way ahead of my time to ensure I develop a rational mind set. And that’s precisely what shaped me into an unconventional woman who refuses to succumb to orthodox values and mind sets.

What we see in our early years is what we project onto people and relationships. I knew the profound impact education can have and how we can use it to make the world the better place. But in the process I didn’t realise that for people to catch on with my life experiences, they have to experience them first. Or they at least, they had to buckle up the courage to have a conversation about things that trouble them.

Once we have grown from our childhood experiences, develop values that shape our personality and develop beliefs that have an impact on how we face people from different walks of life, we refuse to settle for anything less. And that is where we face a lot of unwanted heat in the form of judgements and hurtful opinions.

So the question that arises here is — should we settle for less and go against everything we have learnt just to fit in society?

To fit in will be easy at first. Until a few months down the line the suffocation seeps in. So many of us settle for people, jobs, relationships and a world of other things just because it gives us an initial sense of ease. We finally feel that we are now in sync with everyone else and don’t feel the burden of feeling left out.

But as days go by, we notice how we aren’t happy because we chose to settle for less. We feel like we our losing ourselves and begin to hate our routines because they go against the values we developed in our childhood.

It took me a lot of time to realise this until life taught me through my fall out in relationships. I settled for the initial high sacrificing the values that shaped me. But what it left me with is pain and a lifelong lesson that sticking to your ideals is worth it even if it means the world is racing ahead leaving you behind.

My lessons taught me that in a world where everyone expects you to settle down, what’s a thousand times better is being true to yourself by not settling as per what society expects. The only way to settle is, if your values and intentions are aligned with what you have been living with so that you can be your authentic self.

Even if that means not knowing which train of life to get on but having the faith and patience that it will arrive. And when it does it will lead you to a lifelong journey of happiness.

Thanks so much for your time!



Sujona Chatterjee

Living life the only way I know how — one day at a time.