Remember, compromise is essentially giving something up for the sake of something else. Sometimes that ‘something else’ is not worth compromising for. What are you giving up for the sake of freedom?
Compromise is a basic negotiation process in which both parties give up something that they want in order to get something else they want more. In compromise situations neither side gets all of what they really want, but they each make concessions in order to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both. The basic idea is that each party gives up something that the other party values but that they themselves do not care about. But is that how it always is? No. Sometimes we give up what is truly important to us. Its important to identify for yourself what you are giving up, and whether it is really worth the sacrifice.
Some things cannot and should not ever be compromised because they cut to the core of a person’s identity and sense of value and worth. However, in the case of losing our personal freedom, we do surrender parts of ourselves, our identity and our values and beliefs, for something inferior.
A person needs to feel they have some control over their future, and over their life. Control and identity are both fundamental human needs. When they are compromised, they cause depression and feelings of oppression, ‘feeling stuck’. They feel life has no purpose, no direction. There is little joy. Its important then to step back, look at your life, and ask yourself, “Am I where I really want to be in life?” “What am I allowing or tolerating that is holding me back from fulfilling my dreams?” “Where am I compromising my freedom to be me?”
Why is freedom so important? People have been writing about freedom for years:
What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for yourself themalternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing. – Archibald MacLeish
We are free to make choices that create the life we want for ourselves.
The purpose of freedom is to create it for others. – Bernard Malamud
When we are free we unconsciously allow others to be free too. Freedom means different things to different people. One teenage girl sees freedom as when she finally turns 18 and can live by her own rules instead of those set by her parents.
For others freedom is something that exists in each persons mind. Its a freedom to think for oneself or even to think something different from what is considered the status quo. Its a freedom of self-expression and a freedom to be different. In an ideal free society you have the ability to truly be yourself and to express yourself without fear of ridicule or harm. In a coaching relationship, we can help the client identify areas in their lives where they may be compromising their freedom, by asking them to think about their lives and where compromise may be in play. For instance, helping them to see if they are…
- giving up their freedom for another, against their will
- giving up themselves and/or their dreams, to meet the needs or demands or
- expectations of some one else
- saying no to their freedom or their dreams because of fear or rejection
- losing their self-expression
- losing themselves
- losing their uniqueness
- giving up their right to freedom
- settling for less
- giving up ‘the more’ of life
- giving in
- After compromise has been identified, we can look at those areas with the client, and help
- them accept freedom in place of compromise. We can encourage them with the truth that
- they can live...
- free from others’ expectations
- free to be themselves - who they were created to be with all the beauty and
- uniqueness that is theirs
- free to choose - for them - what is right for them
- free to live life their way
- freedom to express themselves without intimidation or fear
- free to speak their opinions and thoughts without fear
- free to make decisions for them
- free to reach their potential
- free to say no
- free to say yes
- free to dream
- free to pursue their dreams, their life purpose, their hearts desire
- Think about what you think compromise is? Where do you see compromise in your own life?
- Think about what it is to be free. What are the areas in your life where you are able to be free to be you?
- How do you feel when you are free to be you?
- How do you feel when you know you have compromised your freedom to be you?
- Think about the last time you know you compromised your freedom to be you. Do you know what caused you to compromise and the belief behind it?
- What are some techniques you could develop to be mindful of when you might compromise your freedom to be you?
- What are some behaviors you could implement to maintain your freedom to be you?
- What Does Compromise Mean? Wiki Answers
- What is A Compromise? WiseGeek, Wikipedia
- Spangler, Brad. “Compromise”
- Scott Hughes
- Mike Treder, Institute of Ethics & Emerging Technologies