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The Habit of Getting Too Little

Not everyone reading this article will understand what it is about.  But those of you who do, I hope you find it helpful.

There is a sub-set of humans who expect they will not get what they need. Therefore they are always prepared to take less.  Given the chance, they will most likely VOLUNTEER to take less.  Their thought is “Well, something is better than nothing.”

I confess . . . at times, I have been one of these people.   Looking back over my life I can see times where I was willing to take crumbs when I really wanted the whole cookie.  I had the belief if I smushed enough crumbs together I would form a cookie on my own. For reasons that arent really clear to me, I formed a habit of being okay with getting/having/doing less than I wanted.  Notice I said “being okay.” 

The distinction between getting less and being okay getting less is an important one to make.  All of us take less, have less or do less from time to time.  That’s life . . . and life ain’t always fair. But for many of us, we habitually choose to draw the short straw.  We actually make the choice to not get what we want.  

Let me give you a few examples.  Business people might frequently lower their prices for fear they will not get the business if they ask for the fee they really need.  A friend may always pretend its okay when he/she is not invited to parties or outings.  Someone may find all kinds of reasons to consistently accept when his/her birthday is forgotten.  Get the picture?  They wanted a cookie but took crumbs with a smile on their face.

If you are the person who habitually chooses to take less, you have two choices about how you label this behavior. 

1) You can both feel and act like a victim (you know . . . that delicious place where you get to blame others for your woes and sorrows) ; or 2) you can allow yourself to see  you  have chosen these outcomes.
 Yep . . . chosen them.  To see this distinction requires putting on your BGPs (that’s big girl panties or boxers) and admit on some level you like getting less.  OUCH! 

You first have to see what you want to change

I was having drinks the other night with a group of friends and someone at the table said “You first have to see the thing that you want to change.”  Well HowDeeDo . . . that’s it exactly.

The first and most important step in breaking the habit of habitually getting or having too little is to see that you do it. 

Really see it. 

This may mean cataloging all the times you were willing (in fact may have volunteered) to take less than you really wanted.  Reminder:  you may also take less by doing more.  This is the other side of the same coin. 

This can be quite sobering but also MUY powerful.  All habits can be broken.  Even big ones like this.  You may have to trust me on this one, but I know it’s true.

Are you in the habit of getting less than you want?  Are you willing to discount your feelings, your fees, your pride and your life?  Are you trying to kid yourself that the crumbs are enough? 

If so, look in the mirror and man/woman up!  Say “I’m a crumb taker.  I’m willing to take too little and give too much and I’m ready to break this habit.” 

When you lay down the victim persona and take responsibility for the outcomes you experience YOUR LIFE WILL BEGIN TO CHANGE IN THE MOST FABULOUS WAYS.

Now go eat a big ‘ole cookie to celebrate!


  1. Eureka! I think this this applies to me in my male relationships! I’ve done a lot of self-reflection on why things go bad but never came up with this which can undermind everything! Thanks!!

  2. As usual Cheri, you inspire me with your words. I just shared this with my kids and family and will be posting it as well. Love your insights and truths. Thanks for a great analogy…I’m gonna go get my cookie now. Have a super day! L

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