Anytime that I have felt a lull or a dormancy in my life, after some intense reflection, I can always pin-point the degradation to a slip-up or relaxation of my personal standards. Standards are not a one-size-fits-all concept. There is no set of standards that works universally for everyone and no matter how much you want them to, some people may just plain not have them. Period.
In a world of “everyone should get a trophy for merely having a pulse,” the concept of standards sometimes feel all but lost. I personally have standards for myself in all facets of my life. Whether it be my business, wife & motherly, or personal I have standards for myself. I am also my own worst critic, something I consistently struggle with is to give myself some slack, as I tend to be my own drill sergeant. While being focused and regimented is good, too much of a good thing can be bad, so therefore I struggle daily with not crossing the line into an unhealthy balance.
In the past, my self imposed standards have been so prevalent and strong that they have alienated people. It’s a foreign thing to me, being raised by a U.S. Marine that other folks may not have set the bar very high for themselves or have chosen to not set one at all. It’s not really failing when you have not set any standard right? One of the hardest things as an adult was learning that being an adult does not necessarily mean that all other adults had standards of their own to live up to regarding behavior, grooming, relationships, parenting, etc.
I view standards as not something to necessarily “hit” or “attain.” More so, I see them as, at minimum, the ground floor of what you expect to achieve, or even the way you allow others to treat you. That is a BIG standard most struggle with implementing, myself included. Although, once that bar was set, I have to admit it pissed a lot of people off. Through natural selection a whole bunch of them were wiped clear out of my life and I would do it again, probably sooner because those who were here for the right reasons all lived up to the standard. Those who did not, faded into the abyss.
At the end of the day, I have learned that setting your own personal standards to an level slightly over attainable, and eventually increasing/decreasing them with ebb-and-flow of life, is a formula that works for me. Others may choose to not share the same level of standards I set for myself, and that is all fine. My standards only help mold and refine who I wish to become as a person. Only someone who is immature or lacks confidence will take my own personal standards and apply them as a reason to feel inferior or take issue with them. I do not hold others to my standards, that would be unreasonable.
I do, however, have set standards for those I let in my immediate circle, each year those standards seem to get tighter and more refined. It is not that I take issue with those who do not fit within those guidelines. I want to be immediately surrounded by those who inspire, support and challenge me to be better than I thought I could ever be, thus embracing & supporting the fact that I have self imposed standards. True friends want to see you attain goals and will be there to support, however they can.
Too many folks are intimidated by that sort of relationship, and that is fine. I choose to take part in only the best. This does not mean the Prettiest, The Richest, The Infamous…it means those who are the best for my soul.