Are You Living Up To Your Own Standards?

Are You Living Up To Your Own Standards?

By Amanda Fox

Do you live by the standards you expect other to live by? Right away, about half the people reading this will immediately answer in the affirmative. Of the other half, a half again will likely hesitate and then answer yes. Half again will likely answer they mostly live by the code they expect others to, and the small handful that is left will likely answer yes – in their own mind – knowing they really don’t. The fact is, none of us want to entertain the thought that we set standards for others we ourselves don’t live up to.


In an ideal world, we’d all live by the same high standards we expect of others. The sad reality is that far too often, we only do it when it’s convenient. Sometimes we even do it begrudgingly. That’s natural. No one can be all sunshine and rainbows all the time and always do the right thing. We’re human, and as such, sometimes we exercise free will and ignore what is happening around us. Sometimes, we choose to ignore our own shortcomings and misdeeds. It’s nothing we’re proud of, it’s just that we are not perfect.


What do you expect from yourself?

We can’t change that. What we can change is our expectations of others and our self. We can accept that we aren’t perfect. We can expect more of ourselves within reason. This doesn’t mean we stop dreaming wild dreams, but it does mean we stop expecting them to manifest on their own with little effort. Too often we make excuses for why it’s okay to not do something. Most of us are experts at rationalizing why something doesn’t get done rather than digging in and just doing it. We can expect reasonable effort out of others. The normal tendency is that we expect others to live up to unreasonable standards that we don’t even reach and then we get upset when they don’t. We not only hurt a little (sometimes a lot) inside, but we hurt that other person as well because whether we realize it or not, our relationship with those individuals does change.


What can you do right now to start living up to not only the standards you expect from others, but your full potential?

1. Make a point out of helping at least one person each day. This doesn’t have to be something huge and scary like co-signing a loan for someone. It could be something as small as helping the proverbial old lady cross a street.  Small acts of kindness are good for you, the recipient, and those who witness them.  Like it or not, when we see someone ignore a person in need, we look upon them unfavorably. Do you want anyone looking at you as lacking compassion?

2. Be reasonable. This applies to yourself and others. You will have off days and so will everyone else. There will be days that nothing seems to go right. Be understanding of that. Give people, and yourself, a pass when that happens. You don’t want it to be a habitual thing, but you have to understand that sometimes in life, shit happens. There will be times you’ll want others to cut you some slack – be prepared to do it for them as well when it is deserved.

3. Start each day with the attitude that you are going to give whatever it is you set out to do your best. Sometimes we tend to begin the day with the thought in the back of our head we’re going to dial it in. The danger in that is that the more often you do it, the easier it is to do again. You lower your expectations of yourself. If you start the day thinking that “okay is good enough”, you’ll never see greatness. If you expect others to show up ready for business, you better be ready too!

4. Take care of yourself. You don’t have to turn into a health nut, but it is important to take care of your inside and outside. Ask yourself, and be honest here, how often you have looked at someone that is disheveled and automatically had a negative perception of them? Appearances do matter, and to more than just the eye. It is proved that when you feel good about the way you look, you feel better about yourself.


Take the time to put your best foot forward. You don’t have to dress to the nines and try to look like a supermodel all the time, but you should care about looking good. It may sound basic, but take care of your hygiene needs, put on clean clothes appropriate for where you will be, and walk out the door standing tall with a smile on your face. You’ll feel better and people will have a more positive image of you.

5. Similarly, live by the mantra “healthy in, healthy out”. This is about more than food, it is about the way you think. Eating healthy is good for you. Thinking healthy is good for you as well. We are only as good as what we put into ourselves. The combination of healthy body and mind that is fed with positive nutrients is an unstoppable combination. If you put in good, you can get out good – it really is that simple. If you expect others to care about their own physical and emotional well being, you have to care about your own as well or your expectations are hollow.

6. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. No matter how hard we try to avoid being hurt or hurting others – it’s gonna happen and there is nothing we can do to avoid that. Carrying around animosity and hurt is going to do nothing to let either party move on. It is essential that we have closure whenever possible. We expect forgiveness for our misdeeds from others, but before we can truly expect that, we have to be willing to give it to others.



Do you strive to be a master or a teacher?

Expectations are tough. Most of the time we will fall short of them unless we learn how to use them constructively. The choice is yours as to what path you choose. You can walk your talk or talk your walk. One path leads to feeling more fulfilled – the other toward regular disappointment. Which path will you take?


Let us know in the comments section whether you think people can live by the standards they set for others, and if you’re doing it, let us know how you do it! We look forward to hearing from you!

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