Living to certain standards and expectations is another achievement that you should strive for.
Standards are how you live your values, which we talked about previously. They are an internal standard for yourself. Committing to living to your standards will allow you to be in alignment with living your values. Your commitments you make to yourself are so important because if you cannot commit to yourself how do you commit to others in a beneficial and loving way.
Our standards should be our non-negotiables. They are what you set for yourself that aligns with your values. For example, my value of adventure means that I have a standard that I will invest in a minimum of 5 challenging adventures per year (fun runs, zip lining, mountain climbing), have a week per year that is a holiday for adventure or exploring a new place and trying at least one new activity per week. If I do not live to this standard I am not achieving the life I have set out to create for myself.
Perfectionism has often been seen as having high standards. I challenge that and say if you strive to be a perfectionist you have no or low standards. Perfectionists will focus on getting it right and having it all ready before taking action. You will never achieve perfection so it is an excuse to stay stuck, to not take action and not accomplish anything.
When you are a perfectionist you are never satisfied with a project or life so never actually move forward. You use it as a justification for not achieving your dreams and staying trapped.
Taking imperfect action is having high standards. Prepare to a certain extent and then take action. Once feedback has been received zig or zag in another direction if needed, improve on the go, let go of being ‘right’ and see it as constant improvement. This is life. Taking part in it instead of sitting back because nothing is perfect.
In Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ she asks:
“What would I do if I didn’t have to do it perfectly?”
The answer is “A great deal more than I am”.
This is true, if perfectionists did not focus on getting everything perfectly right before taking action they would achieve so much more in life.
We also have expectations. Expectations are our standards that are external to us. They are the boundaries we put in place for others and how we expect to be treated.
If you do not have boundaries you are accepting or tolerating how you are being treated or what is happening to you. You cannot change how you feel, until you be clear about your boundaries.
When you define a life of what you will and will not accept in your world and communicate this clearly, you are achieving balance with your emotions, your soul and your actions.
My expectations are that I should expect to be treated with kindness and compassion, but I did not communicate this and I accepted people being aggressive towards me, they created conflict and were involved in gossiping. I felt I could not get out of that cycle therefore I felt crap and guilty a lot of the time for being in this cycle.
When I started communicating my expectations about kindness and compassion for example, if somebody started being aggressive in tone or raising their voice or gossiping about someone, I could clearly remove myself from the conversation. It felt bad at first doing this as for so long I had tolerated it. Once I did it though, later I felt over the moon that I kept in line with my expectations of kindness and compassion.