Hello beautiful humans!
Why do we 'settle' for less than we deserve? Why do we think we deserve so little and how can we begin to raise our standards?
What are Personal Standards?
Our standards are how we show up in life. They are the quality of the behaviors and actions that we hold ourselves to. The the minimum of what we allow in our lives. We use them to hold ourselves accountable and to solidify the expectations that we set for ourselves. Integrity, loyalty, honesty, spirituality are all examples of personal standards, but we literally set a standard for ourselves in every possible area of our life.
Standards also include things like the type of behaviors and actions we are willing to tolerate in our lives from others. They are what dictate how we will live our lives and who and what we allow to be present there. Some may even reflect on standards as a person's values, although very similar, they are not quite the same, but that's a blog for another time.
Why do so many have such low standards?
Often it is self-esteem as a direct affect of some sort of trauma or outside influence telling us that we don't deserve any better than what we have. Usually it is a person who tries to keep us down either to control us or to keep us on their level.
Interestingly, low self esteem can also cause us to set impossibly high standards which are just not reachable. When we set these unreachable standards it re-enforces our justification for our low self-esteem or self-confidence. "I knew I couldn't do it", "I never do anything right" and "I'm such failure", etc.
Another cause is our social culture. How many times have you heard phrases like "be grateful for what you have", "be happy with what you get", "That's just the way it is" or "don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed"? All of these statements contribute to low standards as influenced by those around us. They sound like good advice to keep you humble, but they have a negative impact on our standards and remember, our standards are how we show up in life and what we are willing to tolerate for ourselves.
It wasn't until my own start of this self improvement journey that I began to learn we teach and allow others to treat us in a manner consistent with our standards. If you have low standards then you are allowing negativity and unhappiness in your life that doesn't need to be there. When you start to raise those standards you start to separate yourself from those things and people which bring you down and drain your energy.
What is the value of raising our standards?
It's pretty simple really. To increase the quality of our lives. The quality of life is a direct reflection of the standards that we set and hold for ourselves. If we want a better quality of life, be it in our relationships, careers, family, spirituality, health, etc. then we need to take a good honest look at where our standards are and start making a commitment to raise them.
How can we begin to raise our standards?
We inadvertently limit ourselves in what we deserve or think we can accomplish. Just stop! Stop limiting yourself to what you think is true and own what you know is true. If you believe that you deserve better, then you deserve better. As my coach is fond of saying, what we profess we manifest. So start manifesting the beliefs that you deserve better. So the first step is being aware and honest with what we want for ourselves.
Second, set goals that will help you to raise those standards. You may not be able to accomplish them all at once and that's ok. Take one at a time and you may need to take baby steps to achieve them and that's ok, too! The point is to work towards your goals. For instance, if you want to set a standard for your health to quit smoking, lose 30 lbs and lower your blood pressure, you might want to start a smoking cessation, start exercising and make changes to your diet. You can't achieve all of this today, it will take time, but taking steps towards it everyday are what matters.
Once you reach those goals, you may want to change them and increase your standards again and again. Go for it! Growing is an everchanging process full of possibilities. The more you work on it, the easier it gets. When you reach your goals and can look back and see the difference that you've made in your own life and know that your standards are higher then they were before, you've succeeded!
Morals of the Story:
Your standards are the minimum toleration of the behaviors, actions, people, situations, etc. that you allow in your life.
Raising your standards raises the quality of your life.
Be honest about what your standards are and stop limiting yourself.
Set goals to be and have what you know you deserve.