Who is setting your standard?
I ask the question because it seems like whatever we do, we look for a benchmark or protocol or template from which to operate…..and you can find a standard or pattern for just about every circumstance.
Take driving, for instance.
There are basic rules of the road that we all buy into and follow for safety reasons, but what level of ownership do we have to personalize our driving techniques to set our own standards? (I can sense my cop friends are getting nervous).
I always back into parking spots. I figure the landscape is static in that when I back in, all cars are stopped and there is not much activity to watch out for. Then driving out of my spot, into traffic, bikes crossing, the dog who dashes out, or child who comes chasing after their ball, is easier as I am facing forward and fully aware. Backing into a parking spot is not a rule, and it’s a little more difficult to master. It’s not for everyone, but it makes good sense to me and therefore has become my standard.
Dick Fosbury, in his sophomore year, could not clear the 1.5-meter bar in high jump, yet wanted to set a new standard for himself. His desire led to the innovative “Fosbury Flop”: jumping over the bar back first.
If Dick had continued to accept that the straddle or scissor methods were the only possible jumps, and had not dared to try something new, high jumpers might still be working to clear the 1.5-meter bar! I imagine Dick took some criticism and ridicule for his unorthodox method, but did it stop him?
Aha! ~ Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business
They say that public speaking is our biggest fear but what truly ranks #1 is the fear of looking stupid (public speaking requires that we put ourselves out there and dare to be criticized for our thoughts). That fear of not being accepted can stifle expression, and quietly – but oh so powerfully – be the invisible agreement that restricts authenticity and potential growth.
It is natural – inherent, actually – to want to be liked and fit in. There is safety and security in patterning yourself after the herd and nobody likes to be a boat-rocker, but is it ever worth compromising or restricting your standard?
Carving out your best life might require that you step away from the configuration of the masses in daring to allow your spirit to expand or express itself; but hey, whose opinion of you is more important when creating your best life: yours or theirs?
What new standard might you set for yourself this month?
P.S. As the story goes, it became much easier for Dick when his high school replaced wood chips in the landing area with a softer material! 😊