Upping My Standards
I have been thinking a lot about upping standards. My life has undergone many changes in the past couple years. My family and I have moved, started businesses, stretched our comfort zones, and even found ourselves in a health revolution (see my CBD page)! With all of these changes I find myself contemplating what is an "Ok" change and what isn’t.
My grandma had a saying "It's good enough for who it's for" usually referring to herself. I never liked that saying because it devalued her self-worth. I really didn’t like that saying when she was referring to me.
My family has another saying, “she thinks a lot of herself” -usually said with righteous indignation. “They think a lot of their stuff!” is another one I have heard a lot. Usually in reference to prices that are deemed too high. I was on the receiving end of many “who does she think she is?”-style comments from friends and family alike.
I learned quickly not to offend others by expressing self-value. As a child and teenager this equated to having very little self-esteem which then devolved even further into shame and apathy. I was often criticized for setting goals that were deemed too high getting comments like “You better marry a doctor since you have such expensive taste”. (I won’t even get into the devaluation and disempowerment of the feminine here. That’s a whole ‘nother blog!) I am not blaming my family solely for this situation. There were many factors at play here including my personality type, society, and the simple fact that it was just easier to set low standards for myself.
This mind-set transferred to so many other areas of my life! Including health and wellness choices, friendships, and career choices. Who was I to have higher standards than the person next to me? Heck, forget higher standards! I was to the point that I have very few standards at all.
Still, I had my passions, my thirst for knowledge, and my creative expression that would not be silenced. I graduated with honors with a 4-year degree. I married an amazing man who becomes an even better husband each year we are together. Together we have brought 2 amazing humans into this world. I constantly continued my education through many, many, courses, books, classes, certifications, and unending research.
But still, I had something holding me back from turning my passions into fruit. I didn’t feel I was good enough or worthy of great things. Even though I was actively working on business ideas or job place career advancement I had many self-limiting beliefs (some subconscious) that I wasn’t worthy. I wasn’t good enough. I was so full of shame and self-loathing that I couldn’t bring myself to promote my business, much less myself!
It has taken years of counseling, introspection, and active self-development for me to get a handle on my self-limiting beliefs, my shame complex, my feelings of inadequacy, and subconscious beliefs which where driving my actions. This is still an ongoing process for me. My self-growth will continue until the day I die. But let me tell you baby, I have come a looong way!
Now when I am driving by a fast food restaurant I have no problem saying that that is not good enough for me. I have severed many an unhealthy friendship. I proudly display my vision board in my office where I receive clients. I can talk about business goals within a group of people. These may seem like trivial things to many of you, but these are all really, really, big deals for me! I still get negative comments from people that want to drag me down to their level, but I have built myself up strong enough that it doesn’t work anymore. I see them for who they are. Someone who may have the same struggles I did!
If you struggle with shame or self-limiting beliefs, you are not alone! There is hope. There are many books, therapies, and counselors out there-if you are willing to put in the work. There are also supportive people, coaches, groups, and communities that are willing to motivate you, hold you accountable, and build you up. I am forever grateful for some of the beautiful online communities and in person friendships that I am blessed to have in my life now. In hindsight, I realize that I had to ditch some of those relationships that were sucking me dry before I made the space in my life for those supportive ones.
I am in no way trying to suggest I have a perfect life or even have it all figured out. But I can track my growth, see the progress, and be extremely excited for what is to come. I am turning 40 this year! It has taken me 40 years to figure this out. Hopefully I will have another 40 years to hone this thing called life.
Whatever standard you have set for yourself is where you will end up...unless you fight your habit and change the pattern. Don't let others set your standards! Decide for yourself what is right for you! You are in control of your choices. Nobody else.
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