Hold yourself for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you.

“Hold yourself for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you.”

Henry Ward Beecher

In all of our endeavours there will be people with us who will either try and push us down or help us up. Many times the people who push us down are the ones closest to us: family, friends, partners, work mates etc. Despite these negative influences, there are steps we can take to ensure we keep moving forward. Moreover, it is important to only listen to those people who will encourage, support or inspire us. Those who mutter caution and doom – however well intentioned they may be – have the power to sew doubt in our minds and deter us from achieving our goals.

When we think about ourselves we tend to attach certain labels such as “I am lazy”, “I am fit”, “I don’t finish what I start”, “I am negative”, “I am positive”, “I am good at XYZ”, I am crap at ABC” and the list goes on. These internal labels are a mixture of positive and negative self-judgements, which will be reinforced by our own personal experiences or by what other people think about us. However, it makes no sense to concern ourselves with negative judgments, be they self imposed or otherwise. Certainly, we can’t control what others believe - it is senseless to invest energy in such matters. Rather, we should focus all our energy and resources on creating positive internal labels and personal experiences, which are congruent with these affirming labels.

Internal labels are all about how you perceive yourself and process the world. If you think about positive outcomes (getting fit, achieving your black belt, making more money, meeting the perfect partner) you are more likely to take the right steps to achieving those as apposed to thinking about negative outcomes (being lazy, quitting, staying in the same shitty job, being lonely).

Personal experiences are about how you choose to spend your time. If you want to be fit and healthy, you can’t sit on the coach all day and eat take away food five days a week. If you want to be a black belt, you have to train regularly and resist the urge to quit when it gets hard, boring or difficult. If you want to make more money, you have to take ownership of that and think about what you can do to achieve it. If you want to find a partner, you have to get out there and meet as many people as possible to find the one you’re looking for.  And you get the idea. Yes you have to think right, but you also have to back that up with ACTIONS. If your life was a car, the fuel is how you think and your actions are the accelerator.

I want to leave you with this quote which I see every morning in the bathroom before I hit the shower. It says far more eloquently the importance of moving forward.

I am not a religious person as such, although I love spiritual texts and philosophy so please don’t think that I shoving religion down your throat. I am simply giving you this quote as it was originally written:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson