Raise your standards but not your expecations

high standards comic

What do I mean when I say raise your standards but not your expectations?

Standards are the boundaries and things that you expect as a minimum. For example, I tell recruiters when they contact me upfront what I expect as a standard. There is no ambiguity and no time wasted for either party. Expectations are what you hope to get in a situation but are not guaranteed. Expectations are going out on a date and hoping the person is interesting and compatible.

Many of the mistakes of my life were not having high enough standards for myself in regard to what I would accept from others. I am very forgiving and often that trust has been abused by people around me. For example, I had relationships where my forgiving nature caused me to be disrespected. I corrected that. Or in business, I would have users who constantly forget their password and I was forgiving and helped them and didn’t raise the issue.

However, there is a point where being forgiving and having unreasonable standards both hurt you and the person you are helping. I shared before how some bosses were abusive and that is something no one should accept. I should have walked out immediately but I didn’t because I was wrong to continue to forgive someone who didn’t want to change.

In life, you have to determine what your standards are and hold firm to them. If you don’t, not only are you not happy but you enable others to hurt others by disrespecting yourself and others.

See also  Letting other people shine