Love and Relationships

Dear Me: You Need To Have Standards

The human mind is like a hot iron bar; it is malleable piece of wonder that will abide to whatever command it to do. Our standards are fundamentally yardsticks that let our minds recognise what is acceptable and what is not, therefore guiding our actions and the level of work we put into them. Find out more in this article why everyone should have standards.

“I set myself high standards, and when I drop below them, I’m not happy about it.”

Andrew Robertson

Once we are officially twentysomethings, for many of us, we have gone through many relationships. It could be your high school friends, your significant others and heck, even the most awkward experience of your younger years. Cue the wince.

However, between them and the experiences that came consequently, we create a new set of thoughts about how human beings should treat each other. The word “standard” here refers to your list of points that governs how you are expected to and should be treated. For instance, I do not appreciate a friend who belittles my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, some mistakenly view that example as a preference. Everyone should learn that having a standard and a set of preferences are two completely different things.

Occasionally, these boundaries are not clearly defined, neglected, or exempted. As a result, we forgo our yardstick, lose ourselves and become too content with our current situation and who we are with. That said, there is no better time than now to reassess your connections and current situation and restore the standards that you appreciate most.

So why do we need to have standards in place?

1. Our time is too limited for negativity.

Do whatever is necessary to fend off the negativity and other toxic influences of others. Literally, not a single being expects you to cast a positive aura constantly. You are a unique human being, born with a special set of emotions and view the world through a lens that is solely developed by you alone. Hence, you are allowed to be emotional and form your own opinions.

By surrounding yourself with people who support your life choices and love you for who you are, you are laying down components of a sturdy platform for yourself. This world already has sufficient people who will do whatever they can to make you doubt yourself and feel worthless. So, why waste your time by letting yourself get swallowed up by the negative attitude of other people?

2. Our life is short.

You only have this one life. How do you wish to spend it? Doubting yourself all the time? Apologising for things even though they were out of anyone’s control? Chasing after people who see you as an option rather than a priority? At some point, you must decide at what point enough is enough.

I once worked a job where my contributions were not recognised and underappreciated. When no one else wants to take on a difficult assignment, it was me who jumped on it because I wanted to learn and grow my character. I always stepped into the office with a mindset that convinces me that the day will be great. However, somewhere down the road, I just lost the will to keep that happy attitude going to the point that I dread the idea of commuting to work. I constantly felt that I was alone and was always told to complete tasks that were out of my field of expertise.

Now that I think about it, I should have used up all my paid annual leave days when I had the chance. The non-conducive cloud in the workplace crept into my personal dimension and influenced other aspects of my life. It took away my motivation to work on personal projects and resume the hobbies that once brought enlightenment into my life. Fundamentally, you need to know when enough is really enough, recognise that you deserve better and to be treated better, and summon the bravery to regain control of the circumstances to forge your desired future.  

3. Why settle when you can have it all?

Although there is a degree of truth in this question, first of all, what is your definition of “settling?” Do not be afraid to reach for greater heights, take another leap forward or challenge yourself to be a better person overall. If you remain at a job because you are not interested in moving beyond your comfort zone despite knowing that there are many opportunities out there for you to explore, you are not living your life to the fullest.

Final 2¢: Change your life by changing your standards.

Setting standards for ourselves is not an act of selfishness or arrogance but a form of quality control that enables us to be successful and healthily develop ourselves.

Who am I to advise you to resign from your day job or abandon the toxic relationships you have with your friends? But, again, knowing when you deserve to be treated like a human being who has something to add to this world is an underrated skill. You are not a rug for people to step on. Discover the things that you are passionate about and work on them.  Seek individuals who make you feel alive and adore you for who you are. Life is too short for fake people.

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