Standards. We all have them and yours are probably different than mine, but for all of us (and what Webster confirms) they are a level of quality or attainment we are willing to accept.
As a society, the things we set specific or high(er) standards for can be any number of things. Clothing, cars, schools for our children, where we choose to live, our employer, who we choose to have a relationship with, the list goes on.
Similarly, we may lower our standards depending on circumstances. (You know what I’m talking about.)
We aren’t willing to settle when it comes to certain things in our lives, but quite often we are settling for crumbs when it comes to really important shit. Like the stuff that impacts our overall health & wellness.
Why don’t we have the same standards when it comes to our own health?
Why is it that we lower our expectations as it relates to the care we give to ourselves?
It sounds a bit backwards, doesn’t it?
We “endure” because it’s comfortable, and sometimes having standards takes work.
I am the first to admit that I haven’t always had the highest standards in certain areas of my life. And, when I started to look deeply at why that might be, it turns out it’s because I lacked self worth. I didn’t believe I deserved the best, so I settled. And as a result, I was terribly unhappy and dissatisfied.
The trouble is, when we don’t believe we are worth it, we make decisions that impact us for the rest of our lives. I’m not talking about where you’ll eat for dinner tonight or what car you are purchasing next month - I’m talking about decisions that affect your health & wellbeing; your career & relationship success; your overall happiness.
When we lower the standards on how we treat ourselves - and how we think about ourselves - we stop caring. We put ourselves last. And, well, that doesn't work.
So, here's what happens...
We ignore what we need, and instead plow through life without pause. We fail to honor our bodies by not getting adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise - oh, and forget giving ourselves permission to take a day off or (gasp!) a vacation. We settle for less, when it comes to our work, our relationships, and our lifestyle.
When we put ourselves last we throw self-care (and self-respect) out the window - and with it goes our standards.
By not giving to ourselves, we send a message to others about how we feel. And, it isn’t that hard for them to see, believe me.
When I was in the thick of not caring about myself and living a life well below my standards, everyone who knew me saw that I was unhappy (and as a result, unhealthy). I was so disconnected that I didn’t see it, and only when I got through the muck did I begin to see that the level of respect I was giving myself was attracting the same – in all areas of my life.
It’s true what they say, what you put out there you get back.
Is what you are doing now, for your health & wellness, "good enough" or is it excellent?
If it's just acceptable, that isn't acceptable when it comes to you.
So, what would happen if you raised your standards for your own wellness?
Would you meet yourself there?
I’ll answer for you…
YES. You would.
I say this because it has happened to me - more than once. I made a major shift in my perspective and what I deserved. It was a pivotal point in my life, because I chose to raise my standards and recognize my self worth. I gave myself permission to spend more time on me, to stop putting myself last and to stop filling time with busyness – and instead, set some serious standards.
Following that, I began to change the way I treated myself.
You are someone who should be respected, and that respect has to start with you.
You are worth it.