Standards don’t just apply to the quality of person that you choose to date. You have pre-set standards for yourself in all areas of life. If your apartment is always a mess, it’s because you have a standard that says that you’re just not an organized person and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable. If you’re someone who’s in the gym 5 days a week, it’s because you’ve identified yourself as a fit person and set a standard to maintain a certain physical appearance. You have standards that determine the quality of your work, how you look, how you treat other people — and you have the ability to practice raising those standards with small tweaks to your daily routine.
Tony Robbins says, “If you don’t set baseline standards for what you’ll accept in your life, you’ll find it easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes and a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.”
What have you accepted?
Is there an area of your life that you know you can improve? If it’s your relationships – how much quality time and attention do you give your loved ones? How do you treat others or allow yourself to be treated? Do you have bad habits that you feel the need to defend or explain? How about your financial situation? Are you always late paying your bills? Are you unable to make or keep any of your saving goals? Ask yourself – when did you decide to accept these limitations? Why are you accepting these lower standards? Now that you’ve identified what habits are keeping you in this place, you can start the process of changing them.
Raising your standards
Since we focus on money over here on TFM, let’s look at the standards you’ve set for your finances. If you’re always saying “I really should be saving more” but never do because you tell yourself that you’re just not good with money – it’s time to shift that perception. You have to decide with full conviction that you are someone who is great at saving, and identify yourself as someone who has full control of their finances. An exercise that Tony encourages is to rewrite limiting beliefs:
Current belief: I not the kind of person who can save money/ I can’t save money
New belief: I have full control of my finances.
Now start to act the part. Change your daily habits and start becoming that person with raised standards:
- You skipped Starbucks this week and put that money in savings. It was painless. You are in control of your finances.
- You start tracking your spending once a week on mint.com or with your bank online to see where your money is going. You feel more in control of your finances.
- You set up automatic transfers of that savings into an online bank earning more interest (free money!). This is a practice of the rich. You are in control of your finances.
- You read personal finance sites (like this one) to get advice on how to make and save more money, and you seek advice and associate with those in your life who are good with money.
Raising your standards is a result of creating new habits that reflect the kind of person you want to be. Just like someone who is overweight may have the routine of eating a muffin every morning, someone who is fit has the habit of throwing on their running shoes and hitting the gym. As you can imagine, these habits create different results. Make it clear what will happen to you if you don’t change this belief—make the consequences as extreme as you can. How will it effect your family? Your relationship? How you feel about yourself? (Example – If I continue to not save money, I will lose my home or need to rely on someone else if I lose my job or if there’s an emergency).
You can apply this to any area of your life. Why not identify yourself as a leader – an athlete – an amazing partner? Raise your standards for yourself and see how much life can change when you do.