What Are Personal Standards?

Lifestyle Personal Development

Personal standards are our personal metrics and measurements for how we want to be,  do, and have across the different areas of our lives. Such as finances, job & career, relationships, health & fitness, personal & spiritual, free time & recreation, contribution.

Personal standards is not about having expectations for others, it is about you and not them. So, having an endless list of requirements for your spouse, friends, colleagues, subordinates, boss, children etc., is not what’s defined as personal standards at all!

Instead, they are the list of things that we consider to be the bare minimum acceptable for ourselves. It’s about taking 100% responsibility for our own life. Your personal standards are closely related to your attitude & self-image, and may help you align your overall behavior with your dreams and goals.

Arash Vossoughi (Vice-President of Sales, Proctor Gallagher Institute) says that our “standard of excellence” is a persons DNA for success. And you can easily measure your current personal standard by looking at your current results. To improve your results, start with improving your personal standards.

Personal standards do not bend due to the behavior and expectations of others, but can be adjusted by the consideration of them by the individual. However, with total inflexible standards that can make them problematic as they can reduce the dynamism of an individual.

“Success is a personal standard,
reaching for the highest that is in us,
becoming all that we can be.”
~Zig Ziglar

Positive Personal Standards

Moral Standards is about right and wrong, such as not selling tobacco if you are against it.

Mastery Standards is about you being committed to do what it takes to reach the top of your profession, or at least realize your full potential in an area that is important to you.

Self-Discipline Standards is about you being able to focus and concentrate for long periods of time when something needs to be completed.

Work Ethic Standards is about you turning up for work, you work a reasonable number of hours each day, and do what you are supposed to do.

Work-Life Balance Standards is about you finding a healthy schedule between work and living a full life.

Work-Quality Standards is the philosophy that you are happy with the quality of your work before submitting it.

Social Comparison Standards is about you being neither jealous nor arrogant and that you focus on correcting your own faults over expressing sharp disapproval or criticism towards others.

Goodness Standards is about you doing your best to be a good person and perform random acts of kindness.

The Wonder Standards is about you doing your best to see the wonder of life and pursue senseless acts of beauty.

Humility Standards is about  you remaining humble about your good deeds and attributes.

Taking the High Road Standards is about you not changing your behavior to match the poor behavior of others.

Tolerance Standards is about you treating people equally and being tolerant of differences between people.

Honesty Standards is about how willing you are to tell the truth.

Authenticity Standards is about you being yourself 100%, and not trying to pretend to be anything else.

Cultural Standards is about adopting elements of culture as a rule. For example, adopting the practice of cooking a proper meal and eating as a family each evening.

Norm Standards is about committing to certain norms of behavior. For example, avoiding excessive noise in the evenings and early morning so as not to disturb your neighbors.

Appearance & Hygine Standards is about you pursuing your personal sense of style in addition to your own hygine routine.

Risk Taking Standards is about you willing to take calculated risks and do things that make you go out of your comfort zone in order to build resilience and growth.

Risk Avoidance Standards is about you not taking excessive, naive or destructive risks that are counterproductive.

Introspection Standards is about your willingness to review your own behavior each day to identify your failures and try to improve.

Intuition Standards is about you willing to remain mindful of your intuition and correct things that don’t feel right.

Optimism Standards is about your willingness to view people and situations with a sense of optimism and hope.

Pragmatism Standards is about you willing to deal with the world as it is in reality, and not retreat into inflexible idealism whereby you expect the world to bend to you.

Sidelining Standards is about you willing to sideline negativity and not allow the negativity of others to become a dominant force in your life.

Unaffectedness Standards is about you doing your best not to worry about what others are thinking and saying about you, without going so far as to ignore valuable criticism.

Quality of Life Standards is about you avoiding situations in any of your life areas that will have a negative impact on the quality of your life.

Health & Fitness Standards is about you doing your best to live a healthy life including exercising daily.

Forgiveness Standards is about you doing your best to free yourself of resentment and bitterness and consider forgiving others.

Gratitude Standards is about your willingness to approach life with a sense of gratitude, for your past and present (and some will even say for the future).

Loyalty Standards is about your degree of loyalty to those who you love.

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life,
you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviours and attitudeds
or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.”

~Tony Robbins

Negative Personal Standards

Personal standards can be used in negative ways that are likely to backfire and cause painful failures. 

Elitism: Is the belief or notion that individuals who form an elite – a select group of people perceived as having an intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, power, notablity, special skills, or experience – are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others.

Selfishness: Is being concerned excessively or exclusively, for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others. Selfishness is the opposite of altruism or selflessness; and has also been contrasted with self-centeredness.

Biases: Is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief. In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error. Statistical bias results from an unfair sampling of a population, or from an estimation process that does not give accurate results on average.

Perfectionism: Is a broad personality style characterized by a person’s concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. Perfectionism drives people to be concerned with achieving unattainable ideals or unrealistic goals, often leading to many forms of adjustment problems such as depression, low self-esteem, etc.

Social Isolation: Is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society, it is about choosing not to socialize with others due to indifferences. It differs from loneliness, which reflects temporary and involuntary lack of contact with other humans in the world.

Mediocrity: Standards can be used as an excuse to avoid change, risk taking and creative tension. For example, an administrator who adopts the principle that all rules are to be followed at all time without exceptions no matter who illogical the application of the rules may become.

Set Your Own Personal Standards

If you never thought about your own personal standards, decide to sit down in a quiet place for at least 30 minutes, and think about what it is that you accept and don’t accept in your life. Don’t worry, there is no right or wrong here. The point is for you to start to get consciously aware of your standards.

This will take some time, however, if you want to uplevel your personal standards, you’ll have to start by defining what they are today. Use the list above as a guideline. Think about 3-5 of them at a time, and then start implementing those standards into your life.

When you feel they have become part of you, almost as a habit, then you can move on to other areas, set the standards there, take action and implement them into your life until they also become part of you.

Know this is an ongoing process for the rest of your life, if you are of that opinion that you will never stop improving your personal standards!

With love ❤️
Eva Hyllestad

Ask to join the Soaring Alliance Community for more information and training about Mindset & Personal Development for Entrepreneurs.

If you need further and more personalized help with your personal development, please look into working with me here.

Featured photo by Cam Adams on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “What Are Personal Standards?

  1. Thank you Eva for this very detailed and helpful article.
    This is an article to come back to, to read again and again.
    Massive value and food for thought.
    Best wishes,

    Delroy M.

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