High Expectations High Standards

I have high standards for myself.  After growing up in an environment where everyone just settled for second best and there wasn’t affirmation or encouragement to do better. I found in my early 20’s settling for this type of lifestyle and just seeing it was ok.  In college and living on my own, the friends I had all had bigger dreams and ended up moving away and onto bigger and better things, leaving me sad and miserable and longing for things to be different.  So finally decided it was my turn and I moved away from the life I knew to a very different world.  I placed people in my life who constantly thought life had more to offer and were always looking for bigger and better and that’s pretty much how I have viewed life since.  I won’t settle for most anything.

The other side to that is that I have also lived for myself and done a lot where I made sure it was more about me than others.  I was a workaholic for a while and allowed it to become my identity.  I’ve also chosen other vices which weren’t the healthiest for me.  This all has led to me living with regret and creating higher and higher expectations for myself.  Once I started becoming a father and having children of my own that did change to a degree, it only made me want to be better and do so much better by my kids.

I look back at all the mistakes I have made with intense sadness.  I feel like as an adult I knew better and I should have done better but I choose to go my way.  I also can be very heard hearted and once I make up my mind nothing will change it.

I also realize we are human and make mistakes and they are also valuable to our learning and moving ahead.  I get that, in fact I will tell people the same thing and tell them not to be so hard on themselves.  So why don’t I take the advice I so freely give?  Great question, one to ponder for the ages.

When I make a mistake, I absolutely hate it.  I am more than a little pissed off, in fact I will call myself every name in the book and tell myself how horrible I am and how ridiculous it is that I made a mistake.  I absolutely hate making mistakes especially when it comes to my job.  I have established a really good reputation for myself at work for many things.  I do not like making a mistake that impacts others or that makes myself look less than competent.  It frustrates and essentially saddens me to no end.   Depending on how significant the mistake is I just want to lock myself away.

I set standards for myself that sometimes I can’t even live up to and it’s maddening when I don’t.  I don’t want to not have standards to live by because so many years there wasn’t anything.  I know that doing your best and putting everything you have into something is right, but in making mistakes I think it just is a harsh reminder of where my life has been and how I don’t ever want to go back to those places.

Do you have high standards, when you make a mistake are you incredibly hard on yourself?



About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

8 responses to “High Expectations High Standards

  • Andrea

    I’m very grateful that I found your blog through Twitter.

    I’ve always been someone that is looking for more, more, more. I’m always content, but never really happy, I think I can do more, try harder and in instances where I didn’t; I failed.

    It’s a nice reminder to think of yourself as human, it’s humbling to remember that you’re not alone in these feelings!

  • Moe

    Sometimes, mistakes allow us to see that we are human. I have learned that true people will see us as people of integrity, respect and hard work. And one mistake (or several) will not stain that legacy. Often, those moments of frustrations allows us to look up to God and find grace in Him. I would worry if mistakes were made and there was no “grief” associated with it.

    Keep having those high standards, but find grace when you stumble. He is faithful my friend!

  • Jon

    I can really relate to this Chris. I think you described me perfectly! Great post!

  • Dustin

    Those tough moments can often lead to some intense learning experiences. There is beauty in ashes, and great worth in keeping high standards.

    I can relate -I’m critical of myself at times when I ‘fail’… and now I’m grateful that I’ve started surrounding myself with people who know that I’m not perfect… and am not trying to be.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Goforth's Journal

      Thanks Dustin, I to have people around me who see me for who I really am. More so in the last year I have used these folks to rely on and gain strength from when I mess up. It’s good to have those type of folks in our lives.

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