May 20, 2012

What’s your yardstick?

The yardstick I refer to is that particular, personal measurement each of us uses to define our position in the World. It’s the measurement by which we perceive our successes and failures and very often, like the proverbial iceberg, much of it lies hidden so deep in our sub-conscious we’re not even aware of the criteria we’ve used to create it.

Which is an issue when so many of us use our yardsticks to beat ourselves up. Hands up, I’m guilty. Constant benchmarking with what my family, friends and peer groups were doing and therefore what I should be doing. Chuck in general Western society’s expectations on all levels, background influences – the country / society we live in, our health, upbringing, education, life situations etc – and suddenly everything becomes about ‘should’.

Hardly surprising so many people feel they’re never good enough. I certainly didn’t meet my yardstick expectations and consistently found myself lacking, even if to others I appeared pretty happy, successful and with direction in life. Over the past year or so it became clear to me that my particular yardstick wasn’t making me feel anything like good. The ‘should’ expectations were negatively colouring my life.

A feeling of being out of sync, coupled with a deep-seated horror of being ‘left-out’ and some crappy life situation stuff had led to a period of truly low self-esteem. None of which was good, fun or healthy. I mention this solely in that I had a reason to seek a better viewpoint. So I took action. I made lots of scary changes. I took risks and shook my life up. I’m still doing this.

The result? I decided not only to march to my own beat, rather to actively own it and try as hard as I possibly can to re-define my yardstick. Ultimately that’s what this blog is about. Celebrating freedom from expectation, doing things your own way, in your own time, having mini adventures and feeling great about it.

Hardly groundbreaking stuff, yet, I feel, hugely under-rated.

What’s your yardstick? And how do you measure up?

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