Friday, August 31, 2012

Holding Ourselves to the Standard

Self-vision is a thing which is always difficult to measure and hard to assess.  We are ourselves, of course; the ability to move outside of that basic fact makes it difficult to perform the sort of assessment that we love to perform on virtually everyone around us.  There are even those among us who proclaim themselves to be masters of the self critique, of the (arguably) rare ability to drill down on themselves and know their faults.

My question is this:  in the pursuit of self critique, can these same people hold themselves to the standard that they hold others to?

Standards - goals, expectations, objectives, call them what you will - are dangerous to the individual who is using them.  They are in usually in some way objective, not open to interpretation.  A thing is either done or it is not done, the book written or not written, the conversation had or not had, the gossip made or not made. 

They are outside of the individual, and so the application of self critique does not specifically apply to them.  We may be held to them but they are not fully of ourselves, and so not fully self interpretable.

The difficulty?  Of holding one's self to that standard of performance.

Why is it difficult?  Because too often lack of achievement or even downright failure is the result and too many people are simply unable (or unwilling) to admit this.  It is one thing to say that I have an issue with anger or performance or overeating.  It is another thing to say I have failed to meet a standard on anger management or performance or overeating.  One is, eventually, defined by myself; the other is something which I cannot fully control the definition of success over.

And holding others to a standard which we ourselves cannot (or will not) achieve?  This becomes the height of folly evident to all, the sort of hypocritical  performance that can be the most damaging of all because it is evident to everyone but ourselves that there is a severe disconnect between the two.  Now not only are we not holding to a standard (although by self definition we think we are), we are attempting to hold others to the same standard that we ourselves could not make.

Standards - goals, objectives, achievements - are important things to have.  We just need to accept that it is not our definition alone of what meeting that standard is that defines the reality.

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