Has anyone ever told you your standards are too high? You don’t live in the ‘real’ world? You expect far too much? Which of course means people will inevitably let you down? Because how could they not when you waltz around with your high hopes, your rosy glasses firmly on at all times, and your keg of principles?
I’ve been told this often, followed by much eye rolling and self-defending on my part. So much so, I now let those words of others land and roll off my shoulders, as if I would a couple of rogue rain droplets mistakenly falling from the sky. Here’s what I have to say to all of you who ever find yourself in the same pair of shoes:
Good for you for having fucking standards.
Good for you for deciding to set your bar super high.
Good for you for not settling for mediocre, okay, average, mehhh that’ll do, or just fine.
Many who walk this earth cannot imagine a life through your way of thinking. They can’t, and they refuse to allow themselves to imagine people surprising them. Because they’ve only fallen short time and time again. Realise you are what you allow to happen to you. You are the behaviour you tolerate, you are – to a great extent – the people you keep around you, and you are the only person with the power to change any situation you find yourself in. If you are keeping company with someone who makes you question your faith and humanity in the world, you have to step back and ask yourself ‘what the hell am I doing?’ And it is your responsibility to comfortably distance yourself from them, or eliminate them from your life completely. This is no time for gently does it. We are talking about your faith here.
People might let you down occasionally, yes. Perhaps they let you down a lot. Maybe every single person who has shown up so far has let you down spectacularly. But so fucking what? Why should you allow the actions of others to influence the way you choose to live your life; the way you view strangers? You absolutely shouldn’t.
Never allow those who are jaded to try and jade you. Keep your head high and your expectations even higher.
Lower yourself for no one. If people like you, and want to be in your life, they will. It’s as simple as that – don’t make it complicated when it’s not. Your people won’t make you feel wrong for being who you fundamentally are. The people you truly want in your life are the ones who see you sitting pretty in your rose-tinted glasses and will say, ‘I like how you choose to see it.’ Though they may disagree with you, they would never dream of making your beliefs feel ridiculous.
You know what all of us optimists should do? Encourage the cynical ones to raise their standards.
To strive for better. To find their faith in people. To expect more. Don’t mould yourself to fit in with other people and their standards, let them fit to yours.
Here’s what you should say to the people who say your expectations are too high – I will never expect any less from others than I expect from myself.
And I expect the world from myself. I really hope you do too.