My sister-in-law and I were talking the other day when she requested I focus one of my weekly tips on double standards. She was referring to asking certain things of her children that she herself might not do. Let me give you some examples. We often tell our kids “Don’t ever say you can’t do something” or “As long as you try your hardest, that is all that matters”. Then what do we do? We constantly tell ourselves we can’t do something. I can’t possibly lose the weight. I can’t get that promotion no matter what I do. I could never take a week-end to myself and leave my family. We bombard ourselves with the “can’t do” phrases, yet when our children try that, we tell them it’s not ok. We ask our children to try their hardest, we tell them the outcome doesn’t matter, but what do we do? We set goals for ourselves and even if we try extremely hard, if we don’t achieve them the way planned, then we consider it a failure. Why is this? What is this double standard we have created? Maybe we should take our own advice. Maybe we should try to live our own lives according to the rules we set out for our children. Or, we should lighten up on what we expect of our kids. We expect a child to be fine when taken to school for the first time, we don’t understand why they can’t go make new friends and just have fun. How often do you yourself walk into a party or an event where you do not know anyone, and just go up to everyone saying “hi” and feeling completely at ease? I know I don’t, and I am a fairly social and outgoing individual. Just something to think about this week.
ACTION TIPS FOR THE WEEK:
1. Take your own advice
What advice do you most often give? What do you find yourself saying over and over? Maybe it’s “just relax and have fun”, or “just try, that’s all that matters”. Take this advice to heart this week. How often do you truly relax and just enjoy some peace and quiet? How often do you really have fun and laugh till your belly hurts? Take a step back and try to live the words you spend so much time reciting.
2. Other double standards
Are there other areas in your life where you are creating double standards? Maybe you constantly nag your significant other to be more romantic and creative. Are you taking the time to create romantic gestures? Do you complain that they never listen? What percentage of your conversations do you truly listen without comment? Just put this in your awareness this week and take ownership for your own actions.
3. Lighten up
This is a phrase my mother used all the time when growing up. We tended to take things too seriously, and quite frankly most of the time it wasn’t worth the effort. So, in making some of these life changes and taking a deeper look at what you are contributing, just keep the phrase “lighten up” in your mind. Keep things simple and low key, life is far too short to stress over evey insignificant detail.
Have a great week!