To Grow, Lower Your Standards

To grow, lower your standards.

At first, this seems counter-intuitive.

It is not if you look closer.

You see inaction is one reason why growth does not happen.

Inaction comes from resistance.

Resistance comes from overwhelm and fear of failure.

Until we finish big projects they seem scary enough to stop us in our tracks. We fear that either we don’t have smarts or we don’t have enough experience to finishing such a project.

When surveyed last, 200 million Americans wanted to publish books. Do you know how many books were published a couple of years later? 304,912.

Think about it. 200 million wanted to write a book and only 0.3 million actually did it. Numbers in India are even smaller – 90,000 books published in a year.

Why the gap between wish and actual numbers?

At the core, writing is a book is writing 1 page, 200 or 300 times. You can even do a manifesto-style book by writing 50 words a day for 300 days. We even write messages longer than that multiple times a day.

But when we realize that the page that we have to write is for a book – resistance creeps in.

If you resolved to network with 200 people in the new year, it will excite you but at the same time, it will appear too daunting. Chances are that you’ll start getting in touch with 5-10 people but will stop never to start again in that year.

Maybe because whenever you look at a big goal you tell yourself a story that the big goal is too much for you. As part of that story, you even tell yourself lies like you don’t have enough time.

How Lowering Your Standards Comes To Your Rescue?

When you think of writing a book – lower your standards and tell yourself that you are not thinking of writing a book.

Tell yourself that you are writing 50 words on a topic. It’s ok if some days 50 words turn into 100 but your commitment to yourself is only for 50 words. At this point, you are not responsible for writing a book.

If 50 words stop you – start with 1 sentence a day. Don’t worry if it does not look big or impressive to you or others around you in the beginning. It will add up if you keep at it. Moreover, the idea is to lower your ‘starting’ standards so much that you can’t give yourself an excuse to not do it.

Know that you are only responsible for doing the minimum every day.

For networking, if you tell yourself that you are responsible for connecting with one new person a week. Is it something that you will be able to do? Looks like, you’ll be able to do it.

This will allow you to get in the groove. You will allow yourself to ship and not be paralyzed by fear of not putting out the biggest quantity or the highest quality. Good enough is ok, small quantity is ok.

But don’t lower your standards and become lazier than you were. It will not help.

Now, are you ready to start?