10 Things People Who Have High Standards Will Appreciate

Why Having High Standards Can Be Both a Blessing and a Curse

Neel Raman
6 min readApr 23, 2018

The standards we set for ourselves has a huge effect on the quality of our lives. If we settle for low standards, we won’t always bring the best out of ourselves.

When we don’t push or challenge ourselves consistently, then it’s highly unlikely we will create the results or the lifestyle we want.

While having high standards can be beneficial, it can also have detrimental effects if there isn’t a healthy balance between doing what’s important and what’s not required.

Personally, I tend to oscillate between having high standards and settling for “good enough.” A recent example was creating an online leadership summit as a strategy to promote my new book, Ignite Your Leadership.

Why it is important to have high standards

The summit involved interviewing experts on the topic of leadership, so my co-authors and I chose to interview two to four experts each. The “good enough” option for me and my colleagues would have been to add the interviews without any editing on a YouTube channel, and send those interested in the summit the links to the interviews.

While that would have been a much easier option, I wanted our summit to be perceived as well-presented and highly professional. That meant a lot more work in terms of editing and branding each of the 30+ interviews, and creating a membership site where people could access the interviews only if they registered.

The end result was we created a summit that was of high quality and professional. The summit not only supported our book launch, it also showcased the leadership experts in the best way we could have done so.

As a result of the online summit, Ignite Your Leadership became a #1 international best-selling book. In this case, having a high standard resulted in the achievement of a goal we had set for ourselves.

Here are ten things people with high standards will recognise and relate to because these things can be both helpful and also a hindrance. Knowing which of these can get us to where we want to be is important for our overall success, well-being and happiness.

  1. You compare your progress or success to other people. Comparing ourselves with others can bring up unhealthy emotions such as disappointment, regret, envy, jealousy, frustration or even sadness. While desiring more success can be a positive thing, knowing the reasons for wanting more success is important.
  2. You are very disciplined. Those with high standards do not let anything get in their way of what they want. They’re able to give themselves a directive, then carry out the action steps they need to in order to get what they want.
  3. You don’t like to fail. While we all have different definitions of failure, the truth is we don’t like to miss our objectives. Those with high standards find it hard to accept that something has not worked out the way they wanted it to and sometimes this results in persevering with something longer than necessary.
  4. You tend to be hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Similar to not wanting to fail, making a mistake can bring up different emotions for people with high standards. They tend to be harder on themselves when they make a mistake than when others make a mistake. This can result in loss of motivation, which can slow down progress towards what they want.
  5. You downplay your successes. People with high standards find it hard to receive compliments and therefore they downplay what they have accomplished. This is because they don’t want to come across as bragging about their successes so they prefer to minimise the things they have achieved.
  6. You over-think things alot. High achievers are constantly thinking about what they should be doing more of. Whenever they receive feedback, especially if it’s negative feedback, they tend to dwell on why they received that feedback and once again, that can lead to being hard on themselves.
  7. You always want to do better. This has to be one of the greatest benefits of having high standards — never settle for what has been accomplished up until now. High achievers know they can always do better so they are constantly focused on improving themselves and what they do.
  8. You do more for others than you do for yourself. People with high standards readily help others, sometimes to their detriment because they don’t give themselves the care and support they need. There has to be a balance between how much we do for others and for ourselves.
  9. You push yourself to work as hard as you can. Constantly working is not an intelligent long-term strategy because we all need to rest, recover and rejuvenate. Those with high standards often have big goals and put additional pressure on themselves to achieve those goals in the timeframe they have set. This results in them working longer hours, which eventually catches up with them.
  10. You always have new things you want to do or create. Having high standards also means having new, creative ideas, which can be a good thing. Those with high standards are focused on completing tasks and projects so they feel they are still making progress in life.

Having high standards is not a bad thing however, we still need to be aware of the effects our actions or behaviours are having on us and others. If we can have a healthy balance between having high standards and being of service to ourselves and others, then we will create a better quality life.

Action Step: Evaluate what level of standard do you have for yourself. If you think you have a low standard, decide whether adopting a higher standard will be beneficial to you. If you think you already have a high standard, assess whether that is currently working for you or not. If it is, continue what you are doing. If it’s not, then it’s time to make some changes.

Question: What is another thing that people with high standards can related to and appreciate?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Neel Raman

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