Make your own standard

The original plan was for me to workout with the basketball team, but pesky issues like “liability” got in the way. So all I could do was sit on the sidelines, watch and take notes. And I took a lot of notes. Not just about the drills they did to try on my own (see: agility work) but also noted  what head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said to her players.

The University at Buffalo women’s basketball coach is passionate and supportive. As her team ran seemingly endless sprints she challenged them and encouraged them. And I furiously scribbled down the words and phrases I overheard. Because in my own life, those are the words I need shouted at me, sometimes on an hourly basis.

All your life, people have set your standards. You’ve been coached by men who told you what you could do, how fast you could go. I say you make your own standard. Don’t slow down. Don’t get lost in this thing.

It’s the haters who have the loudest voices in my head. They don’t necessarily shout. Sometimes they just whisper seeds of doubt. Who do you think you are? The quiet gremlin rumblings can be more devastating than reliving actual moments of confrontation when people told me what I could and could not do. Or rather, the told me what they thought I could and could not do. And I believed them. For a variety of reasons.

But the glorious news is that whether it’s shouting or whispers, I don’t have to believe them anymore. I get to choose my own standards. I get to decide what is possible for myself.

I listened to an interview with Janis Joplin and her words of wisdom included this thought for the day: You are what you settle for.

Do I settle for the standards others have set for me? Do I settle for their view of my limitations? Or do I set my own standards? Do I believe in my own potential? What am I willing to settle for? What might be possible if I decided not to settle at all?

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