Standards and abilities

Today one of my friends retweeted something tweeted by singer-songwriter Aimee Mann – “My standards are higher than my abilities.” I know what she means. Or at least, her tweet strikes a chord with me.  It’s part of the reason why I needed to write the posts named Changing my mind and I can do this last year.  It’s the reason why I probably ought to read them every day.  It’s the reason why I’m very rarely pleased with the work I’ve done on stage or in a workshop in the library.  I have high standards for myself, standards which I’m extraordinarily unlikely to achieve.  Mistakes that the audience would never notice are a reason for self-criticism.  Workshops where anything goes wrong are obviously my fault.  I feel the need to meet and exceed any and all expectations which might have been placed upon me, and then there are my own expectations on top of that.  And add all of those together, and you have a target I cannot reach, for I am not the actor, educator, singer or person I want me to be.  My abilities are not enough to meet my standards.

So should I lower my standards?  I think not.  If I stop wanting to get better, then I’ll simply stop getting better, and possibly stop caring.  Perhaps I need to recognise more that my standards are high, and go easier on myself for not meeting them.  And who knows, maybe one day my abilities will grow enough to meet my standards.  And that will be a most wonderful day.  And knowing me, I’ll raise my standards the very next morning!

    • Trish
    • May 19th, 2011

    Maybe you should give yourself ‘holidays’ from setting yourself high standards. Times when you can just relax. You have already achieved a lot, you can afford to take a break 🙂

  1. June 22nd, 2012

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