Holding Yourself To A Higher Standard

"Raising The Bar" is not meant to be easy.

Holding yourself to a higher standard requires serious dedication and self-discipline. It's going to be a BIG challenge.

Why would anyone choose to do this? To improve overall Quality of Life - to achieve everything you want out of your life.

"The standard of living is closely related to quality of life." -source

The fact that you're reading this right now shows that you are one of those people. Someone that holds yourself to a higher standard, wants more out of life and expects more of yourself, in your mind if not also in your actions...

What's Wrong With The Norm?

There is nothing at all wrong with "the norm" or with the standard of living as defined by society. In fact, many people are quite happy to achieve a certain level of comfort - and stay there. But there are others who feel driven, who want more, and who crave the challenge of living up to their fullest potential...

Raising The Bar: Holding Yourself To A Higher Standard

Achieving any real change in your life requires consistent action toward a very specific goal. First, you have to know what your standard looks like. You need a clear vision of where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, who you want to become - and most importantly: WHY.

It will be a challenge. It will not be easy. You have to really push yourself, even when you don't "feel" like it. Even when you are experiencing self-doubt, discouragement or disappointment. Even when you're not 100% sure of the outcome.

Fighting through your own personal battles is hard enough, but you'll have outside resistance to deal with as well. People will try to bring you down - to their level, or to their standard. What makes this even harder is that it's usually the people you are closest to in your life: your closest friends, your family, etc.

"Raising The Bar" will mean learning new things, figuring out what doesn't work, accepting failures as part of the process. It's going to require getting uncomfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, and embracing the challenge of REAL change. It will show you what you're made of. It will expose your strengths and your weaknesses - sometimes in a way that feels quite raw...

Why Bother?

Why in the world would you challenge yourself to the limits? Why would you impose such self-pressure, and get "uncomfortable" on purpose?

Because you can. Because you can't not do it. Because you are driven from the inside out, and standing still while your life passes by - and your true potential is sitting idle - drives you absolutely mad. Because you'll never be truly happy with "the norm."

Still, even those who are driven struggle with direction. We struggle with the internal and external negatives. We struggle with pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.

And sometimes we give in to those struggles. Why? Because it's easier. But "easy" is never going to get you where you want to be.

Long Term Goals, Short Term Rewards

It may feel like your current dreams or goals are so far out of reach that you'll never actually get there. And they may very well BE far off. I knew back in my late 20's that it was going to take me a decade to achieve the major lifestyle change that I really wanted - to be "where I wanted to be in life." And while it did seem near impossible at the time, I did it anyway. In hindsight, do you think I have any regrets?

The answer is NO! 😀

As a driven person, you have two options: be uncomfortable doing nothing at all, or be uncomfortable pushing yourself forward. Period.

If you're going to be uncomfortable, you might as well be moving forward!

The great thing is... there are rewards in the challenge itself, long before you reach your end goal. It's not ALL about the results.

It's very much about the experience, the satisfaction of knowing you're moving in the right direction, the sense of accomplishment at every little milestone, the excitement of moving closer and closer to your goals. The personal growth and positive change that happens along the way...

If you've been stalled, or sitting idle instead of consistently working toward your ideal life, today is the day to break out of it. You're not happy sitting still. You're not happy unless you're actively involved in making it happen.

Whatever "it" is to you personally.

Today is the day to dig in your heels, and move out of your comfort zone - which was never a comfortable place for you anyway. 😉


p.s. Yesterday I ran across a book titled Constructive Living by David K. Reynolds. I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my iPad and am already almost halfway through it.

It's an incredibly practical book that will help you break out of the things that keep holding you back in life. It will show you exactly why you find it so hard to achieve your goals, and what to do about it. So far I am LOVING it!

Books can be a great source for motivation and inspiration, particularly when you're feeling stalled. What are your favorite titles, or favorite sources for a pick-me-up? Share below!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Oh wow... well, you know I know all about being raw lately LOL!

    I love what you've shared here and it probably couldn't have come at a better time for me.

    I feel QUITE driven in a couple areas of my life and I know you've read and loved The Power of Full Engagement (you introduced me to the book). I remind myself now and then that I can't be fully engaged in more than one thing at a time - so I have to be intentional about the time I have and where I direct my available energy.

    Right now, my health and wellness has to get solid effort every single day. The gym, the right food choices, etc.

    And my business HAS to move up to the next level this year. I've got to have more solid income to PAY for my health and wellness goals LOL! Health Insurance sure isn't cheap, right?
    Kelly McCausey recently posted..Plan The Big Picture But Focus On The NowMy Profile

  2. I am definitely a driven person and I am simply UNHAPPY when I don't push myself forward. I don't like the feeling of being unproductive or not being able to accomplish my goals.
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  3. Good post Lynn,

    Excellent quote also.

    Seems to me that as people lose their morality they lose their value at the same time.

    Financially and it shows up in the work people create.

    Good post its time we expect MORE from ourselves.

  4. I decided to raise the bar on my current website project. I have other niche websites that I had all the content written for and they are OK.

    They make money but I'm not that proud of them.

    I decided to raise the bar and write the full content for my new internet business website myself. I think this is much better for building trust and credibility with your readers and you also feel better about yourself knowing that you have done your absolute best work.
    Mark McKnight recently posted..WordPress Website Tutorial: How To Setup And Install Your New Blog From ScratchMy Profile

  5. Excellent post Lynn! I totally agree you have to keep your goals right in front of you. They are attainable. You do have to do things even when you don't feel like it especially, when it's in your best interest. When my blog got shutdown and than I found another blogging platform but I didn't like it. I had to move my blog. I know I needed too but laziness almost captured me. I'm glad it didn't and I moved it to another blogging platform. I would like to get a domain name and upgrade. Those are some goals that I would really like to achieve. Because, I am in some debt I haven't been able to do those things yet but I'm working on it.
    Maketta recently posted..How Keeping A Journal Can Help You With Your BloggingMy Profile

  6. It’s funny, but my wife and I were just talking about this today. So thank you for the timely post Lynn.

    You see, my wife said to me that she wished things were simple like they were when we first met. She was wondering why I always wanted to work so hard and achieve the next goal. She was telling me that she missed the simple life we once had.

    I told her, the time she was referring to was a long time ago. I only made $500 a week and I had no plans for our future. I was simply living one day at a time. I went on to tell her that I believe God has plans for me. And since I chose to deny him when I was younger (I was saved 13 years ago), he’s simply helping me make up for lost time. And I have this DRIVE in me, not just because I’m type A, but because I believe it’s spirit driven.

    You see, I don’t believe I’m great, but I know that Greatness lives in my. And I’ve been put on this planet to share that Greatness with others. I personally believe everyone has Greatness in them. It just takes another person or event to bring it out of them. So yea, I’m driven…purpose driven.

    My ultimate goal is to help ordinary people do extraordinary things with the natural talents God gave them. In a not so round-about way, Lynn Terry has helped me along the way. Lynn, you are an inspiration. Thank you for being YOU and thank you for your service.


  7. Most people want to lead better lives. They work hard to achieve their goals. Life must go on and we we don't want to be monotonous in our lives. We have ambitions and passions. But we must manage them and control ourselves wisely so we can still keep our relationship with others and never distract them. God gives us brain and talent in order we can make use of it so we can be useful for our environments. This is the difference between human and other creatures. The standard lives may be different among people but the important thing is the way how we plan to achieve our goals.

  8. I'm finally enjoying the challenge of being uncomfortable. After all, it's the only way I'll ever do more and be more.

    This resonates with me, "But "easy" is never going to get you where you want to be." Amen!
    Tracy Roberts recently posted..But I Don’t Want To Wear Underwear!!!My Profile

  9. Lynn,Great post. I\'m a true believer that the learning never stops. I also believe that when it comes to growth, if it doesn\'t make you uncomfortable, then it\'s probably not worth doing!Keep the great posts coming! - Brian

  10. I love to take myself to the limits. In blogging and in my real life and I must say that pleasure that a human being gets by working way too hard and then enjoying the fruit cannot be expressed into the words.-
    saqib razzaq recently posted..14 Unusual Ways to Get New Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

  11. This was a great post Lynn. One of your best one I think. I am really pushing myself this year. I just made my goal for January. 31 blog posts in 31 days. That was tough.

    I have always been very driven but when it came to my own business I always seemed to get knocked off-track by something. This year my plan is to push the whole year and see what happens. I really raised the bar for myself and I think this is my year.
    Mike Norris recently posted..31 Day Blog Post Challenge – I Made ItMy Profile

  12. Sitting idle while life passes you by, sadly, is what a lot of people do.
    Plus, following the crowd, which isn't bad IF you follow the right crowd.

    I know as for ME, "I Know My Purpose and I'm Taking Action on it"
    It's a daily process, and I love every minute of it.

    Great motivational an inspirational post Lynn...Thanks,


  13. Its true and I feel if you have high goals in life then you think big, do big and that will take you to higher achievements in life. Big goals require determination, routine life style and analysis of what we have done on a particular day.

    I am gonna implement everything in my life and lets see whats in the future for me.. Thanks a ton for this post.
    Abhishek recently posted..Teddy Day 2013 SMS messages Quotes Teddy Day SMSMy Profile

  14. Every challenge you take on makes you and your business better for it. To be successful you have to continue to grow and not be stagnant.
    Toni Nelson recently posted..Exciting News For Women Owned Businesses!My Profile

  15. Kate Tyler says:

    I could not have said it better Lynn....I'm scared to death, but I'm going to do it anyway. I must. I definitly have to get that book!

  16. Hello Lynn ... about a week ago I pulled Susan Jeffers' book "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" from my bookshelf and did a little 'revision'! ... and here you are with your foot on the gas pedal ... how many " c's " in "Synchronicity" ?? ... (trick question!) ... :-)) ...

    Cheers from Aus Lynn ... Doug ...

  17. Excellent & very motivating article. I just checked the description of the book on Amazon & I find it interesting. Thanks for sharing this.
    Priya N recently posted..Krishna Karpal is the Name of Biggest Work from Home ScamMy Profile

  18. I often hear people say "YOLO" or "You Only Live Once". We have only one life and so we have to make to make the most out of it. I once read from a post that a person who are afraid to die are those that have not lived to the fullest and have full of regrets. So, raise your expectations high, dream high and achieve big!

  19. Thanks for the post. Going to get my Kindle to check out the book now. Looking forward to reading it on a long plane ride I have coming up.
    Jef recently posted..Warren County Child Custody Lawyers helps client keep sole custody of childrenMy Profile

  20. Funny thing about comfort zones, I think there must be levels of "discomfort". Some things I'm terrified about doing, but do 'em anyway and other things I get stuck in the terror stage :) I'll check out your book recommendation as it may help me discover how to progress from paralysed with fear to action for some parts of my life :)

  21. hey Lynn,

    It's key to recognize that raising the bar is not an option, as a business grows when/if its owner grows...

    Most bloggers and affiliate marketers won't raise their standards anyway, because of fear... there's something that frets them within their subconscious mind, that stops them dead in their tracks... and where there's no progress on the personal level, there's no $ coming in into the business...
    John recently posted..How Does Affiliate Marketing WorkMy Profile

  22. Thanks for the great post Lynn.

    Here's a quote I read somewhere a few days ago that this post reminded me of:

    “Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven't done”

    So I say - keep going and push forward. Try and live your life the best you can and push yourself to the limits.

  23. Raising the bar is not easy for oneself because it means more efforts, more expectations, and more stress on that person's part. However, it is very necessary to raise our standards after a particular period. It will help us in becoming successful in any work we do.

  24. Judy vonKleeck says:

    Wow, thanks Lynn! It\'s wonderful to have you and everyone else here inspiring and supporting each other. 2013 started out with many financial challenges, but the good news in them it has made me reimagine myself, my strategy, and my strength. I am finally having fun diligently putting my business system in place....something that I had struggled with previously. Looking at my past results certainly was a lightbulb over my head! Have to, have to, and am, doing things differently, and what better place then here to get the strategy and support I need to do just that. Thank you all!

  25. Hi Lynn,

    I think when you talk about "holding yourself to a higher standard" you have to be careful - it can also backfire.
    I have been living with my parter for 15 years, and he is an absolute achiever, always wanting to have more, be more, live better, and he constantly has BIG goals of where exactly he wants to be.
    The problem is, he is so driven that he is literally constantly living in the future. Constantly striving to achieve better, setting himself higher standards. He is stressed out to no end, therefore very aggressive and snappy, and the saddest part is that he does have very little to no time for his partner (me) or his 2 children (9 and 10).
    When questioned, his answer is that he is doing this all for us, to provide us with a better living. Unfortunately he can't see that there has to be some enjoying the moment and the current life, and to be happy with what you have, too, otherwise you will never be happy!
    It is so important to "stop and smell the roses" and appreciate what you have AT THE SAME TIME that you are striving to more.
    Sadly my partner is getting close to losing his family and his business because he always wanted a "higher standard", forgetting that life is NOW and to be enjoyed and shared with your loved ones.
    I think in our case I am the one pulling him down all the time, because I can see that he has lost the appreciation of what is.
    This post of yours has me in a bit of an uproar, as you can see! Just wanted to put my 2 cents in. Thanks!

    • Ah, the flip side of the coin, Petra! I can feel your frustration. I definitely agree there needs to be balance there. I actually schedule in social time, time for myself, exercise, etc. It's so important to appreciate where you are now, and everything in your life "in the moment" as you're working on your goals! Otherwise you totally miss out, and ultimately become stressed out...

  26. Love this post - reminds me of the Hebrew National hotdog commercial -- "We answer to a higher authority."

    Sadly, Marketing with Integrity seems to be at the shallow end of the bell curve -- a lost art reflective of society at large.

    I will have to check out "Constructive Living" -- along those lines one book that greatly influences my life is Tom Ferry's "Life by Design." His premise is that that vast majority of us live our lives by default -- disengaged and dissatisfied, unwilling or unable to confront our weaknesses and problem areas -- which must be confronted in order to move us forward to a higher level of personal development.

  27. You have got it right Lynn, we must try to test our potential. It does not make any sense at all to live life in a way which does not serve any purpose. I personally believe life is meant to achieve something special, until then you must keep trying as you don't know when that purpose of life will be served.

  28. I didn't realize how long ago you had written this post when I saw it on FB! Still relevant today and will be for a very long time!

    We have all created our own safe bubble in which we are comfortable. It is the place which allows us to escape the fear of the big cruel world. It is the place where there is no judgement and we are content. However, it is also the place where we accomplish little and are satisfied with the norm, because it's easy!. It is also the reason that we fail at new habits that are difficult. We forget our resolutions, you know, the ones you made almost a month ago on New Years Day. You are right, Lynn. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, don't fall back into our bubble and help others just for the sake of doing so. Focus on our priorities to make our goals happen. Share with others, it makes you feel good. Celebrate that step forward, no matter how small. It will make you feel good. It will make you happier!

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