Smashing your standards - you can have it all


As I think about this year on Christmas Eve, this year feels underwhelming. Not to undermine it or my efforts or the people I’ve had the pleasure to meet and become friends with or my achievements. But it still seems like half a year. Like I didn’t achieve that much. And that in itself is silly.

I’ve dealt with a fair few intense relationship / non-relationship situations. I ran a half marathon in March (something that quite frankly my body would have physically been incapable of doing six months previously) and raised over £2,000. I managed a huge project that helped over 100 underprivileged kids gain amazing work experience across big international companies. I quit my job because I stood up for my belief in what I was worth and how employees should be treated. I moved to Melbourne from London AND I got a job within two weeks of being here. None of this is easy stuff. It took patience (something I am not great at – ask my much more mature and inspirational lifeline @gingermelbourne). It took courage. It took strength: physical and emotional. And most of all, it took a fundamental belief in myself and the universe.

So why do I still feel like I didn’t achieve that much this year? I guess it comes down to being a high achiever. To the fact I spent a good six months of the year knowing I should quit my job and make the move but working up the courage to do so. To wishing I had quit it earlier. To feeling like I had wasted time. To thinking that running 13 miles was no big deal because people run marathons all the time. Yeah, yeah they do. But people like myself don’t. We aren’t built for running, we have to work at it and I fricking did and I should be bloody proud of it and everything else I achieved. And I am, don’t get me wrong. But I still want MORE.

I used to feel ungrateful about this and like I was somehow doing a disservice by wanting more and I think this was half the battle I was fighting this year…. “My life is great, I don’t really have anything to complain about – my job is fantastic; I get to help motivated people achieve amazing things; I work with awesome people; my friends are fantastic; I am physically fit and capable; I have dreams and ambitions and I am financially able to achieve (quite a few of) them. But why am I still not happy? Should I lower my standards? Is this it for me? Is London all there is? Maybe this is just what is on offer…?”

It wasn’t enough. I am unbelievably driven to achieve the best I possibly can for myself and as soon as something no longer sits right with me it eats me up inside. I don’t want mediocrity. I want bloody brilliance. I want unlimited possibility. I want to shine from head to toe each day and be so fricking happy about each choice I make each day that I don’t ever doubt myself. I want sparkle and magic and motivation. EVERY. BLOODY. DAY. And that just hasn’t happened this last year despite all my achievements. I mean, I’ve had pockets of it, moments of pure euphoria but just not enough. Moving to Melbourne has been a huge relief of a lot of tension for me. It has given me the sense of unlimited possibility I’ve been craving. I fricking miss my support network at home like crazy and they kept me going so well but I just feel such a sense of wonder and potential here right now that I just wasn’t getting in London.

So for anyone who asks if your standards are too high, who suggests you need to compromise, who doesn’t believe you can have it all, I say forget them. They don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re playing small, through no fault of their own (they may not know any better). But we do. We know it’s possible. We know that it’s waiting for us somewhere. That we can achieve it. That life doesn’t necessary look like you imagined. That it might, in fact, be better. And that is what you hold out for. It’s coming. You just need some patience and some fricking strong self-belief. Because you can do it and it’ll be so much easier than you think. 2016 is going to be a fabulous year, I can feel it. Don't play small, play like you mean it. Like you can achieve anything you want.


IMAGE: Kazuend

BlogSteph Slackinspiration, work