The holiday season is one where paradoxically we feel disappointed – in ourselves, other people, resulting circumstance, and life in general. Things always seem to be someone else’s fault, with finger pointing a popular pastime and a way to pass the buck. Blaming other people absolves us from looking at the problem source, the root of our unhappiness which is many times within. Outward projection becomes a deflective technique for outcomes which we don’t appreciate. Dislike for what occurs should engender self-examination, and a personal responsibility that propels us to do better. In his book Success Principles, Canfield describes his friend Martin Rutte – who trains people how to treat him by exemplifying personal standards of organization, mutual respect, and impeccable style.
The model he radiates is reflected back to him tenfold; from Canfield, “The bottom line is that certain people command a certain level of respect not only because of how they treat others but, more importantly, because of how they treat themselves.” If people are not behaving in a manner that makes us pleased, our initial trouble shooting technique should be looking at expectations from #1 – and the consequent behavior we see returned in a boomerang fashion. When we fail to set the bar high, correspondingly, we may experience malaise. Expectations translate into high standards – of friendships, customer satisfaction, behavioral role modeling, and civil comportment.
Cultivate self-confidence so that you project a professional image. Your silent message makes your expectations easier to discern, and recipients more willing to comply. People engage in what gets rewarded – and they are more likely to push the envelope if they see you as a pushover and a person who does not exhibit self-respect. Lack of standards results in a free for all in which what returns to you may look unwanted.