Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
“Lowering the bar” is a phrase that indicates we set our expectations and standards at a lower level. Most people perceive this as a negative thing; that we are lowering our standards to a “less than” level.
However, lowering the bar can actually simplify our lives and lead us to happiness.
What Does Lowering The Bar Really Mean?
Expectations are a tricky thing. With them, we can put undue pressure on ourselves and others, leading to disappointment and resentment.
Lowering the bar takes the pressure off of ourselves and others. We no longer have to go for the gold; we can go for “good enough.” Not everything deserves our every last effort.
How Low Is Too Low?
Given my current crispy-critter state, I have to be concerned with lowering the bar too far. So that means I have to find my minimal states.
For example, my house has to be clean to the point where it won’t attract critters. Basic sanitation, yes. Sweeping up furballs every day, no.
Is It Time To Lower The Bar?
If you have a situation that is causing you constant struggle, ask yourself if perhaps lowering the bar would bring some relief.
Are you struggling with a child who is refusing to chores, ask yourself if the chores are too much. Are they appropriate for your child? (I often fall into the trap of thinking that I was doing those chores at my daughter’s age). Perhaps lowering the standard to which they need to be done can bring both some relief.
Are you struggling to keep up with a volunteer commitment because you want to do “it right”? Whose expectations are you trying to meet? If it is someone else’s expectations, renegotiate, or set the expectation for them. If it is your own, ask yourself where “good enough” lies and aim for that.
There are many situations that I am currently lowering the bar for as I work to bring myself back from burnout. I am no longer making all meals from scratch, and we are eating more pasta than I care to (husband and daughter don’t mind, but I don’t care for it very much). I am no longer trying to do all the Girl Scout planning by myself. I am asking for help, and placing responsibility for missed badge requirements on the parents. I am using shortcuts to clean my home, and I am not doing my monthly rotation for right now. I am removing projects from my current action list.
I don’t know if any of this will make much difference, but right now it is the only thing I know how to do.
Have you ever had to lower the bar? What did you do and what were the results? Please share below or email me!
Photo by Caza_No_7