We must become the change we expect in others, or others will change what we expect of ourselves.
You can't possibly expect anyone to follow you or act differently if you're not already demonstrating the behaviors or lifestyle yourself. In other words, you must lead by example. If you don't, you will likely drop your own expectations or standards, and live to the expectations of others.
This is easier said then done, because we have such an intense sense of belonging and connection. The moment we challenge the status quo, and live to a higher standard, is the moment we put ourselves at risk of isolation. We can rub those we care about the wrong way or potentially offend and risk losing relationships.
This is when our need for connection becomes the strongest, and we start lowering our expectations; and therefore, our change in ourselves. So what can we do?
The first step is always to write exactly what you expect of yourself and others and exactly why. the why is the determining factor. If your why isn't strong enough, you'll never follow through. Next create an action plan to keep you on target.
The key to this action plan is setting "baby steps." If you really expect change in others, and know you must be a living example of what you expect, then make it easy on yourself and minimize any objection. Start by making small changes in yourself and ease into your full blown expectations.
When you hit others all at once with everything, of course they will be put off and fight you. The easier you can make things on yourself and others, the quicker and less painful it will be for them to change.
So live your expectations. If you're starting over, start small and gently transition your way into the change you expect in others. Don't fight the battle all at once, or others will influence you and change what you expect of yourself.
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