Who sets the bar in sport – or life?

by | That's Life

Like many of us I loved watching some of the Olympics, especially the sports we don’t normally get to see.

I noticed in the gymnastics that when the first competitor achieved a high score the commentator often said something about how they’ve ‘set the bar high’.

What difference would that make to the athletes who follow them? If the score were lower would they perform differently? And who set the bar for the first competitor?

I had a recent chat with a friend about money. She said everyone has their own internal bar when it comes to spending. She’ll spend high on art, low on personal development. Another spends high on restaurant bills but hates to pay her utilities (even when she ends up paying out more on fines).

It’s worth getting to know your internal bars. One way is to look at other people who do things differently from us. Seeing them make a decision that you wouldn’t, can reveal your unconscious assumptions, and therefore your internal bars.

It’s also worth noticing how you respond when others set the bar. If it’s high does that make you determined to match or exceed them – or do you want to run away? If it’s low, do you sit back and allow yourself to take it easy – or do you want to show them how it should be done?

Understanding how the ‘bar’ influences you, whether it’s internal or external, can help you decide what bar to choose for yourself. Is there a bar you are setting so high that there’s no room for anything or anyone else? Or so low that you never progress? Or is the bar so aligned with your personal values that it’s just right?

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