It’s interesting, isn’t it? The standards we hold ourselves to and how that can drive us to places we never imagined? Like where do these things come from? You think it’s something similar to what happens in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; when we were kids we were conditioned to embrace standards of excellence or mediocrity? I’m being a little facetious, but I think that I’m not too far off the money. I can remember when I was in single digits, my family and friends and teachers and adults who thought precocity was impressive, praising me and encouraging me to aim higher; I was supposed to think bigger, be brighter. Now, not to treat you like my therapist, but I can definitely trace this childhood primping to a few different things in my life, but we’re here to talk about how it relates WGC so we’re gonna skip to that part
Without that continual confidence building, I don’t think I would have started WGC and I certainly wouldn’t have started it when I was 18/19. For goodness sake; getting a job, saving up thousands of dollars, starting a production company, trying something so interesting and new, all of that is indicative of a whirlwind of confidence (and some would say an inflated sense of ego, but that’s neither here nor there). But the trade-off of that kind of confidence is the understanding that not everything can fly, after all, you aren’t just skating through life doing whatever it is you want, you have a responsibility to all the people who invested in you; you can explore and thrive and fail, but at the end of the day, you know what you’re going to do or at least, to the standard you’re going to do that. (I bet you thought that lead in about standards wasn’t gonna be relevant later, but I was just trying to figure how to wrap it back in).
I have an incredibly high standard for what I want to put out there. I don’t want my name and reputation attached to something that I am not proud to show someone. I want to be the best. I don’t think this is abnormal. Clearly, plenty of people in the arts, and certainly plenty of people in podcasting, have incredibly high standards for what they create, that’s why we have masterpieces. In fact, I don’t think anything that I’ve mentioned is abnormal in the slightest. According to certain psychological studies. this maladaptive perfectionism is, in fact, so pervasive in Gen Z that it correlates, and possible causes, increased anxiety and depression (yikes, what a bummer). Anyways, back to WGC.
The reason that I bringing this up is that because sometimes, those standards don’t feel like goals, they feel like the baseline. When your baseline is high, not achieving one can feel like a personal failure, rather than a chance to improve and succeed. For instance, as a fully able-bodied person, I would not see an inability to bend my leg as a challenge to overcome, instead, I would think there is something wrong with me. That can be what it’s like when you don’t live up to the high standards, it feels like something is fundamentally wrong with you.
Now, you might have already suspected this, but, in some ways, this particular blog post is an apology for not posting in a hot minute (August 24? Woof). To be frank, this feels a little anti-climatic considering all the build-up I just did (I linked to a peer-reviewed study, for goodness sake!), but I think it speaks to the crux of why I fell off. However, yesterday when I was talking to my Mom (Hi, Mom!) I realized that I was so off-put by the fact that I didn’t live up to my standards that I was willing to simply let the indiscretion continue. Well, no more! From this point on, I’m trying to think of this blog as less of a standard and more of a goal, because the thing with goals is that if you miss them, it just means you have to try harder next time, and believe me, I’m gonna try harder.
Jade Madison Scott is the founder of WGC Productions.