It is very common to use your training partners or other people at different gyms as measuring sticks.
Perhaps someone was promoted to the next belt before you, or you feel that you can beat someone at your own gym consistently.
Unfortunately, BJJ does not have unified standards, but several that depend entirely on the instructor. This does place a heavy emphasis on the instructor's competence when it comes to the promotions, as well as possible discrepancies amongst different practitioners.
In the end, just remember that your improvement is much better measured as a statistic (many many tournament matches against people your own skill/weight).
Now one of the most important guard passes, the X-pass by Saulo Ribiero.