Have you ever felt like you’re making such slow progress in life, it’s frustrating? I know the feeling all too well so in this article, I’ll share with you how to stop feeling mediocre.
A great philosopher, Barnabus Stinson, once said, “Whenever I feel sad, I stop feeling sad and be awesome instead!” It would be great if we could just snap our fingers and everything in our life changes.
But all of life is a process – and we can’t “hack” it, no matter what tips, tricks, or secrets the world teaches you. So let’s get to know the process on how to transition from mediocrity to awesome living.
What Makes A Person Mediocre?
There’s a difference between being “mediocre” and being average. A mediocre person lives a low quality of life. It means they are unhappy, dissatisfied, and frustrated about their life. But they are not willing to put in the effort to make things better, instead they seek the warm blanket of their comfort zone.
On the other hand, we are all average. Being an average person means being normal. We all go through problems, challenges, criticisms, failures, and crises. We all experience happiness, success, and pleasure. These are basic (normal) human experiences along with satisfying our human needs.
The thing is, it’s okay to be average. It’s not okay to be mediocre.
Why Is Being Mediocre A Bad Thing?
Mediocrity is a bad thing because it steals you away from having a better life. It stops you from reaching your full potential as a person. When you allow yourself to be mediocre, you kill all your intrinsic motivation. Then it spreads to other areas of your life, affecting them for the worse. It kills your dreams.
The mindset of mediocrity lets you off the hook – that it’s okay to stay where you are. It’s safe. Easy. Comfortable. But imagine 20 years from now, you’re still where you are right now. You’re older, have the same fears, and complain about the same problems. Are you happy? Chances are, you’re not. Why? Because without progress, we can never find long-lasting happiness in life.
The Psychology Of Mediocrity
Mediocrity is rooted in one thing: fear. More specifically, the fear of taking responsibility for one’s own life. So instead of taking their own cross, mediocre people let others carry it for them. And they course through life easy-going without personal responsibility.
In 1920, American Psychologist Walter Cannon described there are 3 ways we handle dangers in our life.
- Fight: push forward towards the struggle; or
- Flight: to flee from the danger or threat
- Freeze: to do nothing
Mediocre people settle to freeze rather than fight or flee. The average person works to satisfy their needs (more on this later). Awesome people create abundance so they can share with others. The mediocre ones rely on the provision of others.
How Do You Break The Cycle Of Mediocrity?
To break free from the cycle of mediocrity, I propose a fourth way to deal with circumstances: Flourish. It means awakening the desire to grow, take responsibility for our own lives, and help others as well. It means having the courage to face life and move upward of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow’s theory applies to all. These are universal things that you and I need no matter where you are or what you’re going through. Average, normal people work to fulfill every single level of the hierarchy. Mediocre ones settle on the basic levels.
Not everyone will fulfill these needs (levels 3 to 5 are the hardest) because it takes a special kind of person to do that. If you want to know how to stop feeling mediocre, you need to be a growth-seeker. It means you don’t just go with the flow or wait for things to happen – you make it happen. You invest in yourself, you design your future, and choose your priorities.
How To Stop Feeling Mediocre
It’s easy to feel down, especially when you compare yourself with others. You look at their progress and feel like you aren’t going “fast enough” in the race of life. Other people accomplish things that in your gut feels impossible for you. Or at least it would take you a long time.
Here are some recommended steps to stop feeling mediocre.
Step 1: Look In The Mirror: Make An Honest Reflection Of Where You Are
As you know, there’s a difference between average and mediocre. So, the first step is to be honest with yourself and think about what you’re doing with your life. Not everyone does this. In fact, only a few people would take the time and mental effort required to evaluate their life every now and then.
Remember also that the one staring at you in the mirror (you) is responsible for every good thing you’ve accomplished in life. You are the one responsible for why you feel stuck. And you also have the ability to get yourself out of the rut.
Below is a table of behaviors that contrast mediocre from average and awesome people. It’s completely possible to be awesome in one area of your life and be average in another. After all, nobody has perfected this life and it’s all about focusing. My advice: be awesome on a few things in life that matter. Then ask for help on the rest.
Examples of Mediocrity in Life
|Have a job they hate and b*tch about it every single day without doing anything about it||Have a job you don’t love but appreciate the contributions it brings to your life||Learn to love what you do and be a valuable asset to your company|
|Depend on others to provide for them when you’re grown and fully capable of making money||Carry your own weight financially||Have enough money to take risks in pursuing what you want (doesn’t have to be millions)|
|Get triggered and emotional on just about anything they see, hear, or read on the internet||Get mad or expressive on issues or things that matter to you||Learn to think before you speak, process your emotions|
|Choose to eat unhealthy food when they know their body will be affected (especially when there’s pre-existing conditions). Then complain about their illness||Have enough rest and eat food (sometimes nutritious, sometimes not) that you enjoy||Make time to exercise, have a balanced diet, meditate, and get enough rest|
|Rely on their emotionally-driven opinions and accept them as true||Be open to the opinions, beliefs, and point of views of other people even if you don’t agree with them||Examine your own opinions, beliefs, and point of views in search of truth (or helpful)|
|The toxic person that drains people’s energy, resources, and patience in a relationship||Experience occasional frustrations in your relationship and wishing for things to change||Develop an open communication about your thoughts, emotions, and struggles with your partner|
Step 2: Look Far Ahead: Make A Vision
Auditing your life lets you know where you are right now but it doesn’t magically make your life awesome. You need to set a vision so far ahead of your life, you’re able to see a bigger picture.
When you cast a vision, it motivates you to take action. It gives you a direction as to where your life is headed. Often, you feel lost in life because you’ve forgotten what direction you’re moving towards.
Rediscovering your direction is the secret on how to stop feeling mediocre. Think about this: you now have a “place” to go. You know where you are. And even though you can only see clearly an immediate future, you have a path to follow. When you have these basic things, you can measure your progress in life.
But it doesn’t end there…
Step 3: Look Inside: See Everything That’s Beautiful In You
What things are you good at? Which activities bring out your juice and make you feel excited? Do those things. They don’t have to be a job and you don’t have to monetize them if you don’t want to. It’s just that these things will give you an extra shot of energy that will soon overflow in different areas of your life.
Aside from that, what one area of your life do you need to work on that will make the most impact in all others? Focus on one. Once you get your act together in one area, you’ll feel the itch to do the same in others.
Third, looking inside stops you from comparing yourself with others. It makes you focus on staying in your lane and away from comparing notes with other people. I don’t know about you but so much loneliness in the world comes from sticking your nose into other people’s lives. Asking why their grass is greener and you’re left with weeds that are on the brink of death.
I believe we can eliminate a lot of unhappiness when we stop doing this and look inside instead.
Step 4: Look Up: Be Thankful For The Gifts And The Giver
Gratitude is one of the most underrated things in life. Rarely do we focus on the things we have that we once wished for. Studies after studies show that gratitude makes us happier and generally makes our lives better.
This is why I wear a gratitude ring. Every time I see this ring, I think of something specific I’m thankful for and praise God for that blessing. It could be my loved ones, the progress I make in life, the wisdom and motivation to create content, and so on.
The key is specificity. You need to think of something specific to be thankful for. Sure, you can start by thinking of general things or mundane ones. But as you practice, challenge yourself to make it more and more specific.
When moments come where you feel mediocre in life, think about how you’re measuring it. Are you looking at other people’s “greener pasture” and comparing it to yours? Or are you making an accurate evaluation of where you are right now that you want to change for the better? If there are only two things you’ll take away from this, let it be:
- Have a vision. Once you know where you’re going and where you are, you can measure your progress.
- Stop sticking your nose into other people’s lives. Grow your own garden and bloom on where you’re planted.
Live an inspired life,