Don’t Settle for Mediocrity


Are you comfortable with mediocrity?

What does mediocrity mean to you?

Let’s begin with a couple dictionary definitions of mediocre. Merriam-Webster’s definition is “of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance.” Compare that to the version, “of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate.”

Synonyms of mediocre are ordinary, common, indifferent, average, moderate, uninspired.

Mediocrity is…well…eh. So-so.

Is mediocrity acceptable?

Yes and no.

Mediocrity is okay when you are settling for it temporarily. Thinking everything will be spectacular, extraordinary, or excellent all of the time is simply unrealistic. There are phases in our life in which being average is okay, and doing the bare minimum is completely acceptable. Giving our all constantly without breaks is a recipe for burnout. Then we will be forced to deal with mediocrity because we are too damn worn out to do much else.

When you are trying something new, it’s expected to receive mediocre results. As long as you believe you are putting in the effort, don’t worry about achieving excellence right away.

Mediocrity is not okay when you are so afraid of making mistakes or outright failing that you settle for less. Mediocrity is like a mindset. Imagine yourself moving past failures and learning from mistakes.

How do you know when mediocrity has overstayed its welcome?

1. You lack excitement, interest, and overall fulfillment with the quality of life.

2. It’s been a while since you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone. The key to a more fulfilling life is through growth.

3. The people you surround yourself with are complacent. Who you surround yourself with matters. You want to surround yourself with people who encourage growth, who aren’t satisfied with ordinariness.

How to step out of mediocrity:

1. Cultivate curiosity. Do something you haven’t done before, which you feel passionate about. Pick one thing that you can invest a great deal of energy into.

2. Do less of what drags you down. To move past mediocrity, you can’t be burned out. You want to be able to pour that extra energy into what excites you. We only have a finite amount of energy, so it’s best to be wise about how we use it.

3. Get to know people who are better than you at something you want to learn. Learn from their mistakes.

4. Find value in what you’re doing. If you value something highly, you’ll find yourself putting more effort into it.

5. Set goals and start taking small risks. After meeting your initial goals and taking those risks, use that momentum to set bigger goals and take more significant risks.

Mediocrity is tolerable for a short while, but a time will come when you want to reach for extraordinary.

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