How many times did you start a project only to have it fall apart halfway through? Or maybe the fear of failing stopped you from even starting? I can't even count how many times I've started towards a goal and failed. But honestly, it was the fear of failure that froze me most of the time.
You see, I didn't grow up in the most loving and supportive way. Divorce, poverty and just surviving was a daily part of my life. I just wanted to blend in, to be left alone. I didn't want to stand out....so I hid in mediocrity. So, you LEARN to be mediocre out of fear and really...you can't fall far when you do fail. But here's the flip side YOU NEVER LEARN TO LIVE!
Honestly, I'm still learning. I don't have the answers but let me tell you what I do know so far. Mediocrity is comfortable, safe and what people have come to expect from you. I'd fear what people thought of me, so I'd go out of my way to make people happy.
my fear of conflict took over as well. I'd "dance" around touchy subjects and worry over a comment or remark made about me. I'd fear my ideas weren't worthy of discussion or serious consideration.. That I wasn't smart enough or had the "proper" education. So, I stayed in line... BUT mediocrity is also boring as Hell. You don't grow, life just passes by and you don't discover what the Hell you are actually capable of doing!
So how did I go from hiding in mediocrity to stepping on the PRO stage for all to judge?? Trust me when I say it wasn't easy. There comes a time when you get tired of being who you are. You reach the point where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change... When you reach that point, EMBRACE IT! That white-hot fire will hurt like hell, but THAT'S when you start to feel ALIVE! That's what struck me... I started lifting to boost my confidence and eventually stepping onto the stage to compete as a pro. When I wanted to learn more, I educated myself in non-traditional ways and I'm using that to help others and now, I'm learning to embrace life after the stage.
How can you change? How can you recognize the strength in you to press on when fear has one heluva good grip on you? First and foremost, let go of fear... Fear wants you to stay where you are. It is not your friend. Work on getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Those close to you will fight this change. Not because they are angry with you, but they fear change as well. Let them know you understand, but don't let that stop you. If it's a career change, anticipate what could go wrong and work out a worst case scenario. You may be able to plan ahead and reduce any problems or even discover there's no basis for your fear. And even if it's still there..do it anyway! Surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Let them know of your goals and you may be surprised by the help you'll receive. Take one small step EVERY DAY towards your goal, no matter how small. After some time, you'll be able to look back and see how far you've come. Time will pass anyway, why not choose to live?
I've worked hard over the years to overcome my lack of self esteem, fear of failure and being comfortable in mediocrity. I'm still a work in progress. There's times where I can shrug off a calloused statement and times where I look back and wonder what I did wrong. I'll continue to learn, grow and live more each day. But one thing is for sure...I refuse to be mediocre. Oh and failure? It's gonna happen... That's life. But what we do with that failure is up to us. Just keep in mind that failure is just another step to success.