It’s not so much that I fear failure. You better believe I embrace that freedom. That’s a major out right there for a imperfect human. No, my fear is mediocrity.
Since I was a little girl, average or fair have been words that had negative connotations. Those words meant “nice try but no cigar.” I didn’t want to just pass. I didn’t want to just get by. I didn’t want to be part of the crowd. I wanted to stand out, rise above the rest, to score exemplary.
I didn’t always get what I wanted. Turns out there are lots of things about me that are just fair. My handwriting stinks. I’m not a fast runner. I plateaued in performance. I can count on one hand how many A’s in math I earned. I don’t always play well in the sandbox. I’m easily distracted and discouraged. I’m messy.
Maybe with those things I didn’t possess the raw talent. I couldn’t control my genetic code. However, this doesn’t change the desire to be somebody that mattered. To be somebody that created things that mattered. Some of this fear is wrapped up in pride and the very odd need of recognition. It’s a nice feeling to know your name is associated with something of quality. It’s horrible to be associated with something that is of poor quality. But for me, one of the worst feelings in the world is to create something that elicits any response of apathy. Especially when that response is from myself.
I desire is to be intentional in my living. I don’t want to float through life and maybe bounce off of someone every once in a while and hope that I made an impact. I want to feel extraordinary in all the ways that God uniquely made me. I want to push my inside self as much as I push my outside self. I want to excel in the path He has placed me on. I want to occasionally be profound. I can’t stand the status quo.
I fear mediocrity.
Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity.
The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere.
Truly profound and original insights are to be found
only in studying the exemplary.
Warren G. Bennis
How do you fight the battle of the bulge of mediocrity? Where do you intend to be exemplary?