Rise Above Mediocrity
September 16, 2020
We are all actors who get to play different types of roles in life. It could as an executive in a workplace, a leader to a team, a son to the parents, a brother or sister to siblings, a role model for youngsters, a coach, mentor, etc.
- As a son, daughter, do you show up being the best child to your parents, or are they a tick in the box for you.
- In the workplace, as a corporate warrior, do you show up giving your best energy, focus, and effort to deliver real value at the workplace, or do you show up just for the salary?
- If you are a student, do you bring curiosity and excitement to learn the concepts, or are you studying just for the marks or the Degree?
The approach you bring to one facet of your life will overlap with the others. If you show excellence or mediocrity in one area, the same will show up in other areas too. When you are disciplined in your personal affairs, the same discipline will show up at your workplace. If you are a great parent, you will likely be excellent in managing your team at the workplace too. If you are an angry, insecure sibling, you will show up being insecure in your work matters. Your personality and your mindset are one, and it impacts the way you operate, across the board.
The question then is this? What kind of actor are you? What is the attitude and approach you bring to whatever you do?
In every domain, the Pareto’s Law applies. The top 20% come with the attitude to excel, but the rest all contribute to the average. The ones who are in the middle are content muddling along without stretching themselves. Their idea of success is “I did not screw up” or ” I did my job.”
They come with what I call a Mediocre Mindset.
Here are Six ways people with a mediocre mindset operate.
1. Always Benchmarking
People with a mediocre mindset are always thinking of their achievements in the context of how they perform vis a vis others.
“I am better than him, or I can never be as good as that person.”
“He has quit and taken on another role that looks exciting. I am stuck in the same place for five years. I should also be looking out for a more exciting job.”
“The other person has a weightier Title than what I have”
Their satisfaction is always hostage to whether they are better or worse than others. They will be happy with the Performance Bonus they get until they find that someone else has received more.
2. Low Self Awareness
This is another standard indicator for people with a mediocre mindset. They lack self-awareness. They don’t have a sense of what their goals and priorities are. As a consequence of not being clear about their priorities, many leak their time to distractions and act busy because it makes them feel productive.
Folks who are low on self-awareness are typically at the mercy of external circumstances. They get pushed around by others. They are happy doing work for others even though it may impact their personal productivity.
3. Afraid Of Failing
All of us hate failing. Given half a chance, we want to run away from doing anything with a risk of failure. However, not everyone runs in the face of failure. Many step out courageously and do whatever is required knowing that it has to be done.
However, those with a mediocre mindset don’t step up. They are always stuck in a cocoon of indecision. Many of them link their self worth to their performance. They think failure is proof that they are not good. Unable to overcome the discomfort of rejection, they sit on the shore of safety, afraid to explore.
4. Don’t Invest In Self-development
The mediocre majority invests no time, effort, or resources in developing themselves. They don’t invest in expanding their thinking, growing knowledge, or developing new skills. Time elapses but they don’t grow. And they make their career growth someone else’s problem.
They think just working hard morning to evening entitles them to professional growth. So they become good at a job without ever becoming better to take on bigger responsibilities.
5. Don’t Take Responsibility
For folks with a Mediocre Mindset, anything good not happening or anything bad happening in their life is always because of some external factors.
This is a recurring pattern for some people. Many go through multiple jobs. At one place, the boss is the villain; in another, the teammates were political, and yet another place, the organization went bankrupt.
In all these situations, the individual is the common factor. But somehow, the issue is always on the outside. Instead of taking responsibility, they find it easier to blame the external problems for their woes, and they excuse themselves. They like playing the victim and they surrender their personal power and potential at the altar of excuses.
6. Physically Unfit
There is a strong correlation between someone’s mindset and physical appearance. It is not a value judgment I am making here, and I am not referring to folks with genetic or other medical issues. People with a mediocre mindset don’t have the mental fortitude for anything that requires discipline- Waking up early, exercising, keeping fit. They lead an unhealthy lifestyle giving in to temptations and distractions.
Paradoxically, their bad lifestyle leads them into a vortex of health issues which they then use as a crutch to reinforce their faulty belief that their physical problems are rooted in some medical issues. They see themselves as victims of circumstances, for not being able to manage their physical well being.
Our mindset is the operating system that helps us function at our best. When the virus of mediocrity infects our mindset, it has a damaging impact on our overall performance. The cost of mediocrity is very high- in terms of disappointments and regrets.
The first step to overcome a mediocre mindset starts with becoming aware that the virus is inside us. Only where there is this awareness, there is a possibility of transformation.