Monday, May 23, 2011

Cycles of mediocrity

I have let my own fears make me mediocre.

This is probably a problem most people face. I mean we all want to be our best. We want to look our best and be liked more than anything else. We want to be the special bright shining whatever. Yet when it comes down to it, we don't actually strive as hard as we could for fear of...something.

I think it is some sort of stigma placed onto us from when we were little and had to suffer through the torture of gym class and the dreaded picking of teams for dodge ball. No one ever wanted to be picked last, and really if you were not picked first it got traumatizing. You could be picked third out of twenty but already your young mind was trying to figure out why you were not the first pick. Does little Johnny just not like you, or does he think you are not really that good, or maybe he think you would just make excellent cannon fodder, and a million other ridiculous ideas like that which plague the minds of 8 year olds.

In the end it makes us try to hard (resulting in disasters of epic proportion), or sometimes to try not at all (which avoids the disasters but does not yield anything good either).
Sometimes in the face of winning I choose not to try at all so that when I do not win I am not disappointed.

That statement sort of makes my stomach churn. I know I am better than that. I know I am better than mediocre. I am good. At some things I am actually pretty great. Yet I still do not try as hard as I should or could. I sort of let things just slide by on just enough.

Really in the end it is just a fear that if I try, if I work and do my absolute best, sweat and bleed in my efforts, give everything I have and then some, in the end it just will not be enough. I am not really strong enough in my own mind to handle that.

So I become a slacker and stop trying, which becomes part of a cycle, and then when I want to stop it is almost impossible because it is now part of a cycle, and cycles are really hard to stop (sort of like my love for comma's and run on sentences. I've been trying since like 3rd grade to kick that habit, and still can't).

I think it is funny that I can identify this fault in myself, I can even talk about it at length, and yet I can seem to do nothing at all about it. I do not know if that says I am weak, or if it says I am lazy, or if it says I am still just too afraid to change. I do know though that it probably is not going to change any time soon.

I still don't want to be the last kid picked at kickball. I also don't want to be the person begging to be picked first. I want to be picked first because I am deserving of it, and without any prompting on my behalf. I want to be noticed without drawing attention to myself.

It really is just maddeningly frustrating. I hold myself back and I know I do.
I want to break that cycle. I just do not know how or even if I knew, that I would.

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