We’ve all experienced averageness in the world.
We have friends that won’t pursue new career goals because they might not be able to get the same salary/benefits/compensation/status as they are currently receiving.
We have friends that won’t try new things because they are worried how they’ll look starting at the bottom of the knowledge ring.
We have friends willing to continue down the same path year after year because trying something new might put everything at risk.
But that’s not you. Or is it?
Being average means not standing above the crowd. It means wallowing in the same things that affect everyone else around you. It’s not looking different. It’s doing nothing that will cause a commotion.
Are you average? What’s your reason?
I’m afraid of being wrong.
Yes, we all like to make the right decisions. We love patting ourselves on the back when things go our way. But living as a human being, being right 100 percent of the time is impossible. We all have things we wished we could take back. We all have things we wished we had done differently. But would you be the person you are today if you had made different choices?
Before you take any action, ask yourself what the worst outcome could be? How could you fail? What would be the worst case scenario?
Then ask yourself how you would recover from it. In many cases your worst case scenario is more of an impact on your own ego than on the way the world views you. Being wrong helps you grow. It adds character. And it pushes you to see what you’re truly capable of being.
I’m afraid of making a fool of myself.
Have you ever thought about the most epic outcome imaginable if something goes wrong? The more you think about it, the more it blows up all around you. Your friends laugh at you. Everyone knows what a loser you truly are. Sucks to be you in so many ways. And of course the entire episode will last many years into the future – decades perhaps. Right?
Nope. Sure, you may be the brunt of a few jokes. There may be a few giggles at your expense… for a minute or two. But people don’t spend their time thinking about your mistakes and faults. They have enough to worry about on their own. They have their own problems. Their own fears and worries. Why would they spend so much time on your foolish behavior when they can worry more about their own?
I’m afraid of what others may think of me.
When I was finishing up my business degree, I put off one class until the very last semester – speech. I hated speeches. I loathed standing up in front of a crowd. So I put it off until I had to do it – or not graduate.
We gave speeches almost every week. And during every speech, the entire class had to write one comment to you on a sheet of paper and hand it over at the end of the class. The first speech I gave, I was almost sick as I pulled the first piece of paper up and started reading. “What would they think?” “How critical will they be?”
The funny thing is not one piece of paper had a bad thing to say. “I love your jewelry.” “Speak up, I loved your topic and wanted to hear more.” “You looked so comfortable up there.”
By speech three, I was completely at ease, wondering why I had been so afraid of such an exciting class.
While you may think people will come down hard on you and be amazingly critical of every word out of your mouth. They have to much to worry about on their own.
I’m afraid I won’t live up to my own image.
How do you see yourself? Are you a person of perfection? A person with impeccable ethics and taste? A person that can do no wrong? The most amazing person on the face of this planet?
The ugly reality of it is no matter how high you’ve put yourself on a pedestal, you’re the only one who sees yourself there. Yep, most people have zero time to think about you in the same manner you think about yourself.
A failure can make you look at reality in a whole new way. But in fact as much as you think you’re impacting those around you, that’s hardly the case.
I’m afraid of taking a step back.
So you have these dreams. You’ve held them inside for a long time. What if you took action and things didn’t go the way you planned? What if instead of moving forward with your life, you actually took a step back?
Yes, everything we do is a gamble. And yes, you can lose. It is a possibility. Yet no matter what you do in life, you’ll always gain in some way. You may lose an investment, but you’ll gain in knowledge on how to do something better/more efficiently.
In some cases you do have to take one step back in order to move forward two steps. That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. And what’s even worse than not taking that step back is not taking any steps at all and living a quiet world of monotony year after year after year.