Monday, March 15, 2010

How to get over mediocre!

Lately I feel like there is SO much I want to blog about and talk about, but haven't had time. I am sure I will get to everything, but for tonight I wanted to talk about feelings of being Mediocre. 

I struggle with these feelings and have my whole life. The so-so band student, the B and C student, the slower runner on the team, the funny girl, always being an admin and not having a career. I have many loves and a few passions, but even well into my adult life I have struggled with feeling like I don't truly stand out as exceptional at any one thing.   

Take this past weekend for instance: I started my Personal Training internship! The first part of my placement is at a LifeTime Fitness and I was thrilled to spend a whole day of my weekend "working" and shadowing trainers! 

I was SO excited, I took a picture in the locker room!

After spending as much time as I have in a gym it was interesting to watching trainers guiding and helping people through all they do. The moments during the day when I knew what concept they were talking about or when I took mental notes about things I would do differently, added to my feelings of encouragement about my direction and calling! 

Then, toward the end of the day I was going to shadow a trainer doing a boot camp training session with about 6 of her clients. Instead of sitting and watching this small group of people get their booty's kicked, I decided to join in! After all, what better way to learn than to do! I got my butt handed to me. 

Here I was the personal training intern, coming in last as the class did walking lunges across the gym, running with the bosu in an overhead press and last to finish the burpie pushups. 

I was humbled. 

Granted I wasn't a half court behind people, but I wasn't in front of everyone, barely breaking a sweat.  I felt it then, those old familiar feelings of mediocrity creeping in. 

How are you supposed to teach fitness classes if you can't squat as much as someone else? 
What if your not the thinnest person in the class? 
What if people find out I am human too? That I need a break, that I sweat, that I come in last sometimes? 
What if? 

For the first time in my life, I think I have an understanding of how to handle these feelings! 

1) Everyone is different--that IS what makes us exceptional: It's not the fact that we are first or best at something, it's the fact that we are US!! I am the only one like me in the whole wide world and that is what makes me exceptional. When I played derby, I was not the star player, I wasn't the highest scoring jammer. At the time I always felt so down about not being "good." But I am the only Mary Tyler Roar there is and no one skates like I do! As a matter of fact, no one smiles like, runs like or laughs like me either. Humph.  
2) Everyone is in a different place- honor where you are! When I compare myself to others it is ALWAYS an unfair comparison. We never know where anyone else is in their journey, even the people we are close to. We are all at square one at some point! Some of us have gone back a few times and everyone has a different starting point. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else and start to honor where you are and what you have planned for tomorrow! 

3) You don't have to be perfect to do what you are called to do. It's like the people who don't want to go to the gym till they lose weight and look good in their gym clothes! Get over it: you will NEVER be perfect! But our minds tell us that we have to be a little better, a little thinner or a little more put together before we can do what we "should". I can get a job as a trainer and encourage people, help people and lift people up even if I struggle during a (super-hard, mind you) boot camp class. 

4) Successes don't have to be all or nothing-  I have often felt mediocre because a success that I had weren't ground breaking, life changing, best-seller list busting accomplishments. But I need to adjust my thinking. Why am I striving for success? For the recognition for me? For God's glory? (everything I have he gave me anyway) For fortune? For the sake of a job well done? To make a difference in people's lives? Successes come in all shapes and sizes and more often than not, can go unnoticed by others. But my feeling of doing my best doesn't need to be given an award. And if something I do makes a difference in just one person's life that that is enough for me.  I have got to leave behind the all or nothing attitude!  

5) Create specific self talk to encourage yourself! If you find yourself in situations over and over where you feel mediocre or that you have fallen short ( like I often have and do) then coming up with specific self talk to cultivate hope is a good way to be ready to counter act the feelings! Have the successful self talk ready and pull them out like ammo when you feel that feeling of mediocrity or defeat knocking on your door. 

I use phrases that are biblical : I am more than a conqueror, I can do all things through Christ. Yours could be similar or something like: My best runs are ahead of me, That was a great workout, I am improving everyday, I feel good about that (fill in the blank), I worked really hard today. 

I am working hard on leaving mediocre in the dust! Life is too short to feel like you have fallen short, so put your best effort forward and a smile on your one of a kind face!  

Do you ever feel mediocre and how do you turn it around?  What have you ALWAYS wanted to excel at in life?? 

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