......or being Exceptional?
Some questions came to me this week… regarding exceptionality, romantic ambition, and whether or not we ‘should’ set limits on ourselves when it comes to what we want to do.
There was a time when I was confused about all this too: We shouldn’t be, or even try to be exceptional, yet we want to set goals, to do bigger and better things in our lives – such as go back to school, get a better job, etc. What’s the ‘right’ way to go about that? What’s the ‘healthy’ way?
OK. Exceptional is a no-no. Ahh, but the fear (thought) “I’m not even average” or “I’m not good enough” or“ I’m not as good as” is also a no-no. For me, I tied that all together with “we strive to be exceptional and fear we’re not even average”. And Yes, I admit, I struggled with the notion of being ‘average’ – with the whole idea that average was good, or even acceptable.
I believe that once we accept ‘average’ is good, that being average - no matter where we happen to be in the moment - we are no longer ‘fearing’ we’re not ‘even’ average.
That’s how it worked for me. For years, please let me correct that - for decades I was striving to be exceptional (Ms. Polly Perfect) ‘because’ I feared I wasn’t even average. I changed my definition of average. For me average was no longer ho-hum, mundane, boring, dull or dreary.
Once I accepted I was average – somewhere between superior and inferior – the Great Fear was lifted – gone (by me changing my thoughts on the topic). No more fear about how-high-on-the-scale I ‘needed’ to be, took the pressure off. You could say: I lowered my standards for who I thought I ‘needed’ to be to be a worthwhile or meaningful human being.
I believe that accepting averageness of ‘self’ is in a very real sense, self-acceptance – accepting yourself, just the way you are. Not for who you want to be someday. Not when you get off disability. Not when you make more money. Not when you get married. Not when you lose weight, etc., etc, etc.. Not then. Now.
Self-acceptance now – not later.
Once the fear is gone, it really is easier to set realistic goals, to get ahead in life. In my life it was (and still is) set this goal, reach it. Set another goal. Oh yes, there have been times when it followed this path: set the goal, don’t reach it; set another goal, or an entirely different goal, or set some intermediate goals to ‘get’ to the final/bigger goal.
Come to think of it, all of life is set a goal, an objective, accomplish it, set another goal. Think about it. From the time we get out of bed (which is a decision or a goal), with all the things we do all day long, until the time we go back to bed, we make decisions, set goals, move our muscles, accomplish what we want or need to do, and then it’s on to the next item or task or goal.
And so it goes – on, and on, and on.
© 2010 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved