Beating “Mediocrity”

It’s time to discuss the “f” word: fear.

For a long time, I refused to write because I was afraid of being mediocre. I was afraid that if I tried my best, my very best, it would turn out to be not-very-good. And then, I wouldn’t have any more hope.

[highlight]See, in my head, as long as I didn’t try, I had the possibility of being good. I thought that was hope; it wasn’t. It was really fear.[/highlight]

It took me a long time to realize two key truths:

1. Mediocre is a fluid state, not a permanent one.
2. Hope isn’t actually hope if we take no steps to realize it.

Mediocre Isn’t Forever

We’ve all heard people say that if we don’t keep trying, we’ll never get any better. They also say (and experience shows) that if we do stop trying, we get worse. This applies to any and every skill, from singing to cooking to bicycle riding. Ever tried to return to lifting weights after neglecting it for a while? It’s like that.

[tweeting hashtag=”hope, art”]We do not have a static state. We get worse or we get better. Nothing in us stays the same if untouched. ” via=”no”]

That means even if we try hard and reach mediocrity, we need to keep trying – and eventually, we will surpass it. It may take time. It may take blood, sweat, and tears. But it can and will be done if we do not give up.

Hope = Action

[tweeting  hashtag=”hope”]The difference between false hope and real hope is simple: one makes no difference, but the other changes life.” via=”no”]

False hope requires no change in your life, no effort on your part, and in fact, makes little difference if it’s replaced by something else.

Real hope does things.

It changes your direction. It inspires you to do reach for something you otherwise would not have.

Real Life Example: I hoped to be a writer.

I wanted it. Yearned for it. Feared it – what if I wasn’t good enough, what if I tried my hardest and I still sucked, what if somebody stole all my ideas and I never got the chances I dreamed about, what if everybody I loved to read was always and forever better than I was?

The underlying current was, you will never be good enough. That lasted until I asked these questions instead:

What if I my ideas don’t suck? What if I wrote things people really enjoyed reading? What if I tried to write well and I actually succeeded?

[tweeting hashtag=”amwriting, hope”]When I began to really hope I could write, guess what I did? I started writing. Hope equals action. ” via=”no”]

Hope Equals Action

It’s worth repeating. [tweeting hashtag=”hope, amwriting”]If you really hope for something, you will act as if that hope will come true. Hope equals action.” via=”no”]

[tweeting hashtag=”hope, amwriting”]If you believe in something, act on it. You will not be mediocre as long as you keep trying.” via=”no”]

Sometimes, hope starts small. Sometimes, it’s a tiny spark in the darkness, almost more noticeable from its heat than from its light. That’s okay.

All fire grows when fed.

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