Feeling Mediocre

I can’t help it sometimes. I look at how well other people do things and compare myself to them. I don’t know why I do this, but I do. The only outcome of it is that I end up feeling mediocre.

I don’t feel that I do anything great. I don’t seem to excel at anything. I do lots of different things and I should feel good about that. But all of the things I do, I’m mediocre at.

I can skateboard but I can’t hold a candle to most everyone else in the park. I can play a few instruments but I know better musicians than me. I run fast but there is always someone faster. I get blog comments but only a handful.

Am I mediocre at every thing I do? And if so, is this a bad thing?

I asked my dad about this and he said, “I don’t think mediocre is bad. Mediocre means that you do things. I’m mediocre at most things too.”

Okay, so maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I wonder how many people don’t try something because of this feeling. That would be a waste. I mean, we can’t all expect to be like Tony Hawk on the skateboard. There are always going to be people better than us at the things we do.

I could always compare myself to people on the other side of the spectrum. I know people who can’t skateboard, play an instrument, or maintain a blog. So I guess being able to do those things is worth celebrating.

Do we really need levels of accomplishment?

Can I just say that I’m a skater, a musician, and a blogger?

I think I can.

I’m not sure being mediocre is bad. Maybe it is better to do things just okay than not doing them at all. I like to think that I am a well-rounded individual. I have lots of skills and hobbies that I enjoy doing. So what if I’m not a super-star skater, runner, or blogger, I don’t need to be. I should just accept my mediocrity and blaze on as if I were a champion.

9 responses to “Feeling Mediocre”

  1. You are a jack of all trades, Chase, and I think that I am, too.

    Somewhere in the world are always to be found Ultimate Experts on Everything, the kind of people who can tell the difference between a 1999 and a 2001 Chevy catalytic converter blindfolded, or who know how many hairs are found on the tibia of a Madascagar hissing cockroach.

    Specialists. Who know almost nothing about anything else.

    What YOU do well, Chase, is to teach children. Most likely, in a hundred years, knowledge of catalytic converters and hairy cockroaches won’t have changed the world at all — but YOU have.

    Every day that you stand in front of those kids and show them that you care, every time you sit down and help a struggling student, YOU are changing not only their lives but the lives of their future spouses, their children, their grandchildren, ad infinitum.

    Never forget that.

  2. I don’t like mediocrity….If I make a quilt I want it to take my breath away. If it’s only “nice” [mediocre!] I figure I’ve wasted my time. When I write something, my worst fear is that I’ll bore people to death, so I edit, edit,slash, slash! I think excellence is worth striving for, but we can’t all be Tony Hawk, so what matters is not “Am I as good as Tony Hawk,” but rather “Am I better at this than I was last week?” And if the answer is yes, then I wouldn’t call that mediocre. On the other hand, if the answer is no, someone isn’t practising/trying hard enough!

    Better, though, to achieve mediocrity in something than to never get up off the couch!

    Very interesting topic…..

  3. Thanks ECD! Nicely put!

    Hi Molly! I think that is the best measure of all. We really only need to compete with ourselves. We should try our best and see if we can improve. Always strive for a PB (Personal Best, as they say in sports.)

  4. Hey Silverfish,

    Do you know that I took peanut butter to school every day for my lunch?

    Nowadays too many kids have peanut allergies and peanut butter is banned from schools. If I was a kid today in school, I don’t know how I would’ve survived or what I would have had for lunch every day.

    I still have peanut butter often.

    Thanks for the tangent!

  5. You ask: “Can I just say that I’m a skater, a musician, and a blogger?” No, Chase, you can’t! Because as eastcoastdweller points out, you’re a teacher too – and I suspect you’re rather a good one! And I suspect you are other things you’ve missed out too. As east coast says, you’re a jack of all trades. ‘Versatile’ is another way we could put it.

    But ultimately, achievement is not important. It’s how we live our lives that’s important. Are we giving ourselves permission to be ourselves? Are we following our bliss: doing what we truly wish to do? And if, through force of circumstance, we spend some of our time doing other stuff, are we nevertheless putting as much effort into it as we comfortably can for as long as we go on doing it, so enhancing our lives and those of others others?

    As for comparing ourselves with others, that is pointless. There are always other people better than us and people who are worse. That’s always going to be the case, no matter how often we make the comparison. So give up comparisons – all they can bring you is pain. Enjoy skating. Enjoy playing. Enjoy writing. Enjoy teaching. Enjoy your life!

  6. Hi Simon,

    I know that I wear many hats. I just used three examples for my post. But you do raise some interesting points.

    I don’t think we can really define ourselves by what we do. I do so many things. I don’t feel that I do any of them exceptionally well. Sometimes I feel like a jack of all trades and a master of none.

    But I think you are right, we just need to enjoy the moment and enjoy life. I think I do that just fine. One thing that I’m not mediocre at. Thanks!

  7. Do we need levels of accomplishment? No, it’s just another way to divide mankind. Hey I’m mediocre too and I’m fine with that. I would love to play my guitar like the next person. I would like to have a little more comments on my blog, but truthfully we all can’t be GREAT. We get out of life, what we put into it…or anything for that matter. You know what brought me to your blog..you coming to mine. Continue to visit other people’s blog, leave comments and you will get the same in return, hopefully. I like your blog and I’ll be back. I’m comfortable with being mediocre, other people look at me and see me as something they want to be…why I don’t know…personal perception. Maybe they’re blind or just as mediocre.

  8. Hi Chase,

    I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. You blog, but you’re also a writer. The amount of blog comments does make a blog author automatically successful.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades. It leads to a more diversified life which gives you opportunities others may never have.