One of the many online pieces I’ve bookmarked in the past year or so is one about mediocrity in Elephant Journal: Why Perfectionists Should Pursue Mediocrity. And I know I’ve written about this before, referencing Mark Manson’s In Defense of Being Average.
Both pieces kinda boil down to the suggestion that lowering our aspirations or goals, lowers our expectations (of our own achievements), meaning we’ll be happier with ourselves and our lives. Apparently.
Of course that only works if most of us believe there’s something wrong with aspiring to mediocrity. The assumption – of course – being that we should all want more; that we should all aspire to perfection. Or – at least – being the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be.
I’ve talked about the latter before as well, cos surely we can’t ask more of ourselves? It’s what we tell others all of the time. Especially kids… “Just do your best,” we tell them. Most of us are less-generous with ourselves. Expecting far more.
Sadly I struggle with my type A personality (I blame my dad 😉 ) mixed in with my people-pleasing nature and my self-worth being WAAAAY too tied up with how (I think) others perceive me.
However, as I
overanalyse myself and my behaviour to death become more enlightened, I realise I’m not actually a perfectionist about EVERYTHING.
People who used to read my diet blog will know I used to do the bootcamp thing – requiring me to carry jerrycans full of water up hills, and toss tyres about. #asyoudo
Once I realised how much those sessions made me dread exercise I focused more on stuff within my comfort zone (gym based circuits – HIIT, Tabata and the like). Indeed, if you flick back to my posts in 2011-2012 you’ll find much pondering over the fact, even though I attended 4-5 gym classes a week, I felt guilty that I wasn’t a runner (when everyone else seemed to be!)
Of course I know how that story ended. I stopped exercising, gained a stack of weight and didn’t live happily ever after.
Lately I’ve been seeing A LOT of of advertisements and Facebook promotions for bootcamps and personal training sessions. (I suspect it’s a ‘we’re approaching summer’ thing here in Oz!)
My immediate reaction to seeing those ads is one of guilt… that they’re something I SHOULD be doing. But then sanity prevails and it occurs to me that I have NO DESIRE AT ALL to do anything like that. I mean, yay for those who do… but I don’t. So I’ve been interested in how my mindset and attitude to that stuff has changed.
I talked recently here about wanting to rejoin Zumba but must admit the idea fills me with dread. Or at least, dislike.
The overanalyser in me would worry it’s just apathy and laziness preventing me from joining classes, and stress about that.
But in all honesty I would actually be happy if I could find a yoga / pilates class to do some strength and ‘core’ work on a weekly basis; walk for 30mins 2-3 times a week; and do my 8000 steps on other days I’d be kinda happy.
And it feels wrong to admit that. Like I’m only aspiring to mediocrity, rather than ‘more’. Is it, I wonder?
The Lovin’ Life team includes: