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  • Writer's pictureEbony Millard

What’s wrong with being average?

In a time when all you see is greatness, extreme wealth, incredible feats of fitness, extraordinary creativity, phenomenal art, extensive travel, success, beauty and freedom it's easy to start believing you are a failure. Afterall, even a simple life requires expensive linen clothing, perfect teeth and fabulous skin.


So what even is average these days? 

Words like mediocre, middle income, middle age, middle class, mainstream, standard, normal, common, ordinary. Perfectly normal words, so why do they feel like a slap in the face?


With the constant flow of reels, clips, memes and glossy, retouched and curated imagery it is easy to compare yourself to a seemingly perfect example and come up feeling less than.  We are force fed the idea that there is something wrong with us and if we just do this simple two step miracle program, wear the right clothes and take the right supplements, we too can be healthy, wealthy, fit, skinny, strong and successful. This message is compounded by catch phrases like ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ a seemingly positive and motivational little quote which has been proven to increase ability, but the catch is, it also increases expectations. When more than anything all we want to feel is contentment and a sense of accomplishment and purpose, it feels impossible when the bar is continually being raised.


We humans are a prideful bunch. As a collective we are all acutely aware of the feelings of shame, guilt, frustration and the need to fit in, please or even impress others and the act of self-improvement has become a competitive sport.


So how do we cope with unrealistic or unachievable expectations?


First of all, please believe me when I tell you, if you aren't earning six figures, wearing size 8 and running marathons while providing nutrient rich AND delicious family meals in a perfectly emotionally regulated and happy, spotlessly clean home, you are not, I repeat, NOT failing at life.


There is no finish line ribbon, no trophy or gold medal for existing. No one wins the best person award or happiest human in the world competition. The world keeps turning, people keep peopling and everyone just gets on with things.


Maybe the best version of you is a step (or two) below social medias idea of perfect, maybe it’s a running jump, and that's totally fine. I think it’s time to embrace that less than best self.


What if we were able to disconnect our personal values and sense of self from the achievements of others. What if, by practicing self-compassion and acceptance we are able to lift the heavy burden of expectation and just get on with things. This is not giving up or settling for less than you deserve, it’s simply stepping into YOUR best self, not someone else’s. You can acknowledge the achievements of others, congratulate them and celebrate their wins if it feels good, but NOTICE when it makes you feel bad about yourself. Acknowledge your feelings, maybe even get curious about why you feel that way, but seriously, don’t beat yourself up! Try setting yourself some boundaries like, I’m going to have a five-minute pity party and then take some affirmative action. Unfollow the people who make you feel negatively about yourself (or others, yes I’m talking about the hate follows here). This wont come as a surprise but you can actually choose who you follow and who you don’t.

Imagine having a social media feed that actually makes you feel good!

By refusing to be swept up in the hyperbole of the internet gurus and influencers and becoming really clear on the things that bring you joy, your values and life purpose you can save yourself a world of angst and torment. Curating your socials and incorporating some gratitude, mindfulness, connection with nature and genuine real people relationships will go a long way in making an “average” life seem pretty great.


Because in all honesty, there is nothing wrong with being average, nothing at all.

If you need some help in getting clear on your own personal values and expectations book a session today. Sessions available in person and online.


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