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How to Avoid Settling for Mediocrity

How to Avoid Settling for Mediocrity

Many people in the modern world are scared of settling for mediocrity in their lives. We are afraid of looking back on our lives and feeling like we could have been more.

And yet, this is exactly what happens to a lot of people. They end up settling and living a life that is less than their dreams.

You can overcome this tendency: you don’t have to be one of those people who settles. You don’t have to be a victim of a mediocre life. You can live your life to its fullest potential and achieve your dreams.

In order to do that, there are simple steps you need to take. Although these steps are simple, they are not easy. If they were easy, many more people would be living the lives they’ve always dreamed of.

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If you are ever going to escape mediocrity, you have to be committed to doing what is necessary instead of what is easy.

Overcome Your Fears

People talk about facing and overcoming their fears all the time. Still, it’s rare that people have the courage to actually do this. Most people say they are going to face their fears, but when any challenge arises, they step back. When it comes time to defeat their fears, they get stuck and end up failing to move forward.

Defeating your fears is challenging, but if you take consistent action to overcome them, you can do it. All you need is a little belief and persistence. Don’t let your fears trap you in a life of mediocrity.

You don’t have to be fearless, but you need to be willing to take action despite your fears. The only way to move on to bigger things in your life is to deal with some of your fears. If you want to conquer those fears, you need to make a conscious decision to not let them hold you back.

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Push Past Your Comfort Zone

The road to a life of mediocrity starts with staying in your comfort zone. Playing it safe is tempting, but it’s what will ultimately lead to a life that is less than what you want. Do things that challenge you every day. If you are used to staying home, challenge yourself to go out to dinner with friends. If you are comfortable always going to the same places and doing the same things, make a conscious decision to go somewhere different.

You know the saying, “the magic happens outside of your comfort zone,” but you need to actually take action on it. This needs to become more than just a quote to you. Make it your goal to continuously get out of your comfort zone.

Try a new class, make a new friend, talk to a stranger. These are little things, but they will eventually add up to something greater.

Don’t Worry About Other People’s Opinions

If you are striving for more than a life of mediocrity, others will most likely judge you. They may question why you are doing new things or why you don’t do things the same way everyone else does them.

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But, if you want more out of life than the average person gets, you are going to have to do things others aren’t willing to do. Don’t let negative opinions or words affect you. It is not your business what others say and do. All that matters is what you do and how you live your own life.

Decide today that other’s negative opinions don’t matter, that you will live life on your terms despite what others say. This will be hard, especially if you have resistance coming from friends and family. They may be coming from a good place, because they usually just want you to be safe, but you need to keep fighting for what you want in life.

Take Daily Action

It is not easy to overcome a mediocre life. It takes consistent daily action towards your goals and your dreams. Those daily actions will add up over time, until eventually you will be living a life that is beyond your wildest dreams.

You need to be committed every day to striving for more. Even if you start with just little steps, eventually those will add up to bigger steps.

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Do something every day that will move you closer to living the life that you dream of. Make choices that support those dreams, and eventually, you will see your choices pay off.

Don’t let yourself give up, and don’t let yourself settle for less than an amazing life. I know that you are capable of achieving a great life; you just have to go out there and work hard for it. Living an amazing life is achievable, but you have to put in the necessary effort to get there. It won’t happen overnight, but you can overcome a life of mediocrity.

Do you feel like you’ve settled for mediocrity? What are you willing to do to avoid it?

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Melanie Kernodle

Copywriter + Content Strategist

How to Avoid Settling for Mediocrity 5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life 7 Characteristics of A Highly Productive Mindset

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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