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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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