Career Coaching with Ken Coleman
Average is the Enemy
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” —Maureen Dowd
I’m declaring war on mediocrity.
When you accept mediocrity, when you accept average in any area of your life—financially, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally—you accept a life that isn’t good enough.
That’s why you need to say no to average!
I did some research on this and found a great quote by D. Bruce Lockerbie. He said, “You see, mediocrity is first, a personal trait, a personal concession to less than our best, an individual lethargic resignation that says, ‘I guess good enough is good enough.’ Soon mediocrity metastasizes throughout the body politic, causing the nation to be at risk; but always remember, mediocrity begins with me!”
So, if you’re accepting average, guess who you have to blame?
Let’s band together, shall we, and take on average. It’s a war worth fighting! Especially in your career.
People sometimes get burned out at their current jobs—even ones they may love—because they’ve hit a ceiling at the organization. Want to know a secret? It’s okay to walk away from a place you enjoy if there’s no room for growth. You shouldn’t let your love for the place, or the people working there, prevent you from making progress with your goals and your life.
If you’re feeling the need to step onto a different boat, one that gives you more room to grow and allows you to live your dream, then do it! Never let fear control your decisions—Fear of failure will rob you of your dreams if you allow it to.
The truth is: Any successful person out there has also failed spectacularly. The only difference between them and the average person, though, is that the successful person kept striving even after a failure. They refused to let fear control them or keep them in an average career.
Here’s a thought: Forget about failure as some giant monster lurking around the corner just waiting to crush your dreams. Yes, we will all experience failure on some level from time to time, but it doesn’t have to result in a death spiral.
The best thing you can do to decrease the intensity of a failure is to get feedback. Look for people who work in and have experience in the industry you want to move into. Trust me, they’ve made their own mistakes. And if they’re the kind of people who learn from their miscues, they will share those mistakes with you to help you avoid them so that you can move forward successfully.
Remember, too, that the brain can really cripple the heart. There are times we need our brain to help our heart think. But most of the time, especially when it comes to big decisions in our careers and lives, I find that we listen to our brain more than our heart. But if you only ever listen to your brain, you’ll stay stuck in your practical, average, mediocre career.
It’s time to setup a meeting with your brain and your heart to get them aligned. Grab a piece of paper and write down everything your heart wants and everything your brain wants. Then, find where they have conflicts and connections. You may not discover your dream job immediately, and you may change your mind a few times along the way. That’s okay—This exercise is your first step toward releasing yourself from the fear of failure and waging war against average in your life and career!
About Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman is host of The Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated EntreLeadership Podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices. An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions, and move toward a fulfilled purpose. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenColeman, on Instagram at @ KenColemanShow, and online at kencolemanshow.com or facebook.com/KenColemanShow.