It’s OK to be Average!

I’m reblogging a post that really hit me today. Fritzie says in one of the comments that she wrote it while reflecting on her 40+ years so far. Well, I’ve been reflecting on my 60+ years and am still struggling with the truism that it’s OK to be average. Like Fritzie, my parents and teachers all called me “underachiever” and encouraged/pushed me to do/be better. I don’t know about Fritzie, but my parents didn’t hesitate to let me know how disappointed they were when I didn’t pull myself out of the ranks of underachievers. When I graduated from college exactly 20 years after high school and then from law school, my parents finally told me they were proud of me. By then I was 40, and I just didn’t believe them. After 40 years of letting them down, how was it possible they were suddenly proud of me? I’ve spent a lifetime trying to prove to them and to myself that I’m not an “underachiever”, that I’m not a failure, trying to somehow earn their posthumous approval. Impossible and irrational, I know. The result has been a lifetime of self-criticism, disappointment, even depression that I was still one of the “underachieving” masses. Four years of retirement and reflection have helped me to realize that the underachiever label isn’t a death sentence. That it’s merely a recognition that no one can be the best in everything. I admit I still have some way to go toward accepting that being average is OK. Reading and re-reading Fritzie’s blog will help me to do that.

Life Travel Soul

I may excel in certain things, but I’ll be “just average” in a lot of areas in my life. And you know what?

It’s Ok to be Average!

This phrase changed my life because I grew up constantly trying to excel in everything. Nothing is wrong with that. I believe that we should strive to do our best in whatever we do. However, if our happiness and self-worth depend on the outcome, then we need to reflect on why we are so driven towards our goals in the first place.

Mine was the desire for the approval of others.

I was in 3rd grade when I scored 18 out of 20 on a test. I can’t remember the subject, but I recalled what my teacher told my mom, “your daughter is an underachiever.” My mom pushed me to study hard and get good grades. And I did!

I went home…

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7 thoughts on “It’s OK to be Average!

  1. Thank you so much again for your comments, reblogging, and sharing your story. I was hesitant at first to tell mine; I wasn’t sure if anybody will find it relevant. You have encouraged me to keep on writing and inspiring others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Having also grown up with my weaknesses shoved in my face (!!), I strive to teach my four kids to identify their gifts and pursue them to the fullest, and leave the rest for others to excel in. This is especially difficult for my 3rd child, my 15yo daughter. Her older brother and sister have those kind of talents that are highly visible (N is a brainiac computer genius and S is an incredible artist), so she struggles with feeling like her amazing gift for relationships is somehow not something to celebrate. It breaks my heart, but I continue to encourage her to see the beauty in her unique — and very necessary — strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing this with me, D. I’m actually quite relieved to learn you’re not some kind of magical sunshine & rainbows phenom! From what I see, you’re doing a wonderful job with your kids. If your 3rd one is the one in your vid singing Fool in Love, she also has a lovely voice and a flair for performing (and for comedy). ❤

      Like

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