Being mediocre is akin to being the devil, at least it is to many people I know. Personally, I’ve never really been a perfectionist because I don’t believe in perfection, but I do believe in excellence. However, when you’re mediocre you’re neither here nor there, so what’s the point?
If you’re struggling with pushing yourself beyond mediocre and toward excellence here are a few tips:
1. Push yourself beyond the limits you’ve created for yourself. We all have our comfort zone, that place on the sofa that’s so cushy you never want to leave. It’s the place you’re at mentally that tells you to breeze through your work without really pushing yourself too hard. I challenge you – the next time you take on a project – whether a writing assignment, an assignment at work or cleaning your closet; take it a step further this time. Push yourself in the moment for more, forget about later, your goal is to create something spectacular now.
2. Avoid self-loathing. If you think you can’t, you most likely won’t. Catch the negativity and remind yourself of how far you’ve come instead, better yet have someone else remind you of what an amazing person you are. It’s o.k. to ask for some love, so reach out to someone you know cares about you.
3. Don’t get sucked into the gadget whirlpool. It’s hard to keep up with all the new technology out there. It’s expensive and overwhelming. Be selective of the gadgets you allow into your life, this will help avoid a scattered brain.
4. Uni-task. No, I’m not trying to get you fired. In fact, I’m trying to get you promoted. Multi-tasking breeds mediocre results, whether at work or at home. For example, how do you feel when you have several tabs open on your desktop, and you’re jotting down notes for research and you’re making phone calls, and updating your Facebook status on just how overwhelmed you are, and… and…and…well, you get my drift. Now, think about only having one tab open and focusing on a single task. Doesn’t that immediately relieve some stress? Not only will it relieve stress but it will also yield better results.
5. Sharpen your attention span. Guilty as charged. Sometimes it’s just hard to focus on one thing – especially if you’re mentally and physically exhausted (shout out to all those hard-working moms out there!), bouncing from one task/idea to another is just easier. Fix this by intentionally bringing yourself back to focus. Instead of online surfing, pick up an article of interest and read it in its entirely (gulp). Print it out if you have to, but make a habit of starting something and finishing it. Exercising your mind through reading, for instance, will help build an ability to focus beyond a few seconds.
6. Guard the company you keep. Your mama was right when she warned you about those kids. Spend too much time with them and you’ll fall into the same mess they’re in. On the other hand, hanging out with ambitious individuals will help push you out of your comfort zone, not out of jealously (at least not a spiteful one) but out of a knowledge there is something better out there and it can be yours too.
7. Be critical. Not in a put yourself down kind of way – but look at situations you find yourself in and decisions you have to make with a critical eye and not just a means for passive consumption.
8. Exercise (oh, and exercise some more). There is something about getting through a physically challenging exercise routine that strengthens your mind. Strong body=strong mind. Strengthen your body and you will immediately learn how to raise your standards in all aspects of your life.
9. Simplify your commitments. The more over-stretched you are the easier it is to let things of mediocre nature creep into your life, after all, you have no choice because your sanity depend on it! However, when you’re focused on a few important areas of you’re able to raise your standards without losing your mind.
10. Don’t give up on yourself. When all is said and done how we complete our tasks whether personally or professionally says a lot about who we are as individuals. It’s not easy pushing yourself off the coach and beyond the limits you’ve created for yourself, but when you commit to doing things right they will get better. Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect but there’s no room in either one of our lives for mediocre standards.
So what about you? What have you done lately to raise your standards? Have any suggestions? Share below!