Do we all have the capacity to be extraordinary? Or is this just for a handful of lucky people who were at the right place at the right time? Recently, I read an article that speculated the idea that we live in a culture where, mostly because of the social media, people feel the pressure to be extraordinary, while the majority of us are mediocre at most of the things we do, and will always be so.
However, if we think of extraordinary people, we notice that they are just like us, except for one fact: they excel at something. Maybe they are great speakers, maybe they are great authors and writers, maybe they are fantastic athletes or businessmen or thinkers… They are not great at everything, for sure. Nobody is amazing at everything… But one of the main differences that exist between an extraordinary person and an average person is this: the average person has not found his area of excellence just yet.
“So what should I do now?”, you might ask…
If you are one of those people who’s still lost looking for his bliss, should you indulge in your mediocrity and live your life resigned to the thought that, well, it was not your destiny to be great? Or should you persevere, keep searching and keep trying? Many people out there, spiritual teachers, financial tycoons, TV presenters and life coaches (all of them people who managed to build successful, abundant lives) keep telling us that we can be extraordinary, that we have the capacity to be great. Should we believe these people?
I think we should. When someone comes to us and says ‘you are amazing’, we need to take that information and use it as a tool. When we are being told that we are capable, we need to believe it. When we are being told that we are born to do great things, we need to embrace that greatness and manifest it in our own way, without trying to copy someone and without trying to exceed anyone else’s expectations but our own. We need to trust more and more the idea that we can be more than average.
But why do so many people (actually, the majority of us) fail to become extraordinary? I can think of a few reasons:
1.They listen to those who tell them that what they want to do is too hard.
They have been made to believe by well intended people that their hopes are too high, that the competition is too heavy and that it is better to never try than to be disappointed. But you don’t fail when you feel disappointment, you fail when you never try in the first place.
2.They try a few things and get disappointed a few times, so they become too discouraged to go further.
These people don’t understand that life is a journey and not a destination. They see failure as being final. What they need to understand however is that anything they decide to do, to try their hand at, to dip their toes in… anything is important because it leads them forward, it shows them the way. The thing you try today might not be the thing you will do for your entire existence, it might not be the passion of your life, it might, indeed, prove itself to be a huge disappointment, but all of that is ok. You can try things, mix and match, be disappointed as many times as you need in order to become the person you need to become. One thing leads to another. But this is for sure: no one becomes extraordinary easily.
3.They listen to their own negative self talk.
We have all been there… We all have our own limiting beliefs – I am not enough, I am not worthy, I am not smart enough, I am too old, I am too ugly, and so on. However, moving forward involves identifying our limiting beliefs and replacing them with thoughts that serve us instead of remaining victims of our own minds. You can ask a therapist or a coach to help you with that.
4.They have a fixed mindset.
These are the people who simply don’t believe that they can grow. These are the ones who say ‘I was born this way’, ‘this is how I am’. Well, the truth is you can change, anybody can. You can get smarter, you can become more compassionate and kinder, you can get better at doing stuff. You just have to believe it first. A change of mindset might not happen over night, but it is surely worth pursuing.
5.They are stuck in victimhood.
These are the people who are very busy blaming others for their misfortunes. You recognize these people easily because of their negative vibe and judgmental remarks. They don’t like it when others have more than them and they are quick to criticize when someone else tries to leave the mediocrity circle. If you are one of these people, please, I beg you, leave the sidelines and take your power back!
I don’t consider myself an extraordinary person, but I have been for several years now a seeker in search of her own area of excellence and this is what I know: becoming extraordinary doesn’t mean that you have to fit into certain patterns. Do your own thing, bring your own flavor to the mix. No one says you have to be the next Oprah or the next Richard Branson. Just allow yourself to expand! Become the best version of yourself!
Whatever that is, you can achieve it. It will not be easy, all true success stories tell us so. It involves growing up and that is hard, it takes courage and it upsets a lot of people. That is why many choose to be safe and average. It is the fear of the unknown, the fear of vulnerability, the fear of failure and judgement. And while some never start, many others give up on the way. But I urge you to get up and start again! Because we deserve it and we can do it! We can all be extraordinary.
“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”
– Richard Branson