I spoke last week in this video about the moment I was inspired to leave my job. At the end of it, I told a story about doing my first live TV cooking segment and how it confirmed the passions I am pursuing. What I didn’t mention was some expert advice from my Mom offered the day before the segment. She knew I was anxious, understanding that nerves can be unpredictable. She also knew that I was putting pressure on myself to do a great job.
Her advice; “Go out there and be average.”
Weird advice? A more typical statement of encouragement would be,
“Go out there and be awesome!”
“Give ’em hell!”
“Shoot for the moon because you’ll land among the stars!”
Nope, that’s not what I needed to hear. I needed to know that it was completely fine to be mediocre, that there was no theoretical needle I needed to push forward. Whether I flopped or rocked it, it didn’t matter. My success as a human being didn’t rest of my ability to perform on live TV.
I laughed when she told me to be average, but I was also relieved. It took away the pressure and I was free to have fun.
Granted, everyone is different and some people respond better under pressure. But, some of us, particularly the over-achievers, it’s good to be reminded that no matter what we do or accomplish, we’re worthy of love.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”