Your work is average.
How does it feel to hear that?
For a lot of us, it’s uncomfortable, even painful. Most of us still use the same scale of judgement we encountered in school, where above average = good, below average = uh-oh.
So we avoid average like the plague.
We ditch that writing class we tried once—and secretly enjoyed—because “I just wasn’t very good at it.” We disown our desire to take our paintings to a local art fair because “There are going to be people there who are way better at this than me.” We squirrel away our big ideas, our rough drafts, and our creative lives until we can be sure they meet that magical standard of being “above average.”
Average is just a stop on a long journey towards being good, great, even excellent—if you want to be those things.
If you do want to be good at something, that is 100% doable.
But you need to embrace your averageness first.
Average isn’t a state of being, a final stamp of quality. It’s simply a stop we all pass through, whether we like it or not.
Mastery doesn’t just happen. Before we can be great at something, we need to be good. Before we can be good at something, we need to be average.
The people who are the best in the world at what they do didn’t start out that way. They started out at average, even below average, just like the rest of us.
So forget what you’ve been told about being average. It might be where you are right now, but that’s an exciting, possibility-filled place to be.
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Image: Greg Rakozy