Remember when reading was a big deal for you? Look at you now! You’re reading this post not even realizing how great you are at it. You’re probably using all your brain power to determine if this post is worth your time, and whether you should continue reading it. There was a time in your life, though, when you didn’t have the cognitive margin to read and analyze what you were reading at the same time. There was no room for critical thinking. All your energy was spent putting letters together and making out their collective sounds.
As we get older, we forget an important part of the learning process. When it comes to our abilities, mediocre is our starting point.
The most basic things you do without a thought, at one point, required all your attention and presence of mind. Walking, talking, reading, brushing your teeth. I hate to break it to you, but you weren’t great at those things right out of the womb (how weird would that be? A teeth brushing baby!) There was a learning process, and through that process, you had to overcome a lot of resistance.
We started 2018 saying this will be your year to advance! To advance in every area of life, but specially areas that have been stagnated and inactive.
To advance, however, you may need to relearn somethings. Advancing might require an intentional step toward mediocre performances. A new territory, a new idea, a new pursuit, a new strategy for an old dream might put you in a position where, even when you give your best, your performance is mediocre.
Don’t let it discourage you. Recognize that there is a difference between not having the talent required to be excellent at a certain trade or occupation, and learning a new skill. Don’t talk yourself out of a dream or something you are meant to do because you feel inadequately mediocre at it. Remember, mediocre is a common starting point. Don’t quit because of it, but fight on!
If our bodies are what we eat, our minds are what we think. The chief area we fight our battles is in our mind. You have to win the battle in your mind before you achieve greatness. When you know you are meant to do something, you need to replace the “can’t-do” thoughts that come to your mind with “can-do” thoughts; you need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
I’ve lived this.
When I moved to Houston, back in 2003, I had to learn the english language and American culture. I was 21 years-old, and I had a conviction that God called us to Houston for a purpose. I knew in my heart God had a plan, and I also knew that plan depended on my ability to assimilate the culture and learn the language.
But everyday, negative thoughts came against me. Thoughts like:
“You’re not gonna make it.”
“You’re never going to be great at it.”
“It’s too hard.”
“This will never be home to you.”
“You are alone!”
I had to do, what I’m telling you to do. I had to create a way to change these negative thoughts that were coming against me, into positive thoughts that aligned with my conviction and life-calling.
So I printed this passage from the Bible on a large poster:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God ! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord .”‘ – Jeremiah 1:5-8
That was a word given to Jeremiah over 2,600 years ago. If you’re not a church person, you may think this is silly. But I channeled my faith and made this passage mine. I placed that poster next to my bathroom sink, and for a year, I’d brush my teeth and look at it.
Day after day, I would look and think:
He formed me…
He knows me…
He consecrated me…
He appointed me…
He gives me the words to speak…
Before long, those negative thoughts were replaced with what God says about me.
Fifteen years ago I felt so mediocre, so inadequate, there was no room to believe. I had to fight on. Today, though I’m still learning, the english language is the chief platform to what I do.
Don’t be afraid of starting. If you feel inadequate and mediocre, don’t let it stop you. Fight on!