I posted this message on Facebook last week after being inspired to touch on the topic by @Myleik. Surprisingly, the post resonated with more people than I was expecting leading me to realize that so many more of us deal with this issue than I recognized. Watching progression can easily make others feel uncomfortable, but that’s not your problem.
Anyone who knows me can attest to this, I’ve always had high expectations. I can’t tell you why, or where it came from, but even as a little girl I was uncomfortable just taking whatever I was given. I loved to push limits and didn’t have a problem finding a way to make something happen for myself if for whatever reason I was told no. I remember driving past gated neighborhoods in the backseat of my mom’s car verbally saying “I’m gonna live there” at like 8 years old. Growing up that way, it’s easy to be labeled as spoiled or even have your preferences labeled as far fetched. I never cared. Now here I am, a grown woman. Finding the ways to make whatever it is that I want happen for myself, by myself.
I’ve had boyfriends tell me that what I expecting from a partner in relationships was unheard of and that I should be more realistic. I’ve had my boss tell me that I shouldn’t expect a certain amount of increase or pay because “that’s not how this company works” or because when she “was my age the average salary was much lower”. I’ve had my own mom taunt me about being saditty based off of the car I choose to drive or where I choose to live because of how different it is from where we were raised. And every time someone would shun me for expressing what I wanted or planned to do, I’d shrink down a little bit back into their views of what is deemed as realistic. I’m not saying this to be mean, but I truly don’t care what your experience has been. It’s my responsibility to create mine. Letting people hold you hostage in their version of reality is how you get stuck in mediocrity. Just because it’s difficult for you to envision, doesn’t mean it’s not possible for me. I’m on my own path to excellence. I don’t need to have experienced it before to know that it’s what I want.
I understand how continuous striving for more can often leave us feeling unfulfilled, ungrateful and discontent. That’s not what I’m suggesting. One of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” If God tells us we can do all things through him, why let anyone else make us feel like we can’t?
Contentment and mediocrity aren’t one in the same. Contentment says things are so good that I’m at peace with where I am if nothing ever changes. Mediocrity says I’ll do just enough to stay where I’m at, even if it isn’t where I want to be. In this life, the goal is always progression in whatever way you see fit. Progression with your health, your career, your business, your role as a wife or mother, or even your savings account. I can be content with where I am at this very day in my life and still have grander plans for my tomorrow. Your version of excellence is for you to decide. Don’t let anyone else define what excellence looks like for you.
Have an excellent week, boss ladies.