Mediocrity is the killer

I am mediocre at everything i do. There is nothing I specialize in whether it be professional, a hobby, or love. I hate it. I look at other ppl and fhey are really good at somethjng or mutiple things and I just sit here thinking I’ll never be that way. This kills me and feeds my depression. My life has proven to be average or below average. Anxiety, worry, and doubt cripple me from trying to better myself and find something that I can excel in. I know people have it worse than me. But I look at my life and think if I have the ability, physically or mentally or whatever it is, why can’t I progress?? I’m married and have 3 children. My time is spent working the coming home and trying to be present with my family. Yet I lack the proper skills, income, and ambition everyday… I can’t shake this stagnancy and depression…


Hey there,
Thank you for sharing this here. It’s easy to look at other people’s success and compare it to our own, however, it almost always leads to feelings of inferiority. The truth is, you are not mediocre despite the way you may feel. It can feel like progress is impossible when you feel like you’re running in place. The lies that depression and anxiety feed us are really good at twisting our view of not only the world around us, but ourselves as well.

You say you are not able to progress, but even just posting here and talking about this is a part of progression because you are reaching out and looking for support. I would encourage you to celebrate even the smallest of victories and know that just because your progress and success might not look the same as other people’s, it doesn’t mean that yours are not just as significant. We believe in you!

Hold fast friend,
Hannah Rhodes

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I struggle with this too actually. I have ADHD, depression, and anxiety. But something that helps me immensely is to try to stop comparing myself to others. I’m willing to bet there’s so many things that you are good at, and you don’t even see it! Depression is good at not letting you see what your talents are. Having a wife and kids and supporting them is such a talent and is amazing. You can break through this feeling and I’m sure over time you’ll be able to recognize how truely special you are!

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I get this. I don’t have kids, but I’m 1 of 3 sisters and it’s horrendous. There’s not a lot I’m good at outside of modding streams on Twitch. So away from that, I feel like such a damn failure… I constantly feel like I have to live up to certain standards to be loved… Yet, I can’t meet those standards… Then I see people being able to do things I couldn’t even dream of doing. Music, art, certain jobs… Makes me feel like I’m just… here because I was the first child of the family. I can’t help but think if my 2 sisters came first, I wouldn’t even be here.
As I said, I don’t have kids, but from the age of 8 I was basically mothering my sisters due to my mothers mental state and my dads abuse… I mean. We never had a lot of money, still don’t… But we managed, and they were looked after. It’s not about money, it’s about the relationship you have with them, and they will love you no matter what. I’m sorry that you’re struggling with this, but there is so so much more than just money that goes into being a parent. Please keep doing what you’re doing with your children… Maybe just keep looking for a job that pays a little better if that’s an option? but DON’T stress yourself, the time with your family is CRUCIAL. Keep working on it.

Hold Fast

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Hi Phtees. Your post is really close to home. If anything jumpstarts my depressive thoughts it’s STILL that voice that tries to tell me my worth is my accomplishments. As an artist I want to have my art affect others yet it’s really hard to know if that’s happening. I know intellectually that I have value regardless but feeling it sometimes is very tough.

My therapist reminds me EVERY time that because I’m a good guy I take for granted the nice things I do and the love I give to my family. Yet those things are HUGE. So many people are not doing even that. Still I have trouble internalizing that idea. One of the necessary things I HAVE to do is write out each night 3 things I’m appreciative of and 3 things I’m proud of myself of that day. It’s a process to relearn and re-associate what is important. It’s too easy to undervalue the little things that matter and overemphasize where we feel we don’t measure up. Some of that has biological underpinnings to help motivate us to improve but if that system is relentlessly critical it just beats us down.

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Hey @Phtees22,

Thanks so much for reaching out! I totally feel ya with the anxiety/depression aspect of living, and how it can add an extra hurdle to accomplishing even the most menial of tasks. Please don’t beat yourself up over this. Studies show that if you start small and work your way up (in anything), you’ll eventually become better at whatever you’re trying to achieve. Or, if you have a set amount of tasks, start with the smaller/quicker ones; that way you get a quicker feeling of accomplishment.

We our are own worst critics. I hear you talking down on yourself but I’m sure that if we knew you in person, then we would be saying the complete opposite things about you. I bet you’re a pretty rad human being. :slight_smile: We are usually really hard on ourselves because, well, we’re around ourselves 24/7. It all starts with speaking truth and words of affirmation over ourselves. Then, eventually, we will learn to believe whatever we tell ourselves. You’re strong and we believe in you!


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So i just want you to be patient with yourself. It has taken me over 20 years to develop my abilities and skillz as a martial artist. I always felt behind my mentors and teachers but when i had my first fight i ran through my opponent. But here is the thing. at one point i trained for over 10 hours a day. doing the same repetitious things. and that went on for a few years. You don’t just have magical abilities and sometimes the things you do are kinda painful but as you grow you can achieve. I really hope to let you know that there are a ton of things you can learn, but can you be patient enough with yourself to let yourself grow? And then most importantly loving your family everyday is the most important thing you can do. It is not glorious, it is draining. but they rely on you. Love is the overwhelming concern for another without any regards as to what we get in return. That means sacrifice which is the ultimate form of love. That makes you an amazing spouse and parent. As far as income i understand how that felt for a long time. I dont know where you are at, but i always tell people who are stuck in that area to start with medical. the field is stable and ever growing. @ semesters at a community college can get you started as an EMT. thats usually about 6 months which is a do-able short term goal. getting your foot in allows you to then go to paramedic and nursing and move your way up. i hope these things are helpful. you are important to us and are extremely valuable. Together we can persevere

I’m sorry you’re going through this rough time in your life. Feeling like your whole life is mediocre and believing it will continue being that way for the unforeseeable future SUCKS. I’m in that kind of situation myself and have been for many years of my life. I feel as if mediocrity has taken over my life and it feels as if my life getting better and getting out of this destructive mindset is near to impossible.

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Thank you everyone for the responses. It feels good to not be alone. I struggle with mediocrity and comparison everyday and it is draining. Thank you @Casers and @Danjo for your time of discussion about my topic. I have friends that are artists, chefs, skilled builders or just plain creators and I wish I had something I specialized in, to have my “thing” Or “things”. I just don’t. As a father, you want to encourage your kids to excel and create but I find myself feeling down or selfishly thinking about my own inability that I’m scared I’m going to instill those traits in my children… it’s a sucky feeling :disappointed:

You think you’re mediocre. Ask the people that care about you and gage what they say compared to what you view yourself as.
I myself have deemed myself incapable of love. That I decided if all I can do is feels all these negative feelings like hatred that my life isn’t worth living. There was much I needed to do and I was still ambitious enough to do them and see them through. I developed a bucket list and decided to kill myself once I completed it.
I was resolved and am still resolved.
Yet I never thought the day would come that I be thinking maybe I will complete my bucket list and live afterwards. Something originally I had on the bucket list seemed so impossible to happen so I took it off the bucket list and replaced it with kill myself.
I wasn’t listening to the people that cared about me and told me that I do have love in my heart where they gave clear examples of things that I did that could be evidence that I have the compacity to love.
Then out of the blue I meet someone online. Too fast to comprehend I went from a suicidal loner with no hope to ever understand or comprehend what love is to a suicidal boyfriend that is wondering if what he is feeling for this woman if this is what love is. That maybe the comprehension of love is within his grasp.
I am brooding about it.
What I am saying is there is a reason that third person & first person are both perspectives. You deem yourself mediocre. I say you should get a second opinion. I did.

Be strong. Endure.

Oh boy, how can I put this…

It seems to me you are looking up at heroes, people who are special, and saying to yourself ‘Why am I not like that? Why am I not special?’ People who are special have either worked immensely, insanely hard at it, or had a gift since birth and THEN had to work really hard at it. You don’t get anything for free. Being mediocre isn’t bad in itself, being happy with who you is the real problem. What I hear from your words is that you don’t like being mediocre, but this is the weightclass you are punching in. As a mid-level fighter you cannot outfight a heavyweight. It is just impossible. But you CAN be the best damn person in the midlevel class there is.

My advice, don’t compare yourself to others today, but compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Strive to be a little bit better each day, and you’ll find you’ll live a much happier life.

Martin / ThatOldDutchGuy