It’s good to suck

Are you a cake-baking flop? Useless at sport? Embrace it! There’s a whole lot of magic in being mediocre. The freedom to suck, but enjoying it anyway, is something to be celebrated. In a world where there is so much pressure to succeed, embracing mediocrity is refreshing.

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Rediscover Joy

If you are not doing something to achieve a goal, or to impress someone, all that’s left is pleasure. So, your cake may never win a bake-off, but if you can lose yourself in baking and being creative for a few hours, that’s just as valuable. Instead of making success a goal, write a list of things that make you happy and only aim to have fun whilst you are doing them.

Appreciate the Small Wins

If you expect to excel at something, you can only be disappointed. When we are good at something, we can sometimes take it for granted. By being mediocre means that every bit of progress feels extra-special.

Live in the Moment

When you are focused on achieving a goal, or reaching a certain level, you are always looking ahead, fixated on the result, instead of enjoying the journey. Our attachment to the outcome is what hurts us the most. The freedom of not having an outcome is liberating. If you find painting a stress-reliever, but want to hide your paintings away afterwards, that’s fine. It is the ‘doing’ that you have enjoyed.

Imperfection is a Good Thing

A perfectionist isn’t necessarily someone who excels. It can also be someone so worried they will not succeed that they put off even starting. Rigid perfectionism often leads to procrastination. You may avoid starting a new task because you fear being a failure. Perfectionism has also been linked to higher levels of anxiety and insomnia. It is healthy to embrace being imperfect. If your knitting has dropped stitches, but you love the scarf anyway, enjoy it!

It Builds Resilience

If you can make peace with falling off your bike, muddling up your words in a Spanish lesson or never getting the steps right in your Zumba class, then you will find life’s setbacks easier to deal with. Think of it as building a muscle for failure. If we are used to bouncing back and feeling that it doesn’t matter, we build inner resilience.

You’ll Learn Self-Compassion

No critic is harsher than the one in your own head. By accepting your limitations, it will help silence that voice. By admitting you suck, and being OK with is, is shutting down the critic. Self-compassion helps turn down the volume of the inner critic that’s a major source of stress and anxiety for perfectionists. Learning to accept these mistakes and go easy on ourselves are very useful exercises.

It’s Contagious

Ever noticed the magnetism of a person who can mess up but still laugh at themselves and carry on regardless? We often fear what people think of us when the reality is they aren’t taking any notice – or they are admiring us for giving it a go. If you are doing something with an open heart, that is self-acceptance is contagious.

How to Fail

I fell in love with the book How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learnt From Things Going Wrong {Affiliate} by Elizabeth Day. The book was inspired by her podcast, and includes chapters on dating, work, families, friendship, anger, sport and so many others. It is a great perspective on making mistakes, how to learn from them, and not being afraid.

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