Written by: Beau DeCourcy
“Good friends should not tolerate mediocrity in one another… They should honor your fears, and, in love, continue to goad you beyond them, without pushing you.”– Deida
Do you get a sense of relief when someone you know fails at something? Have you ever found yourself hoping a friend or family member’s excitement and attempts on self-improvement and personal success would diminish? As embarrassing as it sounds, I must admit I have felt those same feelings in the past, and sadly, many of us may currently be feeling the same and acting as social equalizers. Meaning, we encourage mediocrity in their lives out of fear their successful existence may belittle ours. We feel this way because their failure proves to us that it is not worth trying for something difficult, and we worry that their shinning moment will expose our inadequacies.
Stop that nonsense thinking.
Yes, I’m calling you out!
Aaron’s recent post: Take Off the Mask got me thinking about accountability in living a self-defined life and while we should always hold ourselves accountable, we also owe it to our friends and family to be honest with them when they are not. Even if we do not wish them failure out of jealousy, we often tolerate their inaction, accept their mediocrity and pacify their pain as a consequence of living an unfulfilling life. We have probably come to expect the same of them for ourselves. Don’t do this any longer. Be honest with them and let them know you will be there to support them if they choose to take risks and make changes to move toward a better existence.
Doing what is ‘expected’ of you, keeping your head down, and minding your own business does not make your life or those who surround you better off. It’s hard to not coast along under the radar, appeasing the insecurities of others, as well as your own. Being honest with people, and thinking and acting with purpose takes some courage, thick skin and support from those around you. While “going it alone” is revered, the greater courage is in opening yourself up to the criticism of those who you value, because we trust they mean what they say, and the truth can be incredibly painful.
Surround yourself with those who will hold you accountable to your desires and an impeccable existence, and ask the same of them. Be capable of accepting their criticism without reactive anger, and have the courage to call them out as well.
So I’m calling you out, as I hope you will me. Hold not only yourself accountable to an exceptional existence, but those you love as well. Illuminate each other and grow together. Jealousy is a useless emotion; replace it will honesty, courage and camaraderie. Support, assist and motivate those around you to be better people as a consequence of living lives true to their inner drive. When you do this the opposite effect occurs: they will not outshine you as you may fear, rather they will illuminate you, as you will them.