In today’s world a lot of emphasis is given to doing more, being better, craving the latest shiny new thing. This culture of accumulation – be it experience, money, stuff or qualifications – can be exhausting, and anxiety provoking. It’s not that we shouldn’t be aiming for success – far from it. It’s just that if we spend all our time craving what we don’t have, we constantly want more in order to compensate for not being, doing or having enough. Here are five tips to help you understand why aiming for average can help us.

It’s healthy to create a mindset of ‘enough’. Our mindset is all about the filter through which we see ourselves and the world – the assumptions we make which effect how we experience things. If we have a ‘scarcity mindset’ then we believe that we always lack something, and we’re trying to make up for that. It’s fear based and triggers fear responses – think ‘fight, flight, freeze’. On the other hand, a mindset of enough believes that we do have enough – be that confidence, skill, attitude – to do what is required of us. It’s a place where we focus on fullness not lack – and that can make so much difference to what it is possible to achieve. Noticing your mindset, and making an inner adjustment about where you are coming from in your beliefs can make a huge difference to how you approach a task, and ultimately, how successful you can be in achieving it. With an enough mindset you are coming from a belief that essentially, you have what it takes to do what you set your mind to.

It will cure your ‘comparisonitus’. Ever heard the phrase, “comparison is the thief of joy”? Comparing with others can be the unintended and very damaging consequence of our digital world. It can make us feel inadequate, and it’s hard to avoid when we’re presented with images everywhere of people ‘smashing it out of the park’. You can’t be anyone else other than you. So turn your focus inwards and concentrate on being the version of you that YOU want to be. Maybe take a break from social media and keep a record of what you’ve achieved and what you’re grateful for. It can be a huge liberation to let go of what others are doing and to celebrate you.

It will help you fall in love with limits. It can feel so counter cultural to celebrate working less – but that is what many people and some enlightened work places are starting to encourage. Research into productivity tells us that working harder does not always lead to better results. In fact, as more and more people burnout, it’s clear that the opposite is true. We’re at our best when we allow ourselves to have healthy limits – good boundaries around our time and energy so that we can give quality time to the things that matter most to us. Like a plant in a plant pot – containers sometimes help us to grow stronger.

You will start to re-charge your batteries each day. Sometimes when things are super busy, we can kid ourselves into believing that we can’t do the things that re-charge our batteries. We stop exercise, eat at our desks, cancel seeing friends or even taking a break between meetings. The paradox of this is that often it’s precisely these things that will give us the extra energy and focus. It’s actually in creating a good regular practice for re-charging our batteries that we resource ourselves well for what we need to do. Giving yourself a break from work and doing something that gives you energy, will also make you more likely to focus more and get into a state of ‘flow’. So less really can be more!

We move from striving to thriving. How we frame our thinking, our physiological state and our attitude to work are all keys to success. We simply don’t have to be better than anyone else in order to achieve great things. We need to be comfortable in our own skin, well resourced, well rested and able to draw on our energy for the moments that matter. Think of what it takes for you to thrive. It’s not rocket science or anything special – and it’s the same for all of us. Giving ourselves permission to become who we truly are – however average or ordinary – is the real springboard to success.

First published in Stylist.

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