I admit it, I am a below-average driver – as evidenced by the multiple dings in my car. I tend to speed, I get impatient, and I’ve been known to look over the wrong shoulder. There are several reasons why I have no problem confessing to my below-average status:
- I know worse drivers.
- No one can be great at everything.
- Somebody has to be.
That last point may be confusing. Mathematically, an average is basically the middle value of a group of numbers. The only time you can have a group of numbers where all the values are equal to the average is when the group is composed of the same number multiple times.
This is getting awkward.
When we think of average as an adjective, it generically means typical, common, or ordinary. However, to have any of those you must also have everything else from amazingly horrid to absolutely fantastical. The extremes define the typical. So, to have average drivers you need below-average drivers as well as excellent drivers.
Owning Being Below Average
There is nothing inherently wrong with being below average in a certain skill set. The thing is to own it. I own being a below-average driver.
Here’s the thing, most people can improve their skills at most things. I could become a better driver; I choose not to worry about it. If only my car is showing damage, I’m good.
Similarly, I have certain physical limitations – like being short – that can hinder what I want to do. Without serious surgical intervention, I cannot become taller; however, I train and condition myself to improve my physicality so that I can work around being short.
If, in owning being below average, you decide that you want to be better, figure out what it will take to be better. If you choose to do the work, your skills will improve.
The other thing you can do when you own how bad you are at something is to be OK with it. If you don’t need it to live, it is OK to spend your energy on the skills you are good at or on the skills you enjoy and want to improve.
Options for the Below Average
OK, you own that you are below average at something. If the skill set is not required for life and you are OK with being below average, now what?
There are options.
- Keep doing what you’re doing. This is me and driving. As long as it does not negatively impact (pun intended) others, my driving is good enough. And, I do have the presence of mind to be more cautious when certain people are in the car with me or if I’m in unfamiliar territory or circumstances.
- Stop doing what you’re doing. If you are below average at juggling knives and you are not interested in improving that skill, I suggest you stop juggling knives.
- Outsource it. Remember, there are people out there better than average to balance you out because that’s how average works. Do what you do well, let someone else do what they do well for you.
– Lorrie Nicoles