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Accepting mediocrity

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I was a bright guy when I was young. Despite being born with a facial deformity I was never bullied. I constantly got praise from people around me, not only for being smart but having a high sense of morality and compassion. I felt like I was on a path to greatness. That I'd be in a position of leadership someday. That I somehow was a bit more "special" (can you taste the narcissism yet?) than others. And with all that positive feedback came a sense of high expectations of myself.

All that crumbled as I became an adult. I couldn't finish whatever schools I was attending. I couldn't keep a steady job. Despite getting feedback that I was doing good and smart I just could never accomplish what I set out to do. When I saw people around me forming relationships, having kids, getting a higher education and get good jobs I just felt like I was a misunderstood genius somehow. Like that I could do whatever everyone else was doing if I really wanted to.

Well it didn't really pan out well and during a stay at a psychiatric hospital I had an IQ test done by a psychology intern. And I scored average. AVERAGE! I can't express how bad I felt about that. I'd rather be doing poorly or amazing. But average?!? That really hurt. Since then I have tried to accept it. That I'm not some smart superhuman simply too complicated to grasp for people. That I can't do anything if only I "put my mind to it". But I can't.

I can't do much. While my cognitive abilities is decent I suffer from so many other flaws in various areas that even feeling mediocre is a stretch. And I feel so bad about it. That's deeply narcissistic and feeds the shame in me. I really have problems making my ideal self-image and reality mesh together. And it's annoying to say the least to have this concept of myself as better than I really am when reality keeps telling me that's not the case.
Hello! Don't worry - you don't have to tell anyone that you scored 'average' on that test ;)

Have you ever seen this video from the School of Life about not being exceptional:

It's so hard to grapple with not being as wonderful as we had hoped to be. There is a fine line between being a narc and a perfectionist, so I wouldnt worry too much about the semantics of it.

Legate Lanius

Well-Known Member
Yeah, same. Constantly feel smarter than I am (around average), just try to remind yourself of the fact that you're not a genius and that'll take some weight off of your shoulders. I used to think that I couldn't get through college because I was too smart (lmfao), but it's of course not true. Some people have to work manual labor or be unemployed because they have average intelligence and a lot of autistic traits combined, that's fine.
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