The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TRICK OR TREAT – Do YOU Hide Behind a Mask of Mediocrity?

People are sometimes “marginally competent” when their benchmark is the work and results of others rather than the goals and expectations they establish for themselves.  People living a life of “good enough” or “better than another” usually meet their minimum expectations but do not excel in what they do – often disappointing themselves as much as they do those depending upon them.  Unfortunately, many individuals hide behind a mask of mediocrity by trying to be better than others (or have more than someone else, or do something faster than another) because our society has come to rewards efforts rather than results – to praise “beginnings” rather than recognizing successful  “ends.”  In order to realize our full potential we must discard the masks we wear to hide our insecurities, apprehensions and fears of being “different” so that others can accept us for who we are (rather than for what we think they might wish us to become).
 
People are often identified as being capable of “growing into” something they have not yet become, accepting the recognition of potential as being the end of a journey rather than the beginning of a new adventure.  Unless an individual is given time to develop (and tools to help them succeed), they are often incapable of transforming their current reality into a potential future state.  Until we recognize what we wish to become (through our own individual efforts) we will be nothing more than an empty vessel hiding behind the mask of another’s expectations.  When we cover-up our deficiencies by adding others into a “performance mix” for comparative purposes, our justifications mask our role of “pretender.”   We shift the responsibility for results onto the overburdened shoulders of achievers – competent individuals who WILL seek recognition elsewhere for their contributions if is not fully and freely provided within their current world.
 
Whenever we avoid competency issues rather than resolving them, we “mask” our problems without eliminating them.  We reward effort and intent but compromise our expectations for positive results each time
we accept a “mask of good intentions” rather than looking behind it to see what talent (and desire) truly exists.  We may accept children hiding behind masks and costumes knocking on our doors calling out “Trick or Treat” but should not allow ourselves to live within a world that encourages and rewards similar efforts without accomplishments or results.  When we portray ourselves to be something we are not, we may be able to fool those freely distributing meaningless rewards but will not be able to transform our lives into what they could be until we learn our lessons from failure – until we leap forward after falling back.  When we accept others at “face value” without investing anything into them, we can expect to receive back what we have invested – nothing of value.
 
Children hide behind a variety of masks at Halloween while seeking treats in an effort to camouflage their identities from those around them.  Acceptable child-like behavior, however, should not set the course we find ourselves following.  If we consciously and intentionally seek to become something not yet realized or achieved – to become what we WISH to be rather than being what others might accept as being acceptable – we will celebrate true success.  Unlimited possibilities abound when reality is set free as extraordinary investment ALWAYS provides an exceptional return.
 
Do not give yourself the choice to accept mediocrity in life – expect “treats” rather than “tricks” by seeking the tools and support necessary for them to become a reality.  Acknowledge, accept and reveal yourself to those around you – refusing to accept anything less than your all or reaching lower than the sky.  You can achieve your full potential ONLY when you remove the mask (that is so tempting to hide behind) and quit pretending to be something you are not.  Then, and only then, will you be able to bring to fruition all that you could be – to realize the dream of an unrestricted, uninhibited and unmasked future as you move from “pretender” to “contender” within this race we call life.