Questions 33 & 34
BO - Being Outstanding
Being Outstanding is a maladjusted coping mode in which a person feels that it is critical to be exceptional. The high expectations are meant to drive the person towards excellence; however they ironically impair performance by becoming oppressive and generating anxiety. In this coping mode being average is misguidedly deemed insufficient. Thus we may conclude that this maladjusted coping mode forms as a compensation from the fear of being inadequate or inferior.
A distinction needs to be made between adaptive ambition and Being Outstanding. Adaptive ambition forms as a preference rather than an imperative—a must. Failure to reach excellence is more tolerable in adaptive ambition. In adaptive ambition there is a greater sense of ease even though the effort made may be extraordinary. This is because there is no threat of feeling inferior if the goal is not fully reached.
The maladjusted mode is measurably more rigid. The person is habitually grandiose and unconsciously afraid of toppling from the lofty status. Being Outstanding is something that is to be proved. The practitioner presumes that he or she is already outstanding from the start. Thus, they form high expectations and rigid rules about success.
People who rely on this coping mode may argue that the high expectations are noble and motivating: “Who wants to be mediocre?” The distortion in the perception is that average people don’t do great things. There is a disdain for the idea of being an average human being. Certainly the person who practices Being Outstanding is judgmental; however they may be harder on themselves than on others they care about. Sometimes irritability accompanies the anxiety. One can feel underestimated. There may be an emotional seesaw between triumph and despair.
The practitioner of this mode thinks: If I prove that I am exceptional, then I will be OK. But, if I do not prove that I am exceptional then I am not OK. Not being OK is being inferior.
The cost of using this mechanism can be high for some. The fear of failure can result in despair and withdrawal. In other words the person can surrender to the underlying inferiority complex and enter behaviors like chronic alcohol use or associating with disreputable people.
Healing comes with self-acceptance and the revelation of the abundant blessings given to us all.
Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:
This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:
This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows: