By Chace Saumell

I’ve never felt very comfortable with mediocrity. To some people this may come across as being conceited, but trust me, in my heart of hearts I am not conceited at all. As a matter of fact, I have a pretty low self image because I’m what you call a perfectionist.

I constantly compare the behind the scenes footage of my life to everyone else’s highlight reel.  So I push myself extremely hard in all things.

Sounds like a good quality to have right? Always pushing to be the best? Well sure, it has its ups. But trust me; it also has its downs. I push myself to failure and then I spend extraordinary amounts of time kicking myself for it. I push myself to sickness. I train so hard that I push myself to injury. I push people out of my life. I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold anyone else to. I refuse to accept anything but the best from myself and if I have to do everything for everyone so that I know that everything is perfect, then so be it.

I’ve had lots of counseling. Lots and lots of counseling and they all say the same thing: I have control issues.

Well thank you Captain Obvious. I’m so glad I paid thousands of dollars for that.

There are many reasons behind this that I’m not going to get into right now, but it is definitely something that I have to work on.

Refusing to be average has cost me so much: Time with my kids and other people that I love, my health, sleep, relationships, self worth.

It also tends to rob me of a lot of joy and causes me mounds of frustration.

There are good sides to it though.

I work really hard. My kids are taken care of. I excel at many things and I learn to do a variety of things that I never would be able to do otherwise. People know they can count on me. I win a lot. Actually, I refuse to lose.  I learn quickly. I push myself to be better and do better and work harder. I’ve always felt like people can do far more than they ever imagined if they push themselves past their comfort zones.  But most of us are content with being average, content with living in obscurity.

I’ve always felt like I wanted to do something that mattered. Something that people would remember me by. That’s why I’ve always pushed myself past what I thought was possible.

It wasn’t until recently that I started seeing what it was costing me.

It’s really quite an enigma to live your life this way, because as the old saying goes, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”. So here I am trying to make everything perfect and then something comes along and messes it all up and I have to start over again.

It makes you good at juggling, but it also makes you a constant ball of frustration.

So from now on, I’m going to try to work harder on embracing the good parts of refusing to be average but also trying to balance it with reality. Because truth be told, I really never ever want to be considered average or mediocre at anything in any way. And sometimes when you push yourself past what you think you’re capable of, you will be amazed at what can happen.

But I’m also grateful for all of the unexpected twists and turns my life has taken throughout the years. I’d like very much to embrace all the good things that happen to me when it seems I’ve failed. Because as it turns out, none of my failures have ever been fatal and the only time I’ve really ever learned anything is through my mistakes.

I’m happy with where I have ended up even though I fought it every step of the way.

I guess God knows best after all.


Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.


  1. Thank you everyone for your replies.
    I appreciate the feedback.
    Jennifer you are right. I am learning all these lessons every day.


  2. Thanks for sharing that Chace. I bet a lot of women can relate to that story. I used to feel the same way. Very low self esteem. I had a lot of self hatred because I compared myself to others. I was miserable for years. I took counseling as well. It didn’t make me happy, but it made understand why I had the issues I’ve been having. The ups & downs made me so frustrated to a point I stopped working. I stopped talking to my family. I just wanted to lay in bed & hide my face because the world around me was so overwhelming & I felt like I was not living up to my expectations. That was only because my expectations were to high. The best advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to lose. Humans are the most imperfect species on earth & although you may think people are better than you, that’s just not true. We are equal. We all have the same fears & failures. No one wins all the time. It’s impossible. Happiness starts from within. I’ve learned I can’t love life unless I love myself. Expect nothing & praise everything. That means expect nothing out of life & when someone tears you down or something bad happens, praise them, praise the situation. There is good in everything & learning is winning everytime. If you praise you can only get praise back. Another way that helps me through the hard times is to know that life isn’t happening TO me. It’s happening for me. It’s up to me to expect nothing from any situation & really disect what life is giving me & why? If I hurt my knee right before a tournament…. That happened for me. Because everything happens for a reason & there was probably a reason I shouldn’t have competed. Maybe I would have lost & losing wasn’t supposed to happen to me at the moment. So instead of being upset about my injury I take it as it happened for me. Because life happens, life is what you make it, and the only road to happiness lies within. Throw your expectations out the window & don’t let “losing” bring down your self worth because although you see a lot of winning around you. There is also losing involved. You can’t win without losing. Keep pushing forward & never give up on yourself. We are all capable of great things, but to be great means to be vulnerable to losing. Hope you can take something from this. Its dear to my heart because I was you & I know it can get better. It just takes a little practice & practice makes permanent 🙂


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