One of my favorite bloggers posted “the four horsemen of mediocrity”. He called them deniability, helplessness, contempt and fear. Seth Godin is a brilliant marketing guy so he penned the horsemen from a business perspective which was perfect. But as I printed them to keep for my own continued reference, one thought immediately came to mind – these “horsemen” are not just about business, quite often actually, one finds them when faced with a breakup. You’re in this seemingly relationship, happy and probably thinking “future”. Suddenly, and perhaps out of nowhere, you breakup. You, my friend, are now in that twelve-step program or seven stages thing or in this case facing the four horsemen.
Denial. "I did everything I could to make the relationship work." You blame them. They decided it was over. They created the problem between you. They commanded the breakup. It wasn’t my fault. From there one moves to helplessness: they just won’t listen. They won’t let me make them understand how good I am for them. It's a sense of loss and little understanding. Eventually, one moves to contempt - for the other person and even for love itself. They weren’t good enough for me; I wont settle. Is there really someone out there that deserves all I have to give? It’s a mixture really of contempt and self-pity, which let’s face it, leads one directly into fear. Fear of putting oneself back out there; fear of being in love and hurt all over again; fear of being alone.
Now I know what you’re thinking – what does this really have to do with mediocrity? Everything. Truth is, when you face a breakup, whether you believe it or not, it is ultimately for the best. You weren’t meant to be together and there are always telltale signs. Our problem is that we deny them. We know they are there but feel helpless to do anything about them. We have contempt for them and honestly fear them. Just like the horsemen we face once the breakup happens, they are present in the dysfunction that is the mediocre relationship. So you see, it isn’t just that they translate to business; they translate to life and relationships. For who among us hasn’t lay awake at night trying helplessly to deny the contempt we feel for the other person and fear of breaking up. Who among us hasn't tried to figure out the best way to survive in a mediocre relationship?
Referenced Blog: Seth Godin - "the four horsemen of mediocrity"