7 Reasons Why You Fail to be Extraordinary


Life isn’t easy. We all know that. It has a way of kicking us in the teeth when we’re smiling. But sometimes we’re too easy on ourselves. Sometimes we need to hear the hard and ugly truth of why our lives are stagnant and unproductive.

Sometimes we need to be brutally honest with ourselves as to why we aren’t doing anything amazing with our lives. I’m not talking about things that we can’t control, like what socioeconomic class we were born into, or what 1st 2nd or 3rd world country we were born in.


I’m talking about the things that we can control, like our overall attitude toward life, and our sense of motivation.

Here, then, are seven reasons why you may be failing to be extraordinary.

1) Because you’re afraid of failing

“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” ~ Helen Keller

Ironic, isn’t it? That number one on this list of failing to be extraordinary is that you’re afraid of failure. It’s true though. Why is this? Because when you’re afraid of failing you never truly begin.

When you’re worried about how well you’re going to do something that you’ve never done before, you tend to not try at all because it is so daunting a task to begin with. But there is a way to flip the tables on this psychological dynamic: make the goal to fail as fast as possible and then learn from your mistakes.

Keep doing it over and over again. With enough practice you will be able to fall flat on your face and jump back to your feet without even blinking. And the next time you try, you will be that much stronger and wiser.

You may fail again, but so what. Keep repeating the cycle, over and over. Bite off more than you can chew, and then learn why and how it was more than you could chew. Then go back and bite off some more. With enough courage and determination, you might just have the capacity to become extraordinary.

2) Because you’re too busy being obedient

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” ~ Aldous Huxley

Because you don’t question authority nearly enough, which should be always. Because you are too busy sitting on your ass taking orders like a good little armchair quarterback to do anything worthwhile with your life.

Get out of that La-Z-Boy chair and question what you’re being told: by the TV, by news, by your parents, by teachers, by your chain of command, even by me and this article.

And especially question yourself. Question your internal authority figure to its absolute roots, and then question those roots until all that’s left is a pile of unanswerable questions. Then you’ll finally be getting somewhere.

What if it’s all a lie? How many extraordinary people do you think became extraordinary by following the crowd, or by obeying obsolete orders, or by fawning to parochial commands? That’s right, zero! Rise up! Become a freedom unto yourself. Then, you might just have the capacity to do something extraordinary with your life.

3) Because you lack imagination

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” ~ Bertolt Brecht

This is a big one. Most of us are so entranced by the “way things are” and so dumbed-down by corporate media and intrusive advertising that our imaginations have been dulled-down to almost nil. Nobody does anything amazing with their lives without being imaginative and creative.

Nobody! Doing something extraordinary requires extraordinary thinking. It requires, not only thinking outside the box, but demolishing the box and then creating something new out of the destruction.

It requires shattering mental paradigms and then sticking the shattered pieces back together in a way that makes people’s jaws drop to the floor. It requires pushing envelopes until your fingers are bleeding from so many paper cuts that you’re able to use the blood to write “Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed” (Banksy) on the plate glass window.

Wake up! Use the key of your imagination to unlock the Creative Gatekeeper’s door, and then you might discover the capacity to do something amazing with your life.

4) Because you worry too much about what others think

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein

Do you think Einstein gave two blue shits what the scientific status quo thought about him? What about Jesus? Do you think he was worried about what the Jewish orthodoxy thought about his unorthodox, rebel-rousing philosophy?

Or Martin Luther King Jr., do you think he cared what people thought about his going to jail 40 different times for social justice? What about Gandhi? What about Thoreau? What about Edward Snowden and Malala Yousafzai?

They didn’t worry too much about what people thought about them, they just worried enough to get the job done. And so should you. Pull your head out of the status quo noose. Part the raging sea of their negativity like Moses parting the Red Sea. If you can do that, then you might gain the capacity to accomplish something extraordinary.

5) Because you’re letting cognitive dissonance get the best of you

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Your worldview is a terribly precious thing. You’re like Shmegol from Lord of the Rings, clinging to it like a deranged immature child. Cognitive dissonance is a peculiar psychological predicament that is also a double-edged sword.

On the one side it keeps you safe and secure in your perception of reality. On the other hand it prevents you from accepting a new worldview that may be healthier than the one you’ve been clinging to.

But, in order to become someone who has the ability to achieve greatness you have to be able to maintain a precarious balancing act between the two sides, pushing yourself to empathize with other people’s worldview, while also trying to stretch your own worldview like one would stretch a comfort zone, all without going crazy along the way.

It’s tricky, and there are cognitive biases galore. But if you can master your cognitive dissonance, or at least become aware of how it affects your perception, you might yet gain the capacity to do something amazing.


6) Because you don’t read enough

“You want weapons? Go to a library. Books are the best weapons in the world.” ~ Doctor Who

This is another big one. The only way you can penetrate the minds of those extraordinary souls who came before you is to read. Reading a book by an amazing author is like standing on the shoulders of giants and seeing even further than they did.

If you have only ever read one book, and you refuse to read anything else that might stretch your mind, then you doom yourself to ignorance and one-right-way thinking that will prevent you from ever being able to do something amazing with your life.

Don’t let this happen to you. Go to the bookstore, buy a cup of coffee, grab two or three books off the shelf, curl up into a comfy chair, and lose yourself in the mind of another person. See the world from their unique perspective.

It will help you become more emphatic and compassionate, while also helping you with cognitive dissonance. Don’t let yourself become a victim of the now common cliche: you can lead a horse too water, but you can’t make him drink.


7) Because you worry too much about money

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” ~ Confucius

This is probably the biggest blocker to your greatness that there is. You want to know why your life is stagnant and not going anywhere? Because you have devoted yourself to a daily grind that does nothing more than pay for crap that you don’t need, while keeping you helplessly dependent upon an unsustainable system.

You’re a wage-slave, nothing more. You’re a corporate cog, grinding your life away so that some boss, CEO, or master can sit on his fat-ass and eat caviar out of a million-dollar dish while you’re using food stamps to buy almost-expired bread made by Monsanto.

Worrying about money is your jail cell. Worrying about paying next month’s rent is the psycho-social snare dragging you from month to month, year to year, decade to decade, until you’re lying on your death bed wondering what happened to your life, asking yourself, “Why didn’t I travel more? Why didn’t I read more? Why didn’t I paint more? Why didn’t I write more poetry? Why didn’t I take more risks? Why did I listen to everybody else about how I should live my life? Why wasn’t I able to do something amazing with my life?” And the only answer you can come up with is: because I was too worried about making money.

Image Source:

Jefferson quote
Question authority
Read instead
Need more money

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get the latest updates straight in your inbox!

Please share, it really helps! :) <3


Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I saw the first comment mentioning about parents and I have the same problem somehow. My parents are trying to decide for me and whenever I talk about what I really want, they don’t understand me and bring up past mistakes that I did because I didn’t listen to their advices and think that I am disrespecting them. I know that you this is too personal but it’s a good example of people thinking too much nowadays about money, my current problem is that I am studying something that I don’t have any interest in and they won’t support me… Read more »


Nice article. thank you, Points well taken. And I will strive to put some of these things into action!


Thank you

Citizen Pariah

I agree with your points but we can’t get rid of fear wholesale. We can overcome illusory fears through experience and take calculated risks. Some fear is required for our growth as well, this is what helps us survive. I think listening to intuition is the most valuable thing anyone can do. Intuition is the most powerful asset we have even when young and relatively inexperienced. It does take discipline to listen to it. I don’t ever feel like a victim, and meditation has made the difference toward this realization. Thanks


any good books to recommend ??

Latest for Members

You May Like

Embracing All the Moon Cycle Phases: Rituals to Connect with Our Inner Alchemy

“Our cycles ensure that we do not live static lives. Instead they demand that we live dynamically, constantly exploring the different gifts of feminine...

Seeing Infinity: Using Fractals for Self Awareness

“In the mind’s eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity.” ~ James Gleick How is a fractal a way of seeing infinity? Well,...

The Middle Path: Life in Balance and How to Balance Yours

Have you spent time ever pondering about what the meaning of life is? What about the kind of life we're living? Robin Hill Sr....

Psychonaut : 7 Signs You May Be One

"An explorer of one's own mind. A psychonaut often embarks on inner voyages with the aid of psychoactive substances, meditation, sensory deprivation, binaural beats,...

Sacred Catastrophe : The Power of Initiation

“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.” ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel Things fall...

The Power of Intuition and 5 Easy Ways to Tune in

“Intuition is perception via the unconscious that brings forth ideas, images, new possibilities and ways out of blocked situations.” ~ Carl Jung Let’s take a...

For Members

Channeling the Dark Side: The Secret to Getting into The Zone

“Bottom line: if you want success of any kind, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” ~ Tim S. Grover Everyone has a dark side....

The Psychology of Divergence, Part One

"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." ~ Frank Zappa Divergent was a best-selling novel by Veronica Roth that was turned into an action...

Interpreting the Native American Medicine Wheel

The Native American medicine wheel is a universal symbol used in many native tribes. Its meaning is versatile, depending on the tribe and personal...

7 Thought Experiments by Albert Einstein that will Blow your Mind

"Einstein believed: that A reality exists independent of our ability to observe it. That objects are located at distinct points in spacetime and have...

Celebrating Love and Unity with the Handfasting Ceremony

Back in October, my partner and I celebrated a year of marriage by holding a handfasting ceremony. It was a small and intimate celebration...

The Middle Path: Life in Balance and How to Balance Yours

Have you spent time ever pondering about what the meaning of life is? What about the kind of life we're living? Robin Hill Sr....

3 Darker Fairytales and their Message, Depending on Where You are in Your Journey

'Dr. estes collects the bones of many stories, looking for the archetypal motifs that set a woman's inner life into motion'Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women...

Understanding the Cyclic Patterns of Our Existence According to Rudolf Steiner – Part 2

The Sixth Cycle Ages 35 to 42: A Time of Challenge and Crises If I believe that I am what this world makes of me,...

Spider Medicine: The Magic Elixir of Storytelling

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of...

Failure as a Conduit to Fearlessness

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get...

Embracing Vicissitude: On Greater and Lesser Pains

"We don't so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems."...

7 Ways to Heal the Crown Chakra

“The crown chakra is located several inches above the head, but it is not connected. The crown chakra, also known as the thousand-petal lotus...