So you think you’re special? Well … maybe …

Many people were raised to believe they’re “special” and wind up realizing they’re just average. That’s a good thing, because now they can learn what’s required to truly excel in the real world, Onboardly co-founder Heather Anne Carson writes. Her suggestions for a reality check:

Recognize compliments for what they are. Friends and family like being friendly and won’t say you did a terrible job. Instead, ask strangers for an honest opinion, or take a hard look at yourself.

Stop trying to make your career fun. Work is work. It’s hard, it’s sweaty, it’s disappointing at times. It’s also worth it.

Execution and persistence make you special. Lots of people have great ideas. Very few follow through. Even fewer keep going when obstacles emerge.

— Adapted from “A Wake-Up Call: Why You’re Just Mediocre and What to Do About It,” Heather Anne Carson, Brazen Careerist’s Brazen Life blog.