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The 4 Steps to Becoming Extraordinary

If you ask 10 people if they’re smarter than average, 9 of them will say yes. But the truth is that only 4 of them actually are. 

The same thing happens when you ask 10 people if they have above-average looks. 

Or above-average driving skills.

You name it. It happens no matter what you ask. 

This tendency to overestimate our abilities is a well-known phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. And when you understand this, you’ll understand why most people will remain average AND how you can beat the Law of Averages in your life.

Because here’s the thing: you don’t have to settle for average when you know HOW to take action to break through any limits on your abilities to make more money, have a greater impact on others and just feel more fulfilled with your life… 

Becoming extraordinary.  

Continue reading or watch the video above for HOW you can beat the Law of Averages… leading to a life beyond what you ever imagined.   

Letting Go is Your First Step to Becoming Extraordinary

What can you LET GO of right now that’ll free up the time and energy you need to focus on becoming extraordinary? 

There are some areas in my life where I’m above average…

On top of this list is business and entrepreneurship. I’ve got this high-seven-figure business where I’ve already helped turn over 10,000 everyday entrepreneurs into online superheroes.

I know how to think, how to create and how to get things done. 

These are the areas where I’m extraordinary. 

But there are a lot of areas where — if I were to be really honest — I’m below average… you might even say I suck. 

I’m terrible at organizing. 

I stink at finances. 

I suck at managing people. 

I’m not great at learning new languages. 

I can’t recognize tones to save my life.

And for the longest time, I wanted to be this modern-day Renaissance woman, this Jill of all trades, this person who could have it all and do it all. And I thought these things were blind spots in my life that were holding me back. Things that I could — and should — improve on. 

But I was wrong

I was focused on my weaknesses instead of my strengths. 

Can you relate? 

But as I got busier and more successful in business, I realized that I didn’t have the time to be good at everything… and focusing on trying to get better at the things I absolutely suck at was draining my energy. 

It was time to let go and admit defeat. 

I was never going to be a musician or learn to speak five languages. My house will never look perfectly organized. I will never look perfectly coiffed and polished. 

And that’s okay. Because I’m really good at the things that I’m really good at. 

And those are the things that have transformed my life and business. 

The lesson here is that you need to pick and choose where you want to be extraordinary — based on your strengths. 

YOU CAN’T be successful trying to cultivate and build a life based on your weaknesses or you’ll always feel like you’re swimming against the current. 

It’s time to let go.

Be willing to be average (or even below average) in some areas of your life so you can reach extraordinary in the areas that count. 

Be Extraordinary No Matter Your Circumstances

After you’ve let go and chosen WHAT you want to become extraordinary at, it’s time to skip over one of the biggest hurdles people face…

The belief that your circumstances will prevent you from achieving the success you desire.

No matter who you are, how you were raised, what your current circumstances are, I believe that extraordinary is a choice. 

You see people who are extraordinary in all kinds of situations that are extremely difficult. 

I just watched the movie Rising Phoenix about the Paralympics — and I was in tears almost the entire time.

If you’ve ever find yourself saying “I can’t” or “I’m not enough,” I highly recommend watching that film and being inspired by people who had every reason in the world to utter those words, but choose not to.

One of the most affecting stories was about Italian wheelchair fencer Bebe Vio. When she was just 11 years old, she contracted Meningitis, and in order to save her life, doctors had to amputate her legs at the knee and her forearms. If you’ve ever watched fencing, you know how incredibly precise you have to be with each and every movement. 

But she refused to back down… refused to give up on her dream. And just two years later, she competed in her first wheelchair fencing competition. Now, she’s the 2016 and 2020 Paralympic champion. Incredible.

I hope you can see that it’s not about where you came from… it’s about where you’re going.

It’s the everyday choices that become life-changers. 

And the truth is that there’s at least one thing — if not a whole bunch of things — that you can be really awesome at. 

The secret is to choose the things that you want to focus on cultivating. It doesn’t need to be something world-changing, like becoming a Paralympian.

It can be something like being an awesome pastry chef. Or a high-converting copywriter. Or [you fill in the blank with WHAT you want to be]. 

Remember the Dunning-Kruger effect from earlier? 

It also works in reverse. 

People at all levels of performance — including the excellent level — are equally bad at estimating their performance relative to other people. So that means when you’re awesome at something, you actually don’t know HOW awesome you are. 

That’s good news. 

Because there are probably things you’re already awesome at. But because they come so easily to you, so naturally, you don’t even realize it.  

If something is so easy, how could it matter, right? 

The reason why this Dunning-Kruger effect works both ways is based on what’s commonly known as the Four Stages of Competence. 

  1. Unconscious Incompetence: Everyone starts here. This is where you don’t even realize that you’re incompetent, because you don’t know what you don’t know. But as you learn and grow, this Stage gives way to…
  2. Conscious Incompetence: This is where you now know enough to be aware of how have the understanding to realize how incompetent you are. Because this is such a challenging Stage, many people get stuck here. But when you persevere, this Stage gives way to…
  3. Conscious Competence: This is where you’ve gained some skills and ability, but it still takes effort for you. But when you keep growing and evolving, this Stage gives way to… you have to make an effort and try in order to be good at something. Which gives way through mastery, through excellence, through extraordinariness to… 
  4. Unconscious Competence: This is where you have excellence or even mastery. Where you may even be extraordinary.

And when you’re in Unconscious Competence, it feels like a total state of flow where you’re living (and giving) in your genius zone.

You feel alive. Time ceases to exist.  

You’re in the moment creating something new. You’re just doing it and not having to think about it. 

It’s so effortless that you don’t even realize how awesome you are.

The key to being extraordinary and living in your genius zone is to know where you want to be extraordinary. And at the same time, where you’ll be happy to remain average — or even below average. 

And then focusing in a way that aligns with your strengths, rather than dragging your weaknesses along. 

Because the truth is you only have so many hours in a day. And you only have so much “disposable energy” to devote to growing and improving your life. You need to choose wisely and make the most of it.

Start on Your Path to Extraordinary

After you let go of what you suck at (step 1) and chosen where you want to be extraordinary (step 2), you now have to accept your starting point in that area (step 3).  

Don’t become stuck before you even start.

Because the truth is that you might be average right now, so getting to extraordinary looks like a steep and treacherous path. 

You can’t just leap to the top of the staircase overnight. 

Accept where you’re at and embrace it. 

Know that this is an area you may not have cultivated… yet.  

Let’s say you’ve started dabbling in writing copy that moves mountains for your business. And maybe you’re just an average copywriter right now, but you feel like you could eventually be awesome. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can’t get there because you currently don’t have the expertise. 

The only way to be good at something is to lean into it and develop it.

Practice makes perfect, right? 

Bebe Vio didn’t give up on becoming a world-class fencer despite the incredible challenges she faced. She got up each and every day and put in the work.

You have to start somewhere on your journey to extraordinary. 

Embrace where you’re at right now. 

Be Willing to Suck

You’ve determined what you want to be extraordinary at – and let go of what you can’t.

Accepted your starting point.

Now comes one of the hardest parts of this process…

Step 3: You’ve got to be willing to suck

You need to understand that there’s a learning curve. You’ll hit a plateau and sometimes that plateau can last a very long time before you see another growth period on your path to extraordinary… 

And you’ll want to give up before you get there. 


By pushing through the challenging parts — and getting past the plateaus — you CAN get to extraordinary… 

Think of it like someone’s weight loss journey. In the beginning, they go all out — they eliminate sugar, add leafy vegetables, exercise 5 days a week and the weight just seems to melt off. 

But then what happens? Their progress slows… and then stops. 

They’re doing ALL the same things… but no longer getting the results they desire. At this point, many people get discouraged, give up and go back to their old habits. 

The weight comes back on and the cycle repeats.

It’s the same thing when it comes to iterating your way to extraordinary. 

If you don’t make it past the plateaus, you won’t get to your next period of growth. 

Keep practicing, follow through on your intention, and when you’re tempted to give up, know that you’re about to reach gold. 

Persist and persevere beyond the plateaus, beyond the moment when it’s so challenging you want to give up. 

Because when you feel challenged and stretched, it means you’re growing and creating these new neural pathways in your brain. 

While those pathways take time to create, they become stronger and stronger the more you use them. 

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

You’ve let go, decided on WHAT you want to be extraordinary at, accepted your starting point and realized that you have to be willing to suck… 

Don’t stop here.

The final step to becoming extraordinary is to get out of your comfort zone… every single day.

Because the biggest periods of growth happen when you’re precisely 4% beyond your level of skill and expertise. 

When you challenge yourself every single day — by at least 4% — you can rapidly accelerate your skillset… beyond what you thought possible

Imagine sitting down at your desk and every single day doing something that’s 4% beyond your current level of skill… 

In a matter of 10 days, you’ll grow your skill level by 40%. 

And in 100 days? By 400%. 

1,000 days? That’s a 4,000% growth. 

This is why so many world records have been broken in the last decade. 

Athletes from around the world now know what it takes to get into the flow channel and challenge themselves every single day, no matter the obstacles. 

how to get in the excellence zone

It’s the same for you. 

Commit to challenging yourself EVERY DAY and you can get to “extraordinary” faster than you ever imagined. 

What Will You Become Extraordinary at in 2022? 

This is the path you need to follow to become extraordinary at WHAT will be truly life-transforming for you: 

Step 1: Identify what you want to be awesome at and let go of the things you suck at.

Step 2: Accept your starting point. 

Step 3: Be willing to suck, because remember, you have to hit those plateaus to hit those areas of growth. 

Step 4: And then, get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself 4% every single day. 

What are you waiting for?

What are you going to be extraordinary at in 2022? Let me know in the comments! You’ve got this!


Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Renia Tyminski Avatar
    Renia Tyminski

    Leveraging the collective synergies of partnerships and collaborations with a diverse group of highly focussed individuals dedicated to language and leadership education.

    1. Shannon Goodell Avatar
      Shannon Goodell

      That’s interesting, Renia. Yes, leveraging partnerships and collaborations is such a hugely and mutually beneficial endeavor. Here’s to making 2022 your best year yet!

  2. Ian McCall Avatar
    Ian McCall

    Thanks Marisa,
    I needed that!
    I’m 78 yrs old in February, having retired just 7 months ago. Wishing to continue in the e-commerce field and combine that with with experience and ability in public speaking I had a website set up to speaking courses.
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    Your article came just in time to free me of any hesitance and concentrate on what I’m brilliant at.
    Thanks again.

    1. Shannon Goodell Avatar
      Shannon Goodell

      Hi Ian, hearing that Marisa’s article had such a profound impact on you made our day. Yes, letting go of what you’re not good at so you can fully concentrate on what you are is one of the hardest parts of this process. So taking this first step is huge. Congrats! Here’s to making 2022 your best year yet. Best — Shannon

  3. Hank Progar Avatar
    Hank Progar

    Awesome and authentic motivational information, Marisa

  4. Achu ngwa Avatar
    Achu ngwa

    I believe step 1 and 2 are my portion to be that is “Identify what I want to be awesome at and let go of the things I suck at’ and also “to accept my starting point.

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