Over Rated Mediocrity

Over Rated Mediocrity by Dawn Bates

Whether it is a competition, a restaurant review or feedback on our businesses, reviews and feedback are all part and parcel of the growth journey to greatness.

Those of us with a growth mindset look forward to receiving feedback and reviews, no matter the rating we get.

Why? Because it gives us an insight into our perceived weaknesses, and those we are looking to serve in the future.

Product developers and service providers who get angry, nasty or defensive when they receive feedback or a rating they deem as unfair or unjust, are unlikely to succeed beyond a certain point due to the wounded child within them wanting approval at every turn.

Operating from a place of unworthiness on one end of the spectrum to narcissism on the other, it is often difficult for these people to see why they have received the ratings they have based on another person’s criteria.

Rating criteria comes in many forms, and people like myself never give more than a nine out of ten, or a four out of five because I know there is always room for growth.

I am also a person who does not tip waiting staff in restaurants unless their level of service is over and above what their job expects of them.

If you only do the basics of your job, and get rewarded for it, you become complacent and do not strive for greatness.

During the time of my first business, many years ago, I received a review of three out of five. I was really grateful because the man had given me some really great feedback. I called him and thanked him for his insights and asked him what he thought of my ideas for implementing the changes he had suggested.

About a month later, I started to receive new enquiries and orders from people who had heard about me from a specific magazine article. I searched through my mind and was absolutely sure I had not placed an advert or been interviewed for this particular publication.

It turned out that the man who had given me the three out of five had been so impressed with the way I had handled his feedback and set about implementing changes, he had mentioned me in an article and highly recommended people work with me.

A mediocre rating turned into big business, simply because I was grateful for insights and got curious about how to become a better businesswoman and service provider.

This experience early on in my business career formed a strong foundation and pursuit for excellence through gratitude and curiosity, rather than operating from a space of approval and an overinflated ego.

Having grown up with a mother who told me “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” I have always remembered this balance when giving feedback to others.

Studying cultural diversity and communication, and understanding how various cultures around the world like to receive feedback, I have always done my best to provide a balanced view of what various hotels, restaurants and businesses have done well, as well as where they could improve.

I haven’t always got it right, and nor will I get it right all the time. It would be ridiculous for me to expect it of myself, but honest reviews I always give, even if they are not what the business owner wants to hear.


Because to give an overrated review to prevent others from being offended, stops them from becoming the best they can be and allows for mediocrity and others being subjected to sub-standard service and products.

I recently wrote a review of a guest house I stayed at here in Brasil. I had been giving them feedback throughout my stay, and had told them I was going to write a review either in my up-and-coming series of books ‘The Mermaid’s Guides’ or in the various publications I write for.

Having been a hotel manager and head chef in a ‘previous life’ and my experience of staying in 1000’s of different hotels, hostels and guest houses around the world, they seemed grateful for all the feedback I was giving them; especially when they understood the fees my clients invest in their own business growth when working with me.

One hotel I stayed at have informed me their bookings have gone up by over 40% since I helped them develop a new menu to include a wider variety of vegan and gluten-free options.

A second hotel manager has written to me to offer gratitude as my review has seen an increase in the kind of guests they were ideally wanting, but who had been alluding them.

The review I wrote about the recent guest house has resulted in me receiving insults, threats of “removing people like (me) from the face of the earth” along with accusations of being a fraud and upsetting their eleven-year-old daughter who burst into tears when they showed her my review.

Why did they show her the review? And why focus on the negative aspects of the review when the negatives were balanced with the information of the business “being in a transition of ownership” and “the food being of an exceptional standard with the hosts going out of their way to support me and my dietary requirements”.

When we receive reviews it is always a good idea to celebrate the wins and what we are doing right, and look at the negatives with an objective mind, asking ourselves “What can I do to bring this rating up?”

With this particular six out of ten reviews for the guest house, setting and communicating clear times of when lunch and dinner would be served, and having a menu of prices would have seen them gain an additional point, taking the six to a seven.

Adding toiletries, water and local tourism guides, with telephone numbers and activities in the local area, in the rooms would have boosted the seven to an eight due to the independence the guests would then have, rather than them being dependent on the managers or owners for the information needed and their own level of freedom.

For those of us who have experienced many ‘dark nights of the soul’ facing our demons and darkness head-on and ‘doing the inner work’ feedback offers us a springboard, reflective moments and an opportunity to ‘return to sender’ or ‘elevate and expand’.

Receiving top marks in everything we do is a double-edged sword for the overachiever because we feel both excited we ‘nailed it’ but disappointed we have no insights on how to grow to the next level of greatness.

Being someone who is very aware of energy and the transfer of negative and positive thoughts, I tend to see things many others don’t. When it is time for me to leave, or let a client or supplier go, I get to work, and when I need to leave, I need to leave.

Some may say this is me running from problems of the past, but for those of us who are enlightened, we don’t see it this way, more to the tune of protecting our energetic fields from future problems occurring due to being in a negative vibrational field.

A bit too Quantum Physics for some people, or as my two sons call it “Mum’s weird hippie sh**” but it has served me well since I discovered the power of association and environment really truly being everything.

Things may look great on the surface, but as us sailors know, as soon as there is a scratch, a crack or even a tiny hole somewhere on the boat, water will get in and slowly but surely the boat will be sinking, dragging us down with it; the same with overrated reviews.

The reviews may look good, the people giving the rating may mean well, but without integrity, without balance, without feedback, none of us can become the best version of ourselves, which in turn robs others of the best service or products possible, because mediocrity sets in.

And none of us were born for mediocrity. We are born for greatness and abundance, so isn’t it time we all started being a little bit more honest with the reviews, ratings and feedback with give others?

What are your thoughts?

Is honesty the best policy?

Or shall we keep the white lies and overrated feedback going just to pander to those who need protecting in cotton wool?

And is this people-pleasing a ripple effect of what I call ‘bubble wrap parenting?

Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you, and in the meantime, strive for greatness and if I can support you on your journey in any way, reach out to me via my website noted below.

Ciao for now my lovelies, and enjoy the view!

Kindest wishes,

Thought-provoking content is what Dawn is known for, as well as her non-stop travel around the world by sailboat and her trademark giggle. To learn more about Dawn, visit www.geni.us/dawnbates.

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