Most people will congregate in the middle with the pack. Which means people will do enough to get by and be accepted, but also not so much as to start garnering attention from the rest of the pack.
The middle of the pack is the hardest place to establish a name, simply because there are so many others there with you. You could be exceptional at being in the middle and never get noticed, just due to the sheer volume.
The edges, however, have plenty of space to stretch out and be noticed. The attention comes easily and it never gets crowded- the middle of the pack is just too comfortable for most to leave. The familiarity of being around peers has a strong pull. And most people do not want attention the way they say they do. Having everyone from the middle watch and judge you can be an unnerving experience. Get in that position, and it’s no longer as easy as it sounded when you said you wanted it.
If you truly want to stand out, here’s a simple test: Look at your actions, then look around. If you see a bunch of other people doing the same as you, you’re in the pack. The edges are all about doing what the average person won’t. You already know what those things are, yet you have made a conscious choice to not do them.
Your choices can change that, or your choice can keep you there.