We perhaps (too) wrongly estimate the caliber of our opponent based on their rating. Consistent players are reflected in their usually higher 'ratings.' However, others of us have good, lesser, and bad periods of play. To us is the problem not to change our play, but dedicate our minds to strategy that over-comes these horse latitudes. To which point my issue approaches.
Imagine if you will that our concentration upon games varies- how many times have we gotta respond to the Queens' gambit before the game becomes interesting? Too many. This suggests almost a ho-hum been-there attitude and approach that threatens to taint the very game itself.
The energy demanded requires no less than our every concentration to WIN. When we're not it's reflected in our win/loss column - proto and mentor alike are watching, and too often wondering (perhaps) what possessed us to make that last move. I'm guilty too, as my rating indicates. So maybe this rating dodge makes some sense, yet my memories are filled with exciting games amongst our lowest rated.
The excitement enjoyed playing a higher-rated opponent almost makes the blood run hotter. Whip this guy and the road opens to forever...come on, you've felt it yourself at one time or the other, and your game shows it; but be careful, because all us bottom-feeders are potent opponents more than pleased and proud to put you to the test.