Learning to be Good Enough

All my life I have been striving to be really terrific at something.

When I was junior high, I was terrible at math. In high school, it was determined that I had a learning disability, but the experience of being terrible at something had already defined me and the news didn’t comfort me. In fact, it made me want to over-excel in the subject I was strong in: English. In University, I was an average student. Even though I was passionate about writing and english, I was never a straight A student.

And then there was fitness. Fitness was my holy grail of talent. At the gym, I excelled.  I was strong and confident and it was a talent I could depend on. But this all faded when I developed my knee condition.

Lately, I find myself once again searching for my ultimate talent. My current job is a high-pressure atmosphere where you’re only respected if you are exceptional. Some things I do are exceptional – but it never seems to be enough. Again, this haunts me.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s very easy to fall into the deep trap of perfectionism.  Somewhere along the way, I became my worst critic. I became my own nemesis by always pushing for more…always demanding perfection. The unrelenting need to be perfect can create many unhealthy feelings like low confidence, anxiety and a general sense of unrest.

So how far should one go in the pursuit to be better? And why isn’t good, good enough?

Learning to be good enough is something I am going to try over the next few weeks and I encourage you to join me. I am going to make a conscious effort to simply be good enough.  For example, in yoga, I will no longer criticize myself for not being able to get side crow pose – I can get front crow and that’s good enough. At work, I am going to finish a project at a point where I think it is good enough and not feel I should have done more.

So whatever it is you are struggling with, I urge you to be content with doing and being good enough. Doing so doesn’t mean you won’t continue to improve or that you are giving up – rather, it means accepting where you are now. I believe that if we accept ourselves as we are now, it will open new opportunities to excel and become stronger. But first, we must learn to be good enough.

I read a quote once that said: “we are all doing our best at any given moment of the day.” In essence, we are all good enough. Let’s leave it at that.


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