What is Good Enough for YOU?

My daughter comes off the volleyball court after handily winning a game. “Great job!” I say. “Your team did great out there!”

My perfectionist 15 year-old responds with: “I sucked. Did you see my sets? Not once did the power try to hit it, I must not have set high enough. Do you think my sets are good? I asked my coach what I could have done differently and she didn’t say a thing.  I suck.”

So this is my job as the Mom of a U16 volleyball player. To lift my daughter off the ground as she gets ready to go into her next game.

But what does it matter? Her team is winning – and “losing” sometimes – and winning. And regardless if her team wins or loses, she thinks it’s not good enough.

Never good enough.

Last year, as a U15 player, her team won Western National Championships in her Division. I watched that daughter of mine rise from being the first subbed off the court, to playing full games and holding her own.

OK, perhaps at 5”2” she’s not the most sought-after player, but she is growing her skills and still, somehow, it’s never good enough.

Which brings me to my inspiration for this weeks’ blog topic:

What’s good enough?

Seriously people. How often do we say to ourselves that we’re not good enough, not successful enough, not ready yet, not tall enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not enough, not enough, not enough!?

So, what is enough??

Are you a perfectionist that feels you're not good enough? What IS enough?Click To Tweet

As many of us do, I reached for Google to help me find my answer.

I came up with an article from Psychology Today that posted a while back trying to define what “good enough” meant. The article breaks the answer of “What is Good Enough?” into three distinct headings:

  • What do you feel you must do perfectly? (even if it doesn’t matter to others)
  • What are you obliged to do perfectly? (because you feel you have to for some reason)
  • What do you choose to do perfectly? (because it makes you feel happy and joy-filled when you do)

In other words, are you striving for more out of:

  • Compulsion
  • Obligation, or
  • Choice?

Of course, if you are in a profession like medicine – for example – where not being “good enough” can kill people, we are clearly not talking about you – not always anyway.

But if you are an artist, or a writer or business person or a mother trying to get through your day unscathed, what is “good enough?”

The answer, my friend, comes in what is good enough FOR YOU? It doesn’t matter what is good enough for me, what is good enough for my parents, what is good enough for my clients, what is good enough for my children… what is good enough FOR ME?

I believe, the answer also lies in who you are trying to be good enough for?

Who are you trying to be good enough for?Click To Tweet

Are you meeting expectations of your volleyball coach? Of your employer? Of your school teacher?

If you are meeting expectations, then you are, actually, “good enough.”

But to go beyond that – you are working for yourself, and YOU get to decide what good enough really is.

What is Good Enough for You?

I’d like to segue now into some ancient wisdom from Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. This well-known book taps into the source of self-limiting beliefs that “rob us of joy and create needless suffering.” One of the four wisdoms he unveils is “Always Do Your Best.”

Ruiz cautions: “Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time so your best will sometimes be high quality and other times it will not be as good.”

'Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.' Don Miguel RuizClick To Tweet

He likens it to when you get up in the morning and you are energized and refreshed – will you be as good at the task at hand as when you are tired at night?

“Just do your best,” Ruiz advises us, “in any circumstance in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself.”

So perhaps the real question, is: “is this good enough for you — RIGHT NOW?”

Not last week, or when you were 22 and in your peak physical health, or when you had just finished a marathon of studying for your chemistry exam, or when you had pulled three all-nighters preparing for a court case.

Is this good enough for you, right now?

And if the answer is no – then what do you need to change or shift so you do feel it’s good enough?

What are you NOT doing that’s getting in the way? What is good enough, really? And is it a realistic expectation for you now, today or in the future?

If your best isn’t good enough right now, what is one step you can do TODAY, to get you there? And if it’s multiple steps, let’s create them. Where do you want to be and how will you get there?

I’m not giving you this pep talk because I expect you to always win. Don’t expect that you will always be the best in the room.

Do not expect that you will never be quick to anger. It will happen. AND, can you do your best right now, in this moment, with the will, the energy, the intelligence and the energy that you have right now.

What is good enough? Only you can decide.

Susan Elford

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Personal Balance Equation Workbook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a PR Strategist & Leadership Coach who especially loves to work with people who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a balanced life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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