• Good Enough

    Good Enough

    “We live in a culture of never enough: Never good enough, skinny enough, popular enough, never enough Twitter followers,…  And there’s only one way out of scarcity and that is enoughness. At some point, we just need to say “enough”: I am enough. What I‘m doing is enough.  It’s about waking up in the morning and saying: No matter what gets done and how much is done and how it’s done, I’m enough and I’m worthy of belonging and love and joy.”  Brené Brown

    Remember being in grade school and choosing teams in gym class?   The fear of being the last one chosen by default?  The feeling of not being “good enough” is one that is instilled in us at a very young age – even before we even know what the feeling is called.  It is an internal fear that follows up through our entire lives and grows from gym class to relationships, work, academics, PTA and the list goes on and on.    I think creating a list of where we DO feel ‘good enough’ would be the easiest list to write!

    The other view of ‘good enough’ is that good enough is simply good enough.  No need to try harder, to push yourself or to even dream.    It is a way of settling for the status quo since it is easier, typically employs less conflict, and overall allows for some life ‘coasting’.

    Both definitions of ‘good enough’ – either not being good enough or settling for good enough being status quo have a negative impact on our view of self.    Our focus today will be on the concept of not measuring up, feeling second best, winning last or bottom line not being ‘enough’ in whatever arena you define it within.

    No matter how confident you may be in one area, the concept of being good enough can always show up in another area.  Today my first ever podcast launches.   Can we say stress?  I have interviewed for many podcasts with positive experiences, but this is my first attempt at creating my own series focused on the common humanity of helping professionals, imposter syndrome, and the shame of not living a picture-perfect life that they portray to those they serve.   This is what I am passionate about, what I feel my purpose is at this point in my career, and truly where my heart is.

    But can we REALLY talk about feeling not good enough?    Not good enough to create an articulate podcast.  Not good enough to have a message that people really need to hear.  Not good enough to stand out amongst the millions of podcasts that exist these days.  Not measuring up is a form of perfectionism.    For me, the message is, if my podcast is not perfect, I am not good enough.    If the audio is not perfect, it will not be good enough for anyone to listen.   If my words are not perfect, my message is not good enough.   The inner critic goes on and on and on.

    Sound familiar?   It may not be a fear of a podcast going live, but it could be in a relationship, a job, or even a social situation.   What is your inner critic saying to you?   The inner critic will be a voice of anxiety, fear, emotionally charged, overwhelmed, and with phrases that you have heard for years.  That is why you embrace it – you have heard the messages so often and so continually that you actually believe what you are telling yourself at the moment.  The black/white thinking, absolutes, fear of failure, and only is able to recognize your weaknesses even if you have had a million strengths/successes.

    The good news is that you can tame your inner critic and regain your ability to focus your self-talk on the positive aspect of self.  I know it sounds crazy and impossible – but it can be done!  First and foremost you need to be aware that your inner critic exists.    For most of us, our negative self-talk is automatic in that we have no clue exactly what we are telling ourselves on a daily basis.   Awareness needs to be present in order to start reframing your words and taming your critic.

    Secondly, you need to challenge your critic’s words.    What is truth and what is fear?   What evidence do you have to support your inner critic as being the expert?   Sometimes it is helpful to name your inner critic.    For me, it is Sally (no offense to anyone named Sally out there!).   Naming your critic allows you to step back and separate what you know is truth vs what Sally views as fear-driven truth.

    Lastly, debate.   No, I am not saying that you will become two people OR that you should debate out loud in public.    But once you are aware of what your inner critic is saying, coupled with what you know is truth vs fear, you now have the tools to stand your ground and debate the statement.   “No Sally, I am not a failure.   I have many successes and one setback will not define me”.   Make sense?  I hope so!

    I challenge most of my clients to develop mantras to combat some of their inner critic’s most common statements.   “I am good enough”  “I have worth and value”  “I am strong”.  What is your mantra?   If you do not have one – I challenge you to develop one!  Three to five words maximum.   Repeat it every hour.  Eventually, it will sink in!

    I know what you are asking yourself right now, if this mantra stuff and inner critic debate stuff really works why is Melissa having a day of not feeling good enough?  Because Melissa is human.  Just like you.  No matter who you are and what your degree is in, common humanity says that we will all have days that we will question ourselves, doubt our abilities, and overall feel like an imposter.  The difference is that instead of allowing it to consume my every thought, I will listen to the critic, freak out for a moment and then accept my grounding truths of who I know I am.

    If that is where your disconnect is – perhaps we should chat!   Taming your inner critic involves embracing a grounding truth of who you are at the core.   Together we can figure it out so that you too can tame your critic for good.

    If you are a helping professional trapped in the cycle of not feeling good enough – know that I get it.  Social media during a pandemic can truly challenge one’s belief in career success.   Pandemic or not hear it from me – you rock.   Within your niche, within your population, and within your corner of this world.

    Maybe it is time to accept that you are GOOD ENOUGH exactly who you are right now, where you are right now and what you are doing right now.   No matter what anyone else says.

    If you need help working through your barriers so you can focus on the truth of being good enough – let’s chat!   I provide online therapy in Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, California, and Pennsylvania. I’m proud to offer online therapy for helping professionals, online therapy for busy professionals, and Therapy for Therapists™. I specialize in treating imposter syndrome, burnout, and anxiety using The Daring Way™ and offer online workshops to clients who want to overcome shame. Contact me today and let’s be rockstars together!

    If you want to know more about me you can read about me as a therapist. Or, if you’re curious about my therapy practice then check out my FAQs, or read my mental health blog.

    As always, take care of you and know that you are not alone –

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