The author managed to portray the sense of overwhelm that many women my age feel as we try to live up to the impossible expectations of “doing, being and having it all.”
The article was rich in data - including statistics about marriage, earning power, antidepressants, employment, stress levels, finances, self-improvement, etc. All of it left me with a sense of unease. Maybe it was the quote from a researcher talking about women’s career paths. The researcher’s two cents: “Never assume success.”
I think this type of scarcity thinking pervades our lives today. We focus on our failures, or when things are going well, look around for the bad news that is bound to arrive momentarily. We let success be defined not on our own terms, but by whomever we are comparing ourselves to on social media.
Whether it is thinner, richer, smarter, prettier, funnier, or more spiritually awakened - success is a moving target and it becomes easy to skip over our own success to find ways in which we are not measuring up.
These messages become dangerous. Not only is there “always room for improvement,” but we feed ourselves an underlying message of not good enough.
Whether it is a project we’ve completed at work, a delicate conversation we have had to maneuver through with a family member, a homemade Halloween costume or a Whole30 compliant stir-fry, it is easy to slip into dwelling on what isn’t perfect.
Guess what - it is all imperfect.
And if we cannot begin to warm up to the idea of good enough being our goal, we will exhaust ourselves and lose track of our main purpose: contentment and life satisfaction. Or maybe you would choose two other words to describe your main purpose. Words like: health, love, wealth, prominence, intimacy, enlightenment…you pick.
The point remains:
There is enough good in good enough to keep us headed toward our goals without the sense of exhaustion, overwhelm or dissatisfaction that many of us come to think of as par for the course.
Often it requires stepping back to look at the big picture.
Did that conversation with my teenager go exactly as I would have liked? Nope.
Will it earn me recognition as a “parenting expert?” Definitely not.
Does she know I love her? Well, yes.
And that is my good enough for today.
What is your good enough for today?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.