And yes, I do really think it is an art! It takes time to practice and similar to art where art is a wide and varied spectrum of different nuances, learning to be Good Enough will carry through the different elements of your life, be it home, work and with friends to name a few.
So, what is the ‘Art of Good Enough’?
This is very much about you being ok with you. Being Ok with what you have or are achieving.
With everything at our fingertips, it can be all too easy to compare ourselves with others. Even if we didn’t ‘search’ to find comparisons, they may well have been there in your internet feed due t the algorithms / history of what you have searched for previously.
Ok I hope I haven’t lost you already? Sometimes it may be helpful to see where we are in relation to others, like a benchmark. However unfortunately, more people are searching for perfection, which I would argue a) does it exist and b) what does perfect provide?
I work with a variety of clients and I am pretty sure some of them may appear to be your perfect in your eyes but to them, they still have their own challenges just like everyone else.
I will start off with, what I feel is quite an easy example. For lunch I made a ham and cheese omelette. I’ve made these a few times now (as these have been a relatively new thing for me to make) and I did consider buying an omelette maker. Why? So, I could get the ‘perfect’ omelette of course.
Interestingly for me a perfect omelette tastes exactly like the one that I make but the perfect version is neat and the ‘insides’ are sealed in. When I said to my partner that I wish I could make perfect omelettes they challenged me and said they were perfect and that they tasted delicious. I have to agree, they are incredibly tasty and so I have learnt / taught myself to fight off the urge for my ‘perfect’ omelette maker and agree that my omelettes are, wait for it… Good Enough!
I work and have worked with clients who initially come to my sessions feeling very angry. As we unpick what is going on for them, w gradually uncover that they don’t feel good enough. It could be their school work or in the relationship, or how they feel their parents are perceiving them.
It never ceases to amaze me how young people feel that not living up to their parents’ expectations and these are the ones when parents haven’t put any expectations on them. Can you imagine the challenge and inner turmoil for the young people who have had their parents’ expectations pressed upon them continuously?
I would like to give you a challenge: next time you do something, be it your make up, your latest run, or a piece of homework. I would like you to congratulate yourself on what you have done and then say to yourself, ‘that was Good Enough’.
I agree it will feel weird initially saying that to yourself, (but you are probably quite good at saying not nice things to yourself), so you will be use to speaking to yourself – that’s my point.
If you notice yourself going back to touch up your make up or edit your homework, please tell yourself again, that it is Good Enough and that you do not need to make any other amends.
If you notice a friend, colleague or parent struggling with accepting what they have done, tell them it is Good Enough and if you are feeling comfortable ask them t repeat it back to you – that what they did is Good Enough.
When I was working with a young person, with the Art of Good Enough, it was lovely to hear how they passed on tis new found knowledge with their younger sibling. We worked with stickers to celebrate being Good Enough and their sibling got a sticker too!
Life is har, pressure can come at all angles, so if we can just prise off our own pressure even for just some of the time – that’s got to be a good thing right?
So next time you are feeling angry, take a step back and notice if indeed what you are doing is – Good Enough.
Buy yourself some stickers to celebrate you – we are never too old for stickers!