Operating from this viewpoint can lead us to live in a way that isn’t sustainable and is very rarely satisfying. You always feel like there’s something more to achieve or prove. You keep raising the bar on yourself, not even pausing long enough to notice what you have accomplished. Always striving, driving, and pushing…
To get to a point of adulthood and realizing that I get to decide what’s good enough has taken some work!
I remember hearing “Good is good enough” in 2014 at my first women’s retreat with Renee Trudeau. It caused me to pause. What does that even mean? I see the freedom from perfectionism it offers, but how do you get to a place of peace within yourself? How do you define for yourself what IS good? And, how do you really know if it is enough?
As a young married woman and mom, I was often embarrassed to have people come into the house because it wasn’t clean enough or decorated well enough or picked up enough, and so I didn’t invite people over unless they were already good friends. I couldn’t meet the idealized standard that I had set for myself and so I just denied myself company, fearing judgment that would likely not have been as harsh as my own.
I judged myself critically in parenting and work – always looking toward some invisible, undefinable, and probably unachievable objective. Until at some point in the past few years I stopped doing that (as much). I'm a work in progress and often need other people to help me see how hard I am on myself.
In her book, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate, and Re-Balance Your Life, Renee Trudeau has an entire chapter devoted to this idea that “Good is Good Enough!” (By the way, where was this book when I was a young mother?? I didn’t find it or her until I was almost 50! Could have used a healthy dose of that much earlier in my parenting!). In this section, Renee says, “Part of being able to relax into a mentality of ‘good is good enough’ is understanding where your priorities lie. We have a finite amount of energy to devote to what’s really important to us.” So true!
As you look at your own life, are you allocating your energy according to what’s most important to you or are there things that are taking your time, resources, and energy that really don’t deserve it? It’s worth a moment to take an honest assessment and see what you notice. Then adjust as necessary. If relationships are a top value but most of your time is spent on cleaning or work, where might you change things up?
Where in your life would you like to play with the idea that “good is good enough” and allow yourself a little more grace? Can you lower the bar for yourself instead of continually raising it? I've also learned that "done is better than perfect," which helps me to keep going with things like this challenge!
We are often our own harshest critics, demanding more than is reasonable from our human selves. When you notice yourself treating yourself this way, can you bring in some self-compassion, gentleness, and kindness? Permission to let go of striving for unattainable perfection! Permission to stop pushing so hard and to relax and enjoy this one precious life (not that you need my permission!).
Side note... I find it fascinating that when I first tried, this post wouldn't let me schedule it, but posted immediately. Then I realized I had entered the date wrong! Hmmm... good is good enough, I guess. 😂
What do you think? #AtoZChallenge – Question (Almost) Everything