Good Enough

June 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm (Uncategorized)

What does it mean to be “good enough?”

Personally, I think it’s a terrible question–I think good enough is the default of our existence. We, just by being, are good enough. We have worth because we are people with feelings and dreams and hopes. Sometimes we have bad moments (in anger, frustration, depression, what have you) but if you were to chart it out, good enough would be most everyone’s base state.

Having said that, I personally don’t feel like I’m “good enough” ALL the time, and I think a lot of other people have moments like that as well. I know that I set standards for myself, and I don’t always meet them. I think that having goals is important, but it’s also crucial to be kind to yourself. You are human, and so you will fail. You will fall a little short (or a lot short) sometimes. In those instances I think we are measured more by how we pick ourselves up and try again than anything else.

It’s hard to quantify “good enough” because the metric is not the same for each individual, nor is it the same for ourselves moment to moment. Some people look at me and think I’m doing well, others believe I’m doing poorly. The truth, as with most things, probably is somewhere in the middle. I confess that I’m not sure how well I’m doing right now. I think I’m on the right track, but a lifetime of things mostly coming easily to me has me believing that I should be doing better, should be making more progress more quickly. I am realizing, though, that adversity must be overcome in its own time, and I am a firm believer that if you do the little things right day by day you’ll get to where you’re trying to go. We’ve got to listen to our hearts and our minds and make sure that we don’t let the outside noise get to us.

This is a bit of a tangent, but I am definitely afraid of not being “good enough,” and that makes me think of some other things I am afraid of:

  • I am most afraid that I will not be liked. I (for better or worse) really care what people think of me. It’s probably not healthy the amount that plays into my psyche, but it is there and the feeling is strong. I am afraid that people will judge me without taking the time to ever get to know me, that I will miss out on potential friends, and that the friends I do have will forget about me. I want to have intimate conversations with my acquaintances, but I’m afraid that they’ll think I’m weird (and then not like me). I want to talk to people, but I fear rejection. I fear people not caring what I have to say, and I fear that I won’t get to listen to their views. I love to hear about anyone and everyone’s hopes and dreams, but all too often I feel constrained by my fear of not being liked that I do nothing, even when I want to jump in to a conversation, or start one, or do something different.
  • With that, I am afraid that I’ll have a hard time making friends in the “real world.” In school there were always groups of people with shared interests I could at least have a jumping off point with, but I think sometimes (and it’s sad to say, because I know that it’s silly) that I would rather not say anything and be a neutral than say hello and open myself up to the possibility of someone shutting me down.

 

Is that completely crazy? It feels a little crazy. Almost everyone I know is, when you get down to it, pretty nice. I guess I feel like I’m pushy sometimes when I’m just being friendly. Or I think it’s friendly but I fear that other people will think that it’s pushy.

 

Other things I’m afraid of:

  • The dark. Not for any rational reason, but because my imagination goes a little haywire when it’s really dark. I can tune it out most of the time but sometimes the dark really gets to me.
  • As sort of an extension to the above piece, never being loved.
  • That I won’t become the person I want to be–that I won’t ever be bold and compassionate enough, that sometimes my love will be because I think it’s the right thing to do and not because it’s completely honest.
  • Getting vocal nodes and never being able to sing again.
  • Falling a long way down.
  • Becoming so stubborn that I refuse to change my opinion even in the face of factual evidence.
  • A day when there is no one in the world who wants to kiss me.
  • Never finding a sense of belonging.
  • Getting really fat.
  • A future in which people don’t care about each other–that we get bogged down in pettiness and greed and don’t think of ourselves as citizens but as individuals who just want to “get ours.”

 

So those are some of my fears. I do fear not being good enough. I fear not knowing what good enough is. I also fear complacency, so there’s that. I guess I’m afraid of the in between, and my life right now is ALL in between. I’m adrift in an ocean of uncertainty and there’s not much in the way of driftwood to cling to.

But I will keep swimming.

 

“Look into your own heart, discover what gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstances whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” -Karen Armstrong

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