The message of not being good enough can be all but impossible to evade. And knowing what you must do now if your best is never good enough for you can seem just as impossible.
Society. Your boss. Your family. The critic inside your own head…. The message can be both insidious and relentless: Do more. You don’t do enough. Do better. Your best isn’t good enough. Be more. You’re not good enough.
In a previous article “Do THIS If You’re Feeling Lid You’re Never Good Enough“, I discussed actions you can take when your best is never good enough for you. One of the most important actions I listed for realizing that you are already good enough was “don’t believe everything you think.”
If you don’t believe everything you hear out in the world, why should you believe everything you hear in your own head? Sometimes it is not only prudent, but necessary, to cut the cord to your own thoughts. Learning to say “no” to the “no” is an empowering step in maintaining control over your own mindset and destiny.
Think of it mathematically: a negative times a negative is a positive. Stand up to the critic inside your own head, and clear some room for the voice of optimism and possibility. With practice, you won’t be spending your time negating the negative because positivity will be the new norm. And your healthy self-esteem will begin to do the filtering for you.
“That’s all well and good,” you may be saying, “but the world is competitive. Everyone expects perfection just to get a foot in the door. I am good at a lot of things, but apparently my best isn’t good enough…and I’m not good enough.”
Point taken. The world is competitive, and often makes stars of relatively few at the expense of even the most well-intended.
Winston Churchill, who was known for his expectation of fearless perseverance, once said, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required.”
“See what I mean? Doesn’t that just prove what I’m saying?” Well…not exactly.
It stings to do your best and not “make the cut.” And in that sense, no one’s best is going to “be enough” in all things always. But when your best is never good enough for you, the focus shifts from what the world is expecting…to what you are expecting.
This is where “getting real” with yourself will reset the bar for what is “good enough.” Having realistic expectations can help you improve and propel you to future success. It can also help you understand what things just aren’t for you.
Discovering what isn’t for you will clear the decks for you to discern what is for you. Just because “everyone else” has a 9-5 job…or kids…or a marriage…or whatever…doesn’t mean you should.
Instead of focusing on getting “success” — which to you may equate to being “good enough” — be clear about what you want. Your vision and values are far more important than simply trying to be a star at everything you do. Making regular, objective examinations of what you truly want, and embracing your realistic limitations, will put you on the bench of deciding what is “good enough.”
Napoleon Hill, known for his decades of research on the power of positive thinking, said, “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”
Definiteness of purpose is a clarifying, empowering step that you can take now if your best is never good enough for you. It is an essential component of being true to yourself. As William Shakespeare so astutely penned, “This, above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Now, if that’s not “good enough,” I don’t know what is!