If there was one phrase I’d like to eliminate from the English language, it’s “good enough”.
From a very early age we are beaten over the head with the “good enough” stick by well-meaning teachers and parents.
Our behaviour is “just not good enough”, our homework, our timekeeping, our attitude, our handwriting, the list is endless.
Spare the “good enough” rod, spoil the child.
The trouble is, the phrase gets so deep rooted in our psyche that we carry it around with us well into adulthood. Then we weald our own “good enough” stick on ourselves.
My experience isn’t “good enough” to apply for that job. I’m not “good enough” to go to that exercise class. My singing voice isn’t “good enough” to perform in public.
I’ll never achieve (insert XYZ here) because I’m just not “good enough”.
It’s a grenade phrase, loaded with deep rooted fears, anxieties, frustrations and fear of being judged that rarely has any proper foundation.
If you want to get rid of its power, try some or all of the following.
1. Just eliminate it from your self-talk altogether
Don’t use it. Simple as. And then notice how much other people use the phrase as a universal when they’re only really talking about their own subjective belief.
2. Good enough for who and for what, exactly?
Unless there’s some form of widely accepted exam, test, standard or benchmark involved then who is judging whether something is good enough and on what basis? Even with such accreditations, you’re simply passing through some recognised hoops and hurdles to place letters after your name. It’s not a judgement on you as a human being. “I took a driving test and I failed to meet its strict criteria on this occasion” feels very different to “I’ll never be a good enough driver”.
3. Drop the perfectionism
Simply dropping the word “good” can remove the phrase’s power and help you get moving quicker. Nine times out of ten the answer to the question “Is it enough?” is yes. So let’s crack on.
4. Get some help
If you find yourself saying “I just don’t know if I’m good enough” more than zero times, find a life coach or at least a friend who is happy to pinch you very hard every time you say it. Unless, of course, it’s followed by “so here’s what I’m going to do about it using a clear set of objectives, processes and actions to address my self-held belief”.
5. Add ….”yet”
And if it’s all too hard and you truly believe there is something you’re not “good enough” at, just add the word “yet” every time it pops into your head. If it gives you a warm rosy glow of belief that with enough practice, experience and clear steps you’ll feel “good enough” in the future then great. If the word “yet” makes it feel onerous, impossible and even further away than ever, what’s that telling you?
Now, was all that good enough for you?