Believing That Good Is Good Enough

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

I wrote a blog post not so long ago now about my counselling journey so far (it's here if you'd like to read it) and wanted to share one of my most recent experiences at a session regarding thinking my best isn't good enough.

This feeling stemmed from an experience last year which I'm still umming and aahing about writing about on here but to summarise; it wasn't pleasant, it certainly left me with less self-esteem than I had before and it really did make me question whether my 'good' was actually good enough. 

I've held onto this feeling since last September time and it's made a lot of things difficult for me; I've not wanted to plan anything, for anybody, ever again. I worry that if I do whatever I've planned won't live up to their expectations. It's also made me question if I'm a 'good enough' girlfriend or 'good enough' daughter. It's been a fun six months, not. 

I raised this with my therapist a few weeks back and within moments she had worked back through my life and helped me realise, in addition to the trigger from last year, what events in my childhood might relate to that feeling of always needing to be perfect where just 'okay' or 'mediocre' doesn't cut it for me. Everything has to be perfect; perfectly timed, perfectly placed; perfectly presented. Don't get me wrong, 9/10 it isn't but that's when I struggle. I struggle to accept anything besides the best and I really beat myself up over it sometimes and this was a part of me that I really wanted to alter.

Ultimately, I wanted to care less what people thought, I wanted to be totally content with knowing I did my best and that I can't control people's feelings or thoughts, you can't please all the people all of the time and I don't want to be my own worst enemy or critic, basically. 

The event last year has made overcoming this hurdle a little more difficult than it may have been otherwise, I could have easily said 'well, what's the worst that could happen if they think it's not good enough?' but for me, the worst thing that could have happened last year did happen so that's not really a reassuring question to ask myself right now. 

What is helping though is getting back on the horse so to speak. I was fearful of having to plan anything again after last year and I really didn't ever want to be in charge of someone else's enjoyment or happiness due to the pressure that came with it. This became tricky to avoid when my boss asked me to plan our next evening social event at work, I couldn't exactly say 'nah, don't fancy it, sorry'. I had to come through. I started to feel some of the same feelings that the event last year had given me and I worked really hard to overcome any anxiety or panic over whether my colleagues will enjoy what I'd organised or not. I started by accepting the fact that these people are my professional colleagues and they would be grateful for a nice meal and a pint in the pub after work so anything in addition to that would be great.

I ended up planning a murder mystery game which we all played over dinner at one of the pubs in town, everyone had a laugh and I received the kindest feedback from people including senior management after the event. That was my first step towards realising that my good is good enough, the more positive affirmations I have of that the more I will gain confidence in myself again.

When it comes down to it, the problem lies in the thought itself really; my best/good isn't good enough. Good enough for...who? Them? Whose standards/expecations am I working towards exactly? That's when I realised that all that mattered was whether my best/good was good enough for me. I had to accept that no, I can't please everybody but a lot of the time they will be pleased because I am learning not everyone's expecations of me are anywhere near as high as the expectations I place on myself so as long as I am happy with what I've done/created/achieved then to heck what other people think!

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