Is it okay to be good enough? In this terribly competitive world shouldn’t we strive for perfection? These are questions that often arise in therapy sessions and the need to be perfect is an underlying psychological concern for clients who develop symptoms of anxiety and depression. The emotional and cognitive driver of “Be Perfect” — internalized in our psyches from the time we begin to toddle all the way through our school days and into adulthood ( and reinforced by popular culture) is something that many people struggle with. My antidote to “Be Perfect” is to be “Good Enough.” When i first lay this out for my clients I’m often met with, “Good enough? That sounds like laziness.” “Good enough,” I say, “is not giving short shrift to achievement. It is the opposite. It is the building block to success and happiness.” Knowing that what you are doing is good (noticing the positive) and that the effort for what you are doing is enough ( giving yourself time to rest and integrate your achievement) is the essence of Good and Enough, or Good Enough.
Attempting, consciously or unconsciously, to be perfect creates tension and anxiety. Since, none of us can attain perfection we find ourselves on a treadmill upon which we try to achieve the unachievable. Small successes and intermediate goals are not met with the recognition they deserve. When we reinforce the good and notice that our efforts are adequate we create the building blocks for excellence and confidence.
Do you have a struggle with perfection that leaves you with the feeling that you are never good enough? Tell us your particular story and Dr. ike will respond.
“We open our first musical set on the topic of “Good Enough” with Maia Sharpe’s “Death by perfection.” It is followed by Jackson Browne’s “Enough of the Night,” and finally Sting’s “Perfect Love… Gone Wrong.”