How do I know when I'm 'good enough'?
One of the questions that I am asked the most is how we know when we are 'good enough'. Now, whether it's in our personal relationships, careers, or any other aspect of life, the search for self-worth and validation for some might be a lifelong task, but there are ways to find contentment and self-assurance. So in this article, I'm going to go through the signs and strategies to help you recognise when you are good enough.
Recognising when you are 'good enough'
The first and most important step in understanding when you're good enough is practising self-acceptance. It's crucial to recognise that everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. Absolutely no one is perfect and once you can accept this premise, other unrealistic expectations can be identified, challenged and changed. So, embrace your imperfections, and don't be too hard on yourself.
Self-acceptance is about acknowledging your strengths so that you can design your life around them and your often perceived weaknesses so that you can work on them or get support to lessen their impact on your life, and understanding that they make you unique and valuable. For this, we need to be mindful.
When we start paying attention to who we really are, we can move toward being authentic and taking control and responsibility for our own lives. This frees us from needing the approval of other people and reduces the amount of times when we give the power of ourselves and our life to other people. By this, I mean that when we are worrying about what other people think of us, looking for their approval and acceptance, we are living a lie. We are not being who we really are, if we were, we wouldn't be trying to be what they think we should be or trying to live in a certain way. Our life would flow because our energy and our focus would align with our higher self.
When we are authentic, we take the pressure off ourselves because we no longer have to try so hard or worry about what someone else thinks we should be doing. Each time we change to please someone else, we are literally saying – 'here, I give you the power over me to tell me how I should be and how I should live, how much money I should be making, what clothes I should be wearing, please like me now'. The truth is that people will either like you or they won't and that is their choice. Each time you change for someone else, they are likely to move the goalposts because subconsciously, they know that they are in control and you will never gain the approval and confidence that you are searching for.
When you take back your power and accept who you are, warts and all and choose what works well for you and what you might want to work on, you have all the power and the energy that you give off will attract the right people to you. Consequently, people may also fade out of your life but that is not a bad thing. Anyone who doesn't support your growth and wants the best for you is not a positive influence and will not build your confidence and self-worth.
Setting realistic and achievable goals can be a great indicator of when you are good enough. When you consistently set and meet your goals, it's obvious that you are making progress and achieving success in various areas of your life. This then boosts your self-esteem and provides an obvious way to measure your worth.
Make sure that the goals you set are what you want, not what you think you should want and don't be attached to the outcome. Not everything works out in the way we expect but if we have a positive, can-do mindset, we will always learn and grow from the experience which also builds our resilience and feelings of self-worth. A little tip here, break your goals down into small steps so that they are manageable and you can do something every day towards creating the life that you want. This way, you are more likely to stay focused and see things through.
Getting feedback from trusted friends, mentors, or colleagues can be a useful tool for self-assessment. Constructive feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and validate your strengths. It can open up solutions to problems that you as not considered and may offer new opportunities and ideas for you to develop. Remember that it's essential to differentiate between constructive feedback and unwarranted criticism.
In the workplace, there should be frequent opportunities for you to provide and be offered feedback. Done well, this can be an excellent tool for career progression and or leadership development. Lots of people have a negative view of feedback but try changing your mindset and instead of thinking of feedback as a judgment of your worth, think of it as an opportunity for growth.
Self-reflection is a powerful practice for gauging your personal growth and self-worth. Regularly taking time to assess your values, beliefs, and goals can be hugely beneficial. Checking in with yourself to see if you're living in alignment with your core values can help you to stay true to yourself and live in the best way for you, paying attention to see if you making progress toward your dreams and goals can help you to stay motivated but also to tweak and adapt before plans become derailed.
Regular self-reflection can also help you to identify the things that stress you out and identify unhelpful beliefs and behaviours or the triggers that cause you pain. Journaling might be a useful tool - here and some prompts that may help you get started:
- What are my values and priorities?
- Are my goals realistic?
- How have I grown and learned from my experiences?
- Do I respect and love myself for who I am, flaws and all?
Avoid comparing yourself to others. It's a waste of time and energy. We are all different and each have our own path to take. When we compare ourselves to others, again, we are giving away our power and we can also never really know the truth of what we are comparing ourselves to. Maybe that person who looks like they have it all is miserable or has had to make terrible sacrifices to have what they have. We also need to be aware, that we all see things through our conditioning and experiences which again, might give us a false impression of what we are comparing ourselves to.
Don't underestimate the effort you put into your life. Recognise that trying your best and putting in hard work is an accomplishment in itself. Some days, it may have been a huge achievement to get out of bed and get through the day. Celebrate that. It's so easy to dismiss your efforts because it's you and we are all very good at putting ourselves down, but acknowledging them is an essential step in realising that you are good enough.
Failure is a natural part of life. It's how we grow and when you can embrace failure as a learning opportunity rather than a personal failure, you're on your way to understanding your self-worth. In fact, you will have gained another superpower. Each setback is a chance to grow and improve, and it certainly doesn't diminish your overall value.
To sum up, the question of when you're good enough is a deeply personal one, and the answer may vary for each individual. It's also essential to remember that self-worth is not static; it can change and evolve over time. The key is to practice self-acceptance, set and achieve goals, seek feedback, engage in self-reflection, avoid unhealthy comparisons, find inner peace, recognise your efforts, and embrace failure. If you say it fast enough it's all really easy! Seriously though, it's like most things in life, small consistent changes will be far more successful than big sweeping changes. and the small changes soon layer up into a more confident, empowered, self-actualised, you.
If you would like to know more about how coaching can support your self-worth, then please get in touch.