A couple days ago, I had a total meltdown and got super stressed about one thing. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough. I had what I considered a reality check, where I suddenly realized that my skills weren't as refined as I thought they were. I broke down, crying, you know, those messy tears that no one needs to see, convinced that I wasn't good enough.

the constant fear that "better" still isn't good enough and how to deal with it

The thing is, we go through our lives, constantly trying to be better. But there's always that nagging fear that "better" is still not good enough to get by. Will I be good enough at math to pass the test? Will I be a good enough candidate to get that internship? Will I be good enough for someone to love me? We're constantly trying to check to see if our efforts will get us where we want to be.

There's always that nagging fear that "better" is still not good enough to get by.

While it can be a great motivator to get working and to strive to be better to reach that given threshold, it's also a cause of constant stress and fear. I'm always wondering if I'll be good enough. But how do I know if my efforts will be enough to get me where I want to be in my life?

Related: Overcoming the Fear of Not Being Good Enough

Some things are more obvious in being able to tell if you're fit for your goals. For example, the math test. It's pretty clear that if you're able to answer the majority of your practice problems consistently, it's pretty likely that you will pass that math test. But for other things, the threshold is blurry. 

For that internship, you might have gone to a stellar school and passed all your classes with flying colors, but you're just not the kind of personality that they're looking for. On the other hand, your personality could fit, but maybe your skills aren't well-refined. The problem is, you don't know what they're looking for so you don't know if you have it. Sure, you could try and gauge what they're looking for based on hired employees and their reputation, but you'll never know for sure what that threshold is in order to ensure that you'll be good enough to reach it or even surpass it. So how do we ever know if we're "good enough" if we don't know what "enough" is?

The thing about being "good enough" is that it's relative. Maybe I think that chocolate cake is good enough for my standards because I like chocolate. On the other hand, someone else, that isn't so fond of chocolate, might not think it meets his/her standards.

Everyone has their own relative standards of what "good enough" means. It's all about perspective.

Because it's about perspective, in some cases, people may say that you aren't qualified enough or you aren't what they're looking for. And it's a little bit disappointing. While disappointing, sometimes the thought of that can be a driving factor for encouraging us to get up and fight to be better, which can be a good thing. It's good to be encouraged to always be striving for more.

However, in the process, you also have to be realistic. To the standards of others, there will always be someone that values you, that thinks that you're more than "good enough", but on the other hand, there will be people that might not agree. While that may be true, we have to remember that it doesn't always mean that it's your fault. Maybe you're just not what they're looking for. It's not a matter of if you're "good enough", but if you fit. And there are just some things that might not be the best fit for you and you might not be the best fit for. And that's okay.

It's scary thinking about "am I good enough", but the truth is, that you will probably never be satisfied. We're looking for this threshold that might not even exist. And do you even want a threshold of "enough"? If anything, isn't that holding you back?

Why be just "enough" when you could be so much more?


Try your best. Try your hardest. Always try to be better for yourself, so that you can be good enough for your standards. Are you exactly where you want to be? Are you good enough for yourself? If the answer is no, then keep on pushing yourself, keep on doing whatever will make you better in your eyes. Will that college degree make you better, make you feel happier about yourself? If so, then go for it. Want some experience in a new skill? Then work towards that goal.

There's no line to cross that will make you magically "good enough", all you can do is strive to be the best version of yourself. And that's what I'm trying to do.

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