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Tiny Wisdom: It’s Good Enough

“Good enough is the new perfect.” -Becky Beaupre Gillespie

Sometimes we hone in on everything we think we’re lacking or doing wrong, and wonder what we need to fix or change to measure up. Then we judge ourselves at each step of the way, questioning whether or not we’re doing everything we should.

This has been true for me, and sometimes it still is.

Whenever I feel stressed out, it’s usually because I’m worrying about something I did or have to do, convincing myself I could have done better or I won’t do enough.

It’s a mental soundtrack I know all too well: You could have done more. You should have done more. You need to do more. You need to be more.

Other people may occasionally make us feel like we’re somehow falling short, but more often than not when we feel anxious, we’re suffocating under the weight or our own perfectionist expectations and fears.

It’s exhausting, and sometimes paralyzing, but we have the power to change it.

We have the power to stop, take a breath, and tell ourselves:

The passion I put into my work today—it’s good enough.

The effort I put into my dreams today—it’s good enough.

The thought I put into my connections—it’s good enough.

The time I took to do for the people I love—it’s good enough.

The attempt I made at reaching outside my comfort zone—it’s good enough.

The work I did for my own growth and healing—it’s good enough.

And if we feel that any of this is disingenuous—like we made excuses and held ourselves back—we can still give ourselves credit for what we did right and then commit to doing a little more tomorrow.

We’re all doing the best we can with where we are on each given day. If we’re willing to believe it, our best is good enough.

Photo by Mark Mcwizard

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About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • E Speranza

    thank you

  • http://Mazzastick.com/ Justin Mazza

    The mental chatter , the worry, the fear of not being good enough will make us crazy going in circles trying to be perfect. I remind myself that life is supposed to be fun and I am not expected to be perfect.

  • http://www.davidsfinch.com David Finch

    The hardest obstacle for anyone that struggles with perfectionism is, “it’s good enough.” Some times trying to be perfect is just an excuse to not do anything. When you add “it’s good enough” into the equation I now have to act. 

    When I committed to really acting upon my goals and accepted that it’s OK to be good enough, it was amazing how liberating it becomes. It was also rewarding to see how much I could really get done. 

    Great post!!

  • urooj shahid

    Lori, I live in Pakistan and your book is not available here anywhere. Why is that so? :(

  • Patriciadiggsmedia

    WOW. Lori your thoughts are so much on time. I was thinking today about what to take away from Whitney Houstons passing, what is the message she was giving all us….we are good enough! We live in this supersize western culture always chasing after the carrot on a moving rope only to create self-destructive fear and at the end of our journey only to find out….it does not matter. Love you Lori!

  • Rose

    Lori,
    It’s amazing how you seem to post something that is exactly how I am feeling at that particular moment.  Thank you for this, you really don’t know how much It was needed.  There is someone in my life that I’ve realized I will never be able to please no matter, they will somehow always find fault.  For so long I’ve looked for their approval to no avail really. I am also finally realizing this is doing me no good.  Right now I am doing the best that I can with how I am handling my life.  Some days are better than others. But I don’t need to reminded of when I don’t.  But letting what this person says get to me, I’m giving them way too much power.  I know what I am doing is good enough for me at least.  

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    Aw thank you for this. I also put a lot of pressure on myself to measure up a certain way. It can be easy to blame society or other people, but I really do put it entirely on myself. Your blog is therapy for my soul :-) 

    Have a great week! <3 

  • Sandy

    I cannot thank you enough for this posting!!  I appreciate this site more than you can imagine.  A perfectionist by nature I have been struggling very hard with this, when I make a mistake no one can punish me more than me.    This is exactly what I needed to read..thanks again!  

  • http://creativelifeinwords.wordpress.com/ Andy Bowker

    Thanks for this, a timely post after an unpleasant day at work. 

  • Autumn Douglass

    Imperfect is perfect :-)

  • http://twitter.com/Arabedross Ara Bedrossian

    I too sometimes fall into expecting perfection from myself. I think that first step in quelling this, and in fact in order to be happy in general, is appreciating the fact that we are going to die. Don’t dwell on the negative, or even the positive. Life will change and ultimately, end. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/Ohsnapcat Cori

    My mom shared with me a bit of wisdom she learned from a grief support class and I’ve always loved it.  “Don’t should on yourself!”  :) 

  • http://twitter.com/semillita Ceci Basualdo

    Beautiful post! Thank you for these much needed words :)

  • Robert C

    Thank you for that Lori!
    The simplicity in the message is what makes it so powerfull.
    Acceptance is the key to liberation!

  • Christiane Mell

    Thank you! I needed that. :)

  • Otterspace2001

    Hi lori, 
    great topic and it brings me to the next idea just around the corner; that movie title with Nicholoson a few years back, “As Good As It Gets”. What if….this is as good as it gets and it is good enough. even better, it’s perfect!  What if enlightenment isn’t achieving a certain consciousness or reaching some metaphysical goals? What if the only thing driving us and bringing us down is that idea you spoke to; the idea that we always need to do more, better faster, etc? 

    So lately I’m glimpsing a new paradigm. The only thing wrong with me is me, thinking there is something wrong with me. Nothing is missing nor does anything need to be different. Feeling up, down or sideways….what if we just embrace whatever way we feel at any given moment , trusting that it will pass just like it always has? 

    What if, the way we exhaust ourselves is by continuing to ask “why” and trying to understand everything? When the Zen Master hits the student on the head with a ruler each time the student asks a question; isn’t the desired learn to stop asking friggin questions??

    Just sayin-

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m not sure actually. I believe my publisher has to negotiate foreign rights with publishers in other countries in order for it to be made available in those countries. However, there is also a digital version. I will check with my publisher and see if there are any plans to offer the book in Pakistan any time soon!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I can absolutely relate Madison! Whenever I’m feeling pressured, I stop myself and ask, “Who is putting this pressure on me?” Usually I recognize it’s no one but me!

    You have a wonderful week too =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Sandy! I’ve always been a perfectionist too, so I try to remind myself to take it easy on myself. Usually I’m doing far more and better than I give myself credit for.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re so right Ara. In the back of my mind, I know I am not immortal, but sometimes this hits me more strongly than others. I’ll recognize that anything can happen, and there truly are no guarantees that I will be here tomorrow. That always helps me appreciate myself and the moment.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s a great piece of advice!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Ceci!

  • Julie

    A novel outlook, Lori. I felt peace just reading your words. Cheers.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Robert! I find most often when I’m stressing out, I need simple reminders to breathe and cut myself some slack.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s a great reminder Justin. It’s like that quote, “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.” I love that!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Great point David. For it to be good enough, you have to actually do something! I’ve been thinking that about yoga recently. I fell out of my practice over a year ago, and now I’ve been going 2-3 days a week. It’s nothing like what my practice once was. And while yoga is never about being perfect, I used my “all or nothing” mentality as an excuse to not get back into it at all. Now when I go, I don’t have the same flexibility or strength I did before, but I’m going….and it’s good enough!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Indeed. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s great Rose! I can really relate to what you wrote. There are times when I look to other people for approval, when really what I need to do is approve of myself. Like you, some days are better than others. I think that’s what it means to be human!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re so right about our culture, and the self-destructive fear. It feels so liberating to just breathe, cut ourselves some slack, and recognizing we truly are okay–and we’re doing okay. Love you too! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    This is so beautiful. I loved this part “Feeling up, down or sideways….what if we just embrace whatever way we
    feel at any given moment , trusting that it will pass just like it
    always has?” My feelings have been up and down a lot lately. I’ve had a lot on my mind, with my upcoming surgery, some expensive medical bills, and uncertainty related to my next book. Yet I’ve felt proud of the fact that I’ve been sitting with my feelings. Like you wrote, I know they will eventually transform. As the quote reads, “No feeling is final!”

  • Tinarose29

    Perfect. I too am a victim of this, and sometimes I feel guilty when I say I have done enough and feel there is still more to be done, but after reading this I feel I can chill out a bit and cut myself some slack. You asked if I practised yoga, I do…don’t think I’ve gotten medidation down beacuse I can’t seem to quiet my mind, but I’m getting there with the help of my own will powere and TinnyBuddha of course :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    One thing that really helps me is to use guided meditations that I’ve found on YouTube. Hearing a soothing voice and being guided through visualizations really helps me create space in my head! I really like this particular one for healing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE

    You need to use headsets because at one point there are different sounds in each ear. I always feel so peaceful afterward!

    Happy Wednesday =)

    Lori

  • Tinarose29

    Thank you!!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://ponder-the-pre.posterous.com Kate Britt

    Lori, I enjoyed your ideas and thoughts in this article. We’re all good enough! Here’s an additional thought… I’m thinking it would be more personally powerful to drop “enough” from these statements. Just based on the historical use of “good enough”, there’s a tiny implication in my mind that it’s a  bit of a “lesser than” comment, if you know what I mean? So how about these examples, using a few of your statements above:

    The passion I put into my work today—it’s good!

    The effort I put into my dreams today—it’s good!

    The thought I put into my connections—it’s good!

    The time I took to do for the people I love—it’s good!

    The attempt I made at reaching outside my comfort zone—it’s good!

    The work I did for my own growth and healing—it’s good!

    For me, that feels way better. But that might be because of a bias I somehow adopted from my own past that “good enough” isn’t, well, good enough.
    (I like the new greeting lingo that goes, “How’re you doing?”…”I’m good!”)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Kate! I can see how that would be an empowering way to look at it. It becomes less about responding to the inner voice that says, “It’s not good enough” and more about giving yourself credit in general. Thanks for adding this! =)

  • Pingback: Tiny Wisdom: Be Good to Yourself | Tiny Buddha: Wisdom Quotes, Letting Go, Letting Happiness In

  • Desireswithhope

    I think Good enough doesn’t mean that what we have done will bring out reasonably good result, it just means we are doing the best we can whether it brings good result or not, surely, we can increase the zone of our good enough next time, even if we choose to not to use skills we have, it is still good enough because what we have done, it cannot be otherwise, how could we’ve done more when in reality we haven’t done it, this doesn’t mean you can’t try something different, but it just means that past is past, our every action is good enough, so better if we stop blaming ourself  and accept our past and love it for what it is, because it is our experience, and we can start doing something in the present to enjoy the Now, 

    Sometimes, I feel that Its my choice to not to ruminate over my actions and blame myself for it, regrets and guilt do not come by chance, it comes largely when we say that we should,could have done differently, and we are bad because we didn’t do that….
    What we better say is, there are different ways of doing that thing , but I have done my best at that moment and even If I had some other skills, there’s no damn reason why should I had done differently and If I could do it differently, I must have done it, But I haven’t done that, so ,let me see how can I do that thing in a different manner, and even If I can’t do it differently, let me see, how to be peace with it and enjoy myself as much as I can and want to…..

  • Desireswithhope

    Yes, I got it, it means that
    “I am always good enough as a human with all my actions  , but may be my actions practically are a bit less than required to get the result I want”

  • ringer

    “perfectly imperfect!!!