Lately, I have been passing on a little pointer to my students in private practice: I have been inviting them to keep a mantra each day that says, “Good enough!”
Good enough for this white (or black, asian, aboriginal, etc.) girl (or boy or ___) who kinda thinks she/he is all that.
We all have a good amount of “I’m not worthy” running us ragged every day. That belief is tucked down in the depths of our being, but up on the surface we have a lot of striving energy – usually striving to get it right, or more specifically, to get it perfect.
This “I’m not worthy” belief creates stories that hook us into a mad insanity. There are stories about how our actions are causing other people strife, otherwise known as guilt. And there are heavier stories about how our very being is harmful to others, otherwise known as shame. So, guilt and shame are both coming from our deep subconscious belief that we are in fact “not worthy,” and the surface activity of our lives is filled with striving so we can measure up to some semblance of perfection.
Striving is profoundly stressful and uncomfortable, yet it is not always obvious to us. This is in part because it is a subtle energy source, driving us 24/7. The constantness and consistency of this energy makes us a little numb to the discomfort of it. It’s when that energy cranks into overgear and we suddenly find ourselves acting out an obsessive-compulsive drive for “perfection” that we can wake up to how heavy, painful, and uncomfortable it really is.
This relentless drive is fueled solely by the belief of “not worthy.” Without that belief, instead of striving, we would be motivated by something softer and much more fun: inspiration. We could simply flow from inspiration to inspiration, if only that darn “not worthy” wasn’t running the show through us! Even better, we could be motivated by something from my little box of teaching tools called Delicious Yes – that which is so inspiring that it feels fully delicious. But sadly, the relentless striving activity we engage in blocks that from us.
So, in comes this little teaching pointer of mine. Brace for it… drum roll on your chest please, and say out loud:
I am good enough.
The fact of the matter is that even the most resilient, integrated, and good-at-everything people – regardless of striving activity or lack thereof – are only going to “nail it” about 20% of the time. That means 80% of the time is going to be “good enough”. Which is awesome news, because most of us can be awesome 20% of the day. And most of us are going to be good enough 80% of the rest of the time. And I think that means we need that 80% of good enough so we have the energy and natural impulse to be extraordinary 20% of the time.
And when you personally stop striving to be awesome all the freaking time, you too will join the “20% of the time I’m extraordinary” club because you naturally have this capacity. Each one of us organically has the possibility and skills to be extraordinary in interesting ways about 20 percent of the time. However, when you strive to have more capacity that that, everything goes to shit and you end up lowering your natural capacity. Because striving totally takes over, and everything becomes rather chaotic and messy, and you find yourself falling behind – or worse, not even trying!
So, ironically, the deep relaxation of acknowledging that most of what you are doing is going to be “good enough” gives you some space and drive for your organic extraordinary to take over.
And 20% is a great amount of extraordinary; it is really all anyone ever needs. It would be exhausting for you and for everyone around you if you were extraordinary all the time. That would just be ridiculous, overinflated, douche-like behavior. (And I should know. I am a non-dual teacher, and in my current industry – and in the historical leaders in this industry – we see a lot of overinflated personalities who, even when when they are proclaiming themselves “egoless” or “divine”, somehow cast a big shadow of harm and all kinds of misconduct.)
Briefly said, “20% awesome” is plenty for anyone. Which means that 80% “good enough” really is good enough!
So, here is your invitation. Whisper this pointer, “good enough,” to yourself. See if you can drop into that deep relaxation. See if you can recognise the fact that you are, in fact, good enough, and most of what you are doing already is actually good enough. (And who do you think you are that you are striving for such perfection anyway?)
I invite you to be “good enough for a white girl who thinks she is kinda all that.” (Or whatever applies to you.)
And the gift in that – on top of the great relaxation from striving – is that this little antidote keeps “I’m not worthy” from running you ragged. And from that relaxation, it becomes just a little easier to find inspiration – or even, should you risk it, delicious – instead of it being overrun by striving.
So people, send me some t-shirts, or stickers for our cell phones, that say: “Good enough for this asian guy who kinda thinks he is all that!” etc. 🙂