As I move around the world, I am constantly struck by the messages that define what makes us good enough. I hear messages of not good enough every day in my office with my clients. I see it in my own tendency to do just one more thing for the people and groups I care about. I watch it in the people around me, shifting and changing their physical body, not from a desire to be strong and healthy, but from a desire to good enough.
Our bodies can be amazing vehicles to move through the world and accomplish amazing things.
Our bodies can also be impediments to living the life we most desire. Much of what holds us back is the belief that we are not good enough. Not good enough is a sly nemesis. It shapeshifts and becomes different things for all of us. For many women, I hear not thin enough, hair not straight enough, teeth not white enough, boobs not big enough, job not important enough. For men, I hear not tall enough, not strong enough, not rich enough, not handsome enough, not athletic enough. For adolescents and teens, I hear not popular enough, not like my parents enough, not cool enough. From older people, I hear not fast enough, not relevant enough, not healthy enough.
I have spent many years working with an organization that facilitates a camp for children who have been burned. If you have been burned and have visible scars, you may spend some time, every day, feeling less than because your body has a visible representation of a traumatic event you experienced. The goal of the camp is to create a few days, each year, where kids are just kids. Not a kid with burn scars, a kid. At camp, nobody looks twice when a kid with burn scars takes off their shirt to go in the pool or wears a strappy dress for a dance. These kids are creating a small space in the world where their physical body does not hold them back from anything.
What if good enough is not something we earn? What if we are good enough, full stop? Nothing after. No qualifier. What if who you are today, with no changes, is good enough? What could you do with that knowledge and the peace it brings? If you are reading this, I can assure you there is much that comes after the acceptance that you are enough. But I wonder if what comes after ?I am not enough? is always going to be what holds us back.