good enough by Effi Lind

Like a half-finished painting

Yesterday, I went to bed and my head was so full that I couldn’t fall asleep. So many thoughts were cycling in my head.

I should have done a workout today, stuck to a no-carb diet, interacted more with people, been more social, nice, active, dedicated to my work …

My heart was beating as if I was running on the street because my body tried to ready itself for all the tasks I had piled up in my mind. All the things that I should do in order to become my version of perfect.

Since I wasn’t able to sleep anyway, I pulled out a notebook and started writing down all the tasks I had on my mind. Soon, I realized that it wasn’t possible. There were too many and it felt way too depressing to make this seemingly endless list.

Please, no more tips on self-optimization!

I did not like thinking about this issue but that night I couldn’t escape the confrontation any longer. I had to admit to myself that I am not even doing half the things I think I should do on a daily basis in order to become a better person.

Why? I used to think that it was due to a lack of willpower or life circumstances but looking at the unfinished list, I had to admit to myself: Nobody would be capable of fitting all of these small and big tasks into their day. No mind could focus on so many things – smile more, give compliments, flex your pelvic muscle, stand more, give small gifts to friends regularly …

I realized that I had accumulated a sh*t load of life advice in my brain and told myself to follow all of it. No wonder I had been constantly feeling overwhelmed. I put myself a challenge that I couldn’t win. Setting myself up for failure every day.

Am I a construction site or a work in progress?

So, I understood that I had to get out of that mindset. Seeing myself as an eternal construction site, as an unfinished painting is very limiting. It impacts my social life because I have a hard time being in the moment if I constantly think about what I should do better. It’s no way of life.

It all boils down to the question: Am I good enough? Self-doubt is like a virus in our society. I realized that, if I want to make my dreams come true, I need to understand that I am good enough. That I do not have to focus all day long on turning myself into a better version of myself.

That’s the shadow side of the self-optimization culture. A lack of acceptance and self-love. I still love learning and making the best of myself but I had to realize that the pressure I put on myself is unhealthy and not helping me to grow at all.

Instead, I used it as an excuse for not starting the things I wanted to do. Like creating videos for YouTube, writing books, starting to post regularly on Instagram and my blog. I mean, why would I put myself out there if I was still in the process of becoming good enough, whole enough?

Good enough to be me

Nobody hangs a half-finished painting in a gallery, why would I show my flawed self for others to judge? The problem is that the moment where I would think “Now I am whole, I am ready to show myself to the world” would never come. There would always be another thing that needs to be fixed or improved because perfection is not achievable.

I’ve understood that I will never be “completed” for as long as I am alive. The state I had been waiting for will never arrive. I will always be a woman with quirks and personality traits that could be improved. That will not keep me anymore from doing the things I love doing. Even if some people may see my flaws and shortcomings and judge me for them. Eventually, I know that I am good enough to be me. It may sound w a bit weird but it feels exactly right.


    1. bohema

      Thank you, Kat. It really helps to keep this in mind. Actually, I have been feeling much more at peace since I became conscious of this pattern.

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