ABOUT THIS EPISODE
I met the most interesting person the other day. We met totally at random. I had stopped to take some pictures of some gigantic murals that adorn the freeway walls here in town. He happened to live across the street. I didn’t even see him but he was watching as I parked my car and was engaging me in conversation before I had a chance to get out of my car.
I had some time on my hands, and have a morbid sense of curiosity, so I just flowed with the whole conversation. We ended up chatting for literally 5 or 6 hours. Now, this man had a very bright and thoughtful mind, and that kept me intrigued as to what he would say next, and I want to preface the following with — nothing he said was meant with any guile or negativity. But…
As we chatted, and chatted, and chatted, he managed to judge and disparage me in every way he could. There was something wrong with everything about me. My shirt was cheap. My car had the wrong sport gear. The manufacturer had chinzed on the paint job. My dog was too fat, and the color of his fur was too boring. My hair wasn’t good enough. The way I’d shaved my scruff was wrong. For hours, this man put me down in more ways I could even keep track of. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough.
Now, many people would be offended by this guy’s judgments. Many people would feel chagrined or embarrassed. I was unphased partly because I don’t base my self-worth on what others think of me. Partly because, again, I didn’t sense he was judging me out of malice.
The point is that he was judging me according to his measuring stick for life. What’s good enough. What’s not. What’s acceptable. Or not. And, the point of this podcast is to point out just how much that message is out there: “You’re not good enough.”
We are surrounded by these judgments and expectations about how we have to be. Apparently, to be good enough we have to meet an endless list of expectations: how to look, dress, act, speak. Who we hang out with, possessions we own, where we should live. So, let’s talk about being “good enough.”Quotes about “good enough”:
“I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” ~Stuart Smalley
“THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.” ― Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
1. There are three problems with trying to be “good enough”:
- The list of what will make us “good enough” is endless and self-contradictory. If we keep one rule for being “good enough” we inevitably break some other good-enough rules.
- The list is someone else’s list. Society, friends, family, colleagues and peers, movies and media. Trying to please others all our lives will only make us miserable. Period.
- This is the biggest problem — when we adopt others’ expectations of us as our own. We honestly believe that we have to look a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way. This is a problem because we don’t even realize when were trying to l