Being Enough

If you have friends, you have been sent one of the TED Talks of Brené Brown, the story-teller researcher who works on slippery topics–vulnerability, shame, being enough.

Here’s what I learned when I explored Brown’s ideas of being enough.

enough_1When my coaching clients tell me they have no dreams, no goals, no ambitions they often present it as a fact that has always been true and will always remain true. When I peg that as the “I’m enough” baseline, they get nervous. Unhappy. Because they often feel they aren’t enough. What would it take to be enough?

enoug_2We often allow other people to determine who we are.  Among our friends, winning is getting the envious looks at the size 4 figure, the Prada bag, the BMW, the wealthy spouse. We define ourselves in the eyes of others. Nothing wrong with the Prada and the BMW, as long as you know they aren’t you, and that if you lost them, you would still have the essential you. (Reality check: if you lost the Prada, the spouse, the BMW, would your friends stay?)

enough_31It’s easy to lose sight of, then forget, our own values, our own dreams, our own goals. We replace what our heart yearns for with the prize we want right now.

enough_51The harder truth to cope with is that we are enough every day. Everyone fails, everyone does dumb things, everyone wishes they could take something back. The real success stories belong to the people who brush off their values and won’t allow rationalization to tarnish them. Who push themselves to grow every day. To be enough every day.


enough_6Your “enough” can grow. That’s the point. A real trick is to allow your friends to be Enough today and grow to be Enough tomorrow, too. Not your Enough, their Enough.  If last week’s Enough feels tight, you have outgrown it. Luckily, Enough can grow with self-awareness.

Quinn McDonald is a life and creativity coach who helps people deal with change and re-invention. In other words, who helps people grow into their personal “Enough.”

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14 thoughts on “Being Enough

  1. Pingback: Link Round-Up » Pierced Wonderings

  2. As a classroom teacher there is always more you can do, it can be never-ending so I have to learn when to say I had done enough. Now that I work with teachers of children at risk for any number of reasons, I am okay with the concept of teachers and parents being good enough and that has to be enough. I just have problems with it on a personal level . . . I always think and feel I could be more. Time to step up and out and just be enough . . . for this day, this hour, this minute. It could be different tomorrow

    I really needed this today Quinn. I’m not being hard on myself, nor is the IC having a go at me . . . I’m just growing another hero.

  3. Oh my gosh I love this post, especially, “Your enough can grow. That’s the point. A real trick is to allow your friends to be Enough today and grow to be Enough tomorrow, too. Not your Enough, their Enough. ” Why do so many people impose THEIR standards and ideals onto others…positive or negative? We need to support our friends and loved ones when they lose or gain weight, get a new job, quit their job to follow their dreams, find a new partner, lose a partner, etc., etc. If we aren’t walking in someone else’s shoes, then we don’t know what they are going through so all we can do is be there for them through the highs and the lows.

    Good looks, fabulous bodies, great jobs, sporty cars, lots of money, etc. can be gone before we know it. Relationships of any kind cannot be formed based on those things…not if we want them to last and be REAL.

    Here’s one of my all time favorite passages from The Velveteen Rabbit:
    “’It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’”

  4. There was a time about a third of the way through my 44 year marriage that I had convinced myself that I was not enough. My spouse was unhappy and I thought it was because I wasn’t a good enough wife, housekeeper, mother, woman….and on and on. It took me a while to work through it. What I learned about myself was that I was enough by my ruler and that if I wasn’t enough by his it was something he would need to work out. It was a hard time for us but coming to the point of being enough for myself and his understanding that, saved us as a couple.
    I’ve managed to hold myself to being enough and as I get older I learn and grow and open myself to become even more. It keeps our relationship steady and fresh and although we are getting older, somehow new.
    Thanks for the reminder Quinn.

  5. Wow, how timely that you write this. I am finishing up part 1 and gearing up for part 2 of an eCourse with Oprah and Brene Brown on the Gifts of Imperfection. It is an amazing course and it’s what drew me to your Inner Critic Art Journaling. Thank you for the reinforcement. I am enough!

  6. I have a problem with the word enough in that it easily sounds like ok, settling for, status quo, mediocre. “I don’t love my job, but it’s good enough to survive on”. People tend to forget the growing part. The art is being happy here and now AND strive for better things. Not wait for those to MAKE you happy, later. I wish there was a clearer vocabulary to set those two mindsets apart.

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