Episode 83: Good Enough For Me
Episode 83: Good enough for me
I’ve had this topic on my mind for a few months now I think it might be because things are starting to open back up little by little. More people are starting to get back together to visit and feel safer to be around each other and for the past year we’ve all been in our own little bubbles really, with our masks, and restrictions, and safety procedures, and I hope doing things more akin to you and what you prefer.
So many of you are loving the more relaxed pace and yoga pants at work because zoom can only see you from the waist up, right? And there’s just a different feel as we make our way back into society and our old social patterns and for quite a few of us there’s a fear or some anxiety about it all.
When you haven’t seen anyone for a year are you worried about what they’re going to think of you? Are you worried that you gained weight and they’re going to think, “whoa…they let themselves go” or “what’d they do during this whole thing?” And worrying that they’re going to think we didn’t utilize this time wisely enough or all the things our amazing brain loves to think about.
Without the daily constant exposure to society and our social interactions, we can start to get into a comfortable groove of what’s really good enough for me.
If you think about it, if their opinions weren’t an issue would you still worry about this?
If no one was going to see that cake you baked or that creation you made or that song you sang or whatever you like to do – would you be able to enjoy it more? Even your house – with no one coming over it’s easy to let things just be. And after a while things clutter up a bit more and you get to a place between what’s acceptable to you vs if you were having company and quick! Hide everything! I remember this sweet older sister when I was in young women admitting to hiding her dirty dishes in her oven when she heard the doorbell ring just in case it was someone that wanted to come in for a visit.
The dishes in the sink didn’t bother her when its was just her but because it’s not just her anymore but another person what was good enough for her wasn’t good enough anymore. Isn’t that interesting?
What in your life is good enough for you but not good enough, you think for them?
There’s nothing like company that takes the blinders off and all a sudden you see every dirt, smudge, item out of place, perceived flaw, etc, right?
But when you pause for a moment to think about it, why?
Why is it good enough for you but not good enough for them?
Why are we so worried about what they’ll think of us over our own comfort?
So one reason is because we have learned to weigh our own worth as a human being and our belief about ourselves based on other peoples opinions or thoughts about us – and not just that but even just our own thoughts about what they might be thinking of us.
What are some of the things you worry about that you think others are thinking of you? That’s quite a wordy question – but what do you think they’re thinking about you that worries you?
I’ve heard countless times that people worry that they’re:
Not smart enough – and not just academically but spiritually or just even common sense – that they’ll look stupid or not smart enough – they should know this but they don’t, kind of a thing.
We worry that people think we’re not pretty enough – we’re too fat, we’re too thin, we’re too hairy, our hair is ugly, we have too many wrinkles, cellulite, gray hairs, a big nose, ugly teeth, an ugly smile – we can sum it up to any part of you – there’s probably a chance that you might be or have been at some point worried about what other people think of you in that area.
We worry that we’re not adding value or enough value and this is for anything really – your callings, your work, even your personal projects that you do just for fun – we still worry when others see it that they’re going to judge it.
We worry that people will think we’re awkward – socially awkward and when you’re talking in a group it seems like all of the sudden you don’t know what to do with your arms, your hands, you’re acutely aware of all these sensations that are usually automatic and so you’re so worried about all those things that you’re not thinking clearly or as comfortably as usual and so you might come across awkward or different and it’s not because you are but because in that moment you make the awkwardness a reality for you.
We often worry that we don’t matter and this is such a prominent one. When we don’t get the invite, when people don’t check in on us, when they don’t text or call back we start to make up stories in an attempt to make sense of things – even if they’re not true but because of our own fears we end up projecting those fears onto others and then we make it true to us because well, see? I have evidence to prove it.
We worry that people will think we’re not productive enough – I have a whole month planned to talk about this topic in the membership because it’s a heavy one for us. We live in a society that adds weight and value to productivity and what we create over who we are and what our virtues are. So if we don’t get all 50 things done on our list we worry that we’re not enough, we’re not doing enough, that others are doing more than us and that means that we’re bad and less than.
We worry that we’re too much for other people. We text too much, we talk too much, we share too much, we offer too much, we laugh too much and all the while our definition of “too much” is in our book bad but only because we’re afraid that they’ll think it’s bad so we limit ourselves, we ruminate on how we did show up, and we create a lot of mental drama for ourselves and label ourselves too much, too much, too weird, too annoying, too something.
We worry that our friends don’t really like being around us, that maybe they’re just tolerating us or that they’re feeling pity and only extending the friendly offering because they feel bad for us but deep down they don’t really want to be with us.
We worry That your job isn’t a real job
Decisions, outfits, social situations
Too big, too fat, too old, too young
Not doing enough with your life
Not being married
Being married to the wrong person
Getting a degree
Not having a degree
Not having the right degree
What kind of a parent you are – how you choose to parent your kids
You have to give your brain something else to think instead
Just let it go – your brain CAN’T – you have to give it something else to do – you have to start thinking something else – new thoughts about ourselves
The only reason we care what other people think is because we are projecting our own thoughts onto them – we only imagine other people thinking things about us that we already think we are and that we think are “bad”
It’s so common and part of our primitive human nature to worry and care about what other’s think about us but more often than not – actually most of the time our brains are just wrong – we get it totally wrong.
Let me give you a recent example:
I’m learning Spanish this year and of course I’m stumbling over words and I believe I have terrible pronunciation and my husband is this stellar Spanish speaker. He speaks Spanish at his work just about all day so he’s very comfortable with the language and in my Spanish app there’s times when it wants you to read a specific phrase out loud and every time I do my husband looks over at me and I’m paranoid because I believe I’m not saying it right and that I should be able to or that it should sound better.
Now I know he’d never think negatively about me and if anything he’s probably wanting to tease but I’m super sensitive about it and I just glared back at him and told him to stop judging me and he was so shocked because he said, “I wasn’t! You just started talking out of nowhere and I didn’t know if you were talking to me and why you’re asking me if I want to walk to the park with you right now when it’s 10:00 at night”.
So in his mind, he’s confused and didn’t even realize I was on the Spanish app and I’m so paranoid and insecure about my limited Spanish skills that I projected my insecurities onto him believing that he was judging me about how my Spanish sounded and not just that but the deep-seated, subconscious belief that I’m doing it wrong and I shouldn’t be, that what my current skills or limited skills are “bad” and that’s really what is creating the turmoil and drama in my mind is because my mind is amplifying a belief that I have about myself and it really has nothing to do with him.
How often do we do things like this? We only think we know what they’re thinking of us and because we’re worried about something we assume that they’re thinking that about us. It doesn’t make it true but in our minds we believe it is and then our brain goes to work finding evidence to prove it true to us.
So here’s what’s interesting though, this same concept works both ways. You can easily find evidence to prove a productive thought true too.
This isn’t a matter of overlooking the fearful thought but acknowledging what else is true. I’ve used the example of being in a car driving on this mountainside. On one side of the car it’s this scene of massive rock – your view is very limited and blocked and so it seems daunting but on the other is this open scene – depending on where you live or how you’re picturing this -we live in California so it’s either an expanse of wilderness and Yosemite – or it’s the coast and just ocean as far out as you can see.
Both realities exist – the mountain IS there but so is the open view. When you’re worried about what others think of you it’s the equivalent to staring out at the mountain and rock and being limited because there’s nothing we can do about what other people think in their minds – what brain waves they are creating. We’re limited because we can’t control other people – we also don’t really know what they’re thinking ever too.
But on the other side there are options. There’s an infinite expanse to benefit from. There’s the question first of what else is true?
And then there’s checking in with yourself about why it really matters to you – why does what they think really bother you?
And I’ll tell you – it’s not because they’re thinking anything – it’s because of what you’re making that mean about you –
You’re making it mean that something is wrong with you, that it’s bad or not okay, or that you shouldn’t be that way but have you stopped to Dig in deeper?
Why not? Why do you think it’s bad or wrong or that you’re not enough?
Who decides that?
The truth is what really matters is what YOU think – do you like what you’re doing, how you’re showing up, how you’re feeling, and who you are?
You are the only one you really need to prove yourself to – no one else can give you what you think you want.
Often times we believe that if they believed something about us then we’d feel a certain way – we’d feel validated, loved but really they can’t give us those feelings.
We are the only one’s capable of doing that and we can start by choosing what side of the car we’re going to spend our energy on.
Here’s the thing, you can’t really stop yourself from thinking about what they’re thinking about – it’s very human nature to do so but we can choose how long we think about it, and what we make it mean.
I’ve said this before but I’ve always had a beef with the saying, “Let it go” and trust me, I’ve tried – it’s doesn’t work and it doesn’t work because your brain is always solving a problem – it has to be doing something – so that’s why I love the question, what else is true?
Give your brain the job to focus on something that is more productive for you.
So one thing that’s really helpful is thinking about the thought – if their opinions weren’t an issue – they weren’t an option – would this still bother me?
Most of the time we’re more lenient and kind with ourselves. We allow ourselves to be more comfortable and we even say and think, “because no one is going to see it anyway – it doesn’t really matter” and it doesn’t matter in the sense that it has to be perfect – it’s when we’re afraid of what others think that’s when we let our perfectionist brain start running the show and then we feel pressured to have it look and be a certain way and it takes away from what was good enough for you.
We start to confuse a way with THE way and again that is what creates all the drama for you. Thinking it needs to be a certain way, you need to be a certain way because you believe that there is ONE way – one right way. But why?
When you pause long enough just to ask yourself the question – you’ll start to see other options available to you.
Let me use the example of weight and your body image. If other’s opinions weren’t an issue – do you think it’d be easier to love or at least appreciate your body?
Think about that – Your body allows you to move, your legs are strong enough to keep you moving forward and getting you to where you want to go. Your rear end provides a comfortable seat when you sit down, right? Like your body is amazing and whole and wonderful but we don’t think about it like that. We chastise and berate and hate on our body because it doesn’t look how we think we want it to – and why do you think that? Where did you get the idea that it should look differently?
If everyone were blind and couldn’t see – do you think you’d have different thoughts about your body image?
How often do you feel bad because you’re perceiving another person’s perceived opinion of you?
If their opinions weren’t an option, would this still be a problem for you?
If you lived in the middle of nowhere, seeing no one, talking to no one – besides feeling lonely – would you still be bothered by the things you allow yourself to be bothered by now?
If the answer is no – on most accounts – then why are you letting it bother you now?
There’s a difference between what’s good enough for me and what I think is good enough for others – and why?
So on one hand – if you’re showing in a more special, elaborate way for others – why aren’t you giving yourself that same gift?
Or if it stressful to do more for others – but totally okay to be low-key for you – why shouldn’t the low-key version be okay for them too?
If it’s good enough for you – why are we adding pressure to ourselves to be or do or show up differently to others?
And most of the time it’s because we believe that if they think something good about us then we can feel good.
If you were fit and skinny and had an olympian body then others would approve, you’d feel validated, worthy, attractive – but it didn’t come from the body shape – those feeling only came from you giving yourself permission to think approving thoughts about you – and why are we waiting assuming that others know you better than you do. Or that somehow they’re more the authority figure of it.
Allow yourself to be authentic and genuine especially with yourself. Be honest with yourself – if you were worried or concerned about their opinions – would this still bother you?
And if not – then ask yourself why you’re allowing yourself to be bothered now.
Confidence stems from getting to know yourself in every detail possible and this is a big detail. Why am I putting so much weight and emphasis on this? Why am I willing to go all out for them and not for me?
Or why do I think I need to go all out for them when this other option is good enough for me?
If you want to feel confident – especially around other people and not worry about what they think – then you have to give your brain a job to do – a productive job to do and just asking your brain these questions – being curious – helps tremendously.
It will help you set your intention – understand why you’re showing up the way you are – and then deciding on purpose how you want to show up and when you know and like your reasons why – their opinions don’t hold weight anymore.
Always remember, their way is just a way. It is not THE way.
Understand your reasons for taking the way you are and when you like them when know why – you’ll be able to have your own back and to feel more confident.
Okay, friends – you’ve got some work to do – question, dig in deeper, be curious and then choose what window you’re going to look out of- what scene are you going to focus on? What’s good enough for you? What feels good to you? What has you showing up how you want to?
Fun stuff, my friends! I’ll talk to you all next week!