Key Point: One element emphasized by the performance psychologists of Olympic athletes is this: If you weren’t good enough before you win the gold medal, you won’t be good enough after you win it. Winning to prove “you’re good enough” is a dead end journey. I have seen this with people at work quite often. I may have even behaved this way myself. The primary motivation connected to forward movement can sometimes be around the judgmental voice of our ego. We may say things to ourselves like, “If I get this promotion then I will finally be good enough,” “when I make this amount of money then I will finally be good enough,” “when I lose the 30 pounds then I will finally be good enough.” And of course, when they get “there,” it’s never enough .
I recently discussed this notion with a very wise performance consultant and she talked about the conundrum and paradox surrounding personal contentment and development. She noted: “At a fundamental level personal acceptance is critical for well–being and high performance. No matter where we are on our life journey it is important to trust that we are whole – that we ARE enough, and ensure that our esteem not be determined by achievements. This reality, however, must coexist with another aspect equally present in people – the desire to grow, develop, aspire, be creative and curious about one’s potential. It thus begs a question… ‘How can I feel that I am enough AND want more out of life?’ It takes an open and reflective mindset to hold both as truth.”
In my career, I have seen the most confident and humble people come from a place of deeply believing in themselves as “good enough.” However, these same people are relentlessly curious and adventurous . They come from an abundant place of always contributing, creating, building, adding, and personally growing. They are content in the moment regarding who they are and yet relentlessly restless in giving to themselves and others the very joy associated with “more.” It is possible for “enough” and “more” to wonderfully co-exist. It is ok to be enough and not done.
1. I am inviting you to join me in a recommended exercise if the above topic resonates with you in any way. On a blank page draw a line through the middle. On the left hand side, write “content and I am enough” as a heading. On the right side of page, write “more and not done yet.” Then for each side, ask yourself and write your reflections:
* When and in what ways do I feel content? When and in what ways do I desire more?
* How will I live in ways that reflect that I am content? How will I live in ways that acknowledge my potential?
* How will I communicate to others that I am content? How will I communicate my eagerness to develop and grow?
2. This exercise may help us better discover and live the dual path of contentment and more. At the root however, must be the belief: I AM enough!
Relentlessly content in the Triangle
One Millennial View: I’ve come to the realization that my least favorite phrase is likely one I’ve used before, but now diligently try to avoid. I dislike saying, “it is what it is.” To me, it’s a phrase that suggests stopping, being stuck, or unable to progress in a favorable direction. It’s a way to justify brushing a difficult issue under the rug. Not believing you’re “enough,” seems to lead to anticlimactic conclusions like “it is what it is.”
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis