Good enough

Darn Right We’re Good Enough!

I’m always amazed to find things out about my friends that I didn’t previously know. Such as, my dear friend Lieve Olivera is a brilliant writer. While I was visiting Lieve and her husband Hector last weekend we started talking about family, our parents, grandparents, etc. Lieve then shared with me a short story she had written about her father who had died when she was only three months old.

Wanting to give myself uninterrupted space to enjoy my friend’s short story, I took the few pages to the guest room I was staying in. I was immediately captivated, not just by the facts of her ancestry, but by the nuances with which she told the story. I was riveted and didn’t want it to end.

The ensuing conversation we had regarding her writing shocked me, but also provided a wake-up call with my own life. I asked Lieve why she didn’t write more and she replied, “I’m concerned I’m not good enough.”

I was aghast! Her comment was so absurd. “Not good enough for what?” I asked her. “To sit at your computer and put your thoughts to words? Not good enough to enjoy your God-given talent?” It then struck me, what exactly is the measure of “good enough?” And do we use that mythical metric as our excuse to stop procrastinating and start doing? Or do we use it as our excuse so we won’t be disappointed if whatever we are executing isn’t hailed as brilliant, genius, and worth a million dollars?

I put off writing a book for years because I didn’t think what I had to say would be “good enough.” In all honesty I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to read what I had to say. And then I thought “Who cares? Why should I worry about the potential interests or criticisms of others?” The answer was liberating: I’m NOT writing a book for money or fame. I’m NOT writing a book to achieve a new and different type of acclaim. I AM writing a book because I’ve had a full 35-year career at UCLA filled with trials, tribulations, challenges, rewards, accolades and setbacks. I AM writing a book because I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed my life that I wanted to relive the memories of the last 35 years and I DO believe I have earned some wisdom that, at best, will benefit and empower others and, at least, get readers to pause and ponder.

Once I got out of my way and smashed all of my excuses for why I might not be “good enough” I had a blast skipping down memory lane and putting all of it into words, stories and anecdotes. IF someone finds what I’ve written to be of value… then it will be a very exciting added bonus.

Actually I’ve already received that added bonus. I’ve shared the first draft of my book with a few people in different walks of life. I’m beyond thrilled that all of them told me that they found the book to be a super interesting read and filled with nuggets of wisdom and suggestions that they, in turn, have translated to their own lives and work environments. That is so cool!  So in reality, I haven’t sold one book and have already reaped the rewards of having stopped with the apprehension and excuses and finally written a book!

OK your turn… what have you been putting off because you are believing the lie that you’re not “good enough?”

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PennySabrinaLieve OliveraAmy EricksonHunter Price Recent comment authors
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Penny
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Penny

This reminds me of one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone”. Thank you for the words of wisdom!

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I promise I will raise my two little girls always always telling them that they ARE good enough for anything they want. And even that doesn’t seem enough…I love your question to stop and think about who we are trying to be good enough for. Who or what is the measure of enough? Our world is so critical and so inflexible…can’t wait to read something positive that celebrates life 🙂

Lieve Olivera
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Lieve Olivera

Miss Val, thank you for the wake-up call. Yes, ‘not being good enough’ is like a two edged sword. On the one hand it’s the perfect excuse ‘not’ to write and therefore not to be disappointed, and on the other hand, not being ‘good enough’ is an ‘acceptable’ reason – I convinced myself- to escape responsibility for the God given talents brewing inside me. Miss Val challenged my reasons for procrastinating the very thing I am passionate about. Writing! For a long time, I was reluctant to share my writings, even with my dearest friends, because I wondered if I… Read more »

Amy Erickson
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Amy Erickson

It’s amazing to me how easily this lie seeps into our psyche and takes over. My “not good enough story” has to do with singing. I was told when I was young that I couldn’t sing, so I stopped. I’d never sing in front of anyone (although I secretly loved it and would serenade my shampoo bottles and hairbrushes). I vividly remember sitting backstage during a musical production in high school just wishing I could sing like the girls on stage. I even remember uttering a silent prayer to God. “Lord, if only you’d give me a voice, I promise… Read more »

Hunter Price
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I love this!! So true! Too many of is hold ourselves back in fear of not being good enough. I, too, want to write a book!! Thanks for always being an inspiration!

Csummers
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Csummers

That is totally awesome and so well stated. Do what you love and love what you.

A Renee
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A Renee

Miss Val, What a wonderfully wordy, well written musing on which you’ve given us to ponder. What impeccable timing as well. For many years, since I had a bad experience with a college professor who used the advice, “you don’t want people to hate you, do you? Because they hate you,” I’ve been afraid to put myself out there. Worried I’d not live up to the expectations of another. In August 2016, after 7 years of attempting to keep my head down (I honestly rather fail spectacularly at that), I volunteered for a one year detail at my work. I… Read more »

Katrina Welborn
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Miss Val, thank you. Simply, thank you. I saw your “swipe up” post on your Instagram story and before I even swiped up, I teared up a bit as your caption captured where I’ve been all month. I moved and started a new job the 1st of July and all of the doubt telling me I’m not good enough for this job crept back in and I’ve been working all month at pushing it back out while finding ways to show myself that I am good at what I do. Ans I am good enough just by being me. Thank… Read more »