The Gift of Good Enough

By Naami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC  

From a very young age, we are bombarded with messages  about what we should be. Some of them are from our homes. Some come from teachers. Eventually, as we grow and develop a peer group, we absorb society’s expectations for ourselves. We are supposed to be striving to better ourselves, in every way and in every area.  We go to school to get better jobs, we increase our work outs to improve our appearance, and we invest in organic food because of this messaging. To strive for more and better is considered admirable and praiseworthy. I am not here to take away from that. Of course, some measure of ambition is needed. However, at what point do we say this is enough? At what point do you look around and say, while I may still desire that new car, or to lose 10 pounds, I am  pretty happy  with my life right now?  

I would like to present to you the gift of good enough. The gift of good enough has long been scorned by the “American Dream” of having it all. However, if we can learn to give ourselves the gift of good enough, you may find that you have already attained that unattainable dream. You are already living many of your goals. You have achieved so many of those dreams you had for yourself. The thing is, by the time you achieved it, you were already hard at work on the next one. Attaining the previous goal didn’t feel quite as sweet as you thought it would.  Giving yourself the gift of good enough is letting yourself slow down enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor. It does not mean compromising or letting go of goals, it just means staying present long enough to enjoy what you already have.  

Here are a few suggestions to help you realize when something is good enough: 

  1. Write things down.  If you ever made a New Year’s list, go back and check it out. See how far you’ve come!
  2. Talk to a childhood friend or parent.  I was talking to an old friend about the stress of a new job. She commented “It’s so cool! You always said you wanted to do this, since 11th grade.” I realized she was right.
  3. Write down one or two things you are grateful for every day.  We are so often focused on what we are missing, or what we want to do, that we forget what we already have.  

Sometimes, all we need to tap into the goodness that is already there, is to slow down enough to see it. 

Naami ResnickNaami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC

Jewish Community Services (JCS) provides programs and services for people of all ages and backgrounds, helping them achieve their goals, enhance their wellbeing, and maximize their independence. To learn more, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.

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