Accepting “Good Enough”
Couple’s Counseling Bethesda, MD
Many us of in this day and age have some, shall we say, “perfectionist” tendencies. It’s perfectly normal to feel as though you’re not doing enough in a fast-paced and competitive world. We want to work harder, do better, and of course push our kids to strive for the same things. Of course there are values in these things; but, I think that many of us would benefit from cutting ourselves some slack. For the most part, we’re all doing our best. We can still be strive to do better, and moving toward concrete, realistic goals can be satisfying and productive. The challenge is to accept ourselves where we are in the process, and allow ourselves to feel comfortable with “good enough.”
What does this mean? Well, maybe you set out to go the gym early in the morning, get the kids to school on time, finish a project at work, and have dinner on the table by 6. Maybe your day didn’t go exactly as planned. Do you beat yourself up about it? Do you take it out on everyone else? Or do you adapt and accept that although things did not go as planned, they were “good enough?” If everyone in your family is healthy and happy and you’re doing work that you can be proud of, that day can probably go in the “win” column of your life. Being able to acknowledge what you did accomplish, and what you are grateful for that day can save you stress and heartache in the process.
This concept plays out in a relational context as well. We can give ourselves credit for being a “good enough” partner, parent, or friend when we make a habit of meeting others where they are. What does it mean to accept your partner where they are in the present moment rather than where they ought to be? Well, may you have expectations about what your partner should be achieving (whether it’s around the house, or in a broader life context), and they’re just not meeting them. Do you become resentful? Instead, try openly communicating about your expectations and have a calm conversation about what you can do to help these get met. You may want to examine where you are coming from, and keep in mind that your partner just may not be where you’d like them to be. Meeting people where they are gives you a greater capacity for empathy, and can aid in the process of growth. You just may learn something about yourself along the way.
Laura Golojuch provides couple, family, and individual therapy at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates in downtown Bethesda, MD. Call or email her today to set up a complimentary telephone consultation or initial appointment! firstname.lastname@example.org or 240, 752-7650, ext. 5.