I used to be the person who thought that she wasn’t good enough at anything. Not good enough to be in the top class, not good enough to be in the hockey team (always a reserve), not good enough to get a boyfriend, not good enough to…
The list went on and on and on. But what was I doing to myself? I was telling myself that I couldn’t do any better. I was doing MY best but it wasn’t THE best. I was already telling myself that I wasn’t going to be the best or get the best result or even be near the best. Even before I finished a project I knew it wasn’t good enough.
This was starting to become a problem when I became a mother. We want our children to do the best that they can but at the same time we are telling them that it is ok to not be at the top of the class or always first in the long jump. We tell them that they did their best and that that is all we expect from them, we love them for who they are. And then we go and feel bad about ourselves that WE haven’t been the best. Not the best mother, didn’t bake the best cakes or make the best fancy dress costume. Why do we give ourselves such a hard time?
When my eldest was 5 she needed to go to school dressed as a character from a book, unbelievably for World Book Day! She was not into dressing up and being the centre of attention but I was not going to be the mum who didn’t bother. So she went as Winnie the pooh. I made some round fluffy ears and a big tummy to stuff under her red t-shirt and we painted a little black nose onto her face. She looked adorable. She wasn’t that happy to be honest and we still laugh about it but I did my best. I am not a costume designer, I am not an artist and I didn’t have the spare money to go and buy a costume for a few hours at school, so I improvised. My good enough was good enough!
I seem to have forgotten about the times when I was a child and I “operated on my mothers knees” when they were hurting, I was THE best then! Or the times that I jumped around the garden on a space hopper and pretended I was showjumping on an horse. I always won then! Or when I played with my dolls and I was their mother. I didn’t criticise myself then so why as I got older did I become hard on myself?
So many people do it, we suddenly wake up one day as an older child and start to be tough on ourselves and think we are failures. We take this into our adult life and we expect to fail. I am sure I am not the only one who has started a new job and thought to myself “they will realise soon that they could have got someone better” or been in a relationship where we are waiting for our partner to find someone better.
Now as I prepare to enter my last year of study I have learnt that I always do my best. If I need to learn new skills or get new information I go looking for it. I don’t beat myself up, I don’t tell myself that I am not good enough because do you know what, I am good enough and so are you.