I Am the Best . . . But

Do you ever do that? Do you ever try to list your accomplishments or say something good about yourself, only to qualify it five seconds later? I realized yesterday that I do it all the time and it needs to stop. It is affecting my ability to create the life I want, as I discuss in this post about writing resumes.

What do I mean by qualifying? Well, here are a few examples from my own life and warped brain:

  • I wrote a complete young adult novel . . . but no publisher has picked it up, so of course it can’t be good enough.
  • I finished my doctoral program in three years . . . but I don’t have a tenure track job or a title, so I must be a failure. I am just not good enough.
  • I am a talented writer . . . but there are so many bloggers who get more hits than I do. I have never been Freshly Pressed. I must be doing something wrong. I am not good enough.
  • I am a creative and talented director . . . but I don’t have the right attitude or that mysterious drive to make a huge success in the professional theater world. (This one is more a justification of myself, when in reality I am simply scared). You guessed it . . . I am not good enough.

ENOUGH! I’m driving myself insane. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to be able to embrace my accomplishments and be proud of the person I am, without caring how it looks to the rest of the world. I want to feel and believe that I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!!

Ultimately, my denigration of self really comes down to my concern about how others might judge me. When I went for my doctorate, I had no real intention of entering the academic world and becoming a star professor. As a matter of fact, I really got the doctorate kind of as a fluke (not to diminish the hard work or commitment that it takes, but the choice to pursue the degree had less to do with the degree and more to do with my stubborn pursuit of education and achievement). So why, if that is true, do I care that I don’t have the job or title?  Or, to quote from Fortytude “Why do I . . . allow myself to be undermined by the very values I choose not to ascribe to?” (Brokaw 7)

The answer lies in the assumptions I make about what other people expect of me. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I want to live up to expectations. Yet, I constantly demean myself and perceive myself as a failure because I cannot claim the exact picture of “success” as dictated by society. I don’t have a title. I don’t have the money. I have a few awards, but nothing “big.” I don’t even have a real job at the moment.

Here is a reality I don’t often admit: I am the only person who has the right to be disappointed in anything I have done. I am the only one who should judge whether or not I have accomplished the goals I have for my life and myself. Have I disappointed myself in some areas? Of course. Who hasn’t? But, I have also surprised myself in others and achieved many things that I never imagined I could. Why can’t I simply say that without any qualifications?

So today, I hereby declare. I am, indeed, GOOD ENOUGH !!!

I want you to believe you are good enough too. I want everybody who reads this to list below something about yourself that you have every right to be proud of . . . no qualifications. Let’s celebrate ourselves for a change, and not diminish ourselves. Are you with me? Well then, share your victories below! I can’t wait to read them.

One more thing, as I was driving to meet with someone who could help me embrace my accomplishments on the page at least, I heard this song and really listened to the lyrics. I am writing the story of my life as we speak, and that life is more than just good enough, it is fantabulous!

0 thoughts on “I Am the Best . . . But

  1. You are preaching to the choir here! Excellent post and reflection. So you want my little victory… well. maybe realizing that my vulnerability, sensitivity, empathy etc etc…touchy feely stuff etc is a wonderful strength to be shared and appreciated both in my quiet life and my secret life…Now if I could figure out how the heck to blog roll I would do so for your blog….I’m working on it…

    • That is indeed an important victory, especially in a ridiculous world that tends to want to de-value those qualities. Those are important qualities that make you a caring, intelligent, wonderful woman.

      As for the BlogRoll, on the left hand side of your Dashboard there is a section called Links, and a choice to Add New. That’s where you can cut and paste web addresses to create your Blogroll

  2. You are indeed way BEYOND good enough Lisa! What a powerful post! First of all, about the Freshly Pressed. Please do not dwell on that. Rely solely on the feedback and support from your readers and friends for validation on your writing. My Freshly Pressed posts were nothing that I would have considered even remotely worthy of being featured, while all the stuff that I was truly proud of went unnoticed by WordPress, but not by my friends. So, I put 100% of my writing self-esteem into my readers and friends, to heck with WordPress. I, like you, have lived for years of worrying more about what I felt people were thinking about me than how I felt about myself. My biggest victory has to be my blog. I lost my career as a Nurse, lost the daily companionship of my co-workers and friends, and pretty much lost all feelings of any kind of relevance for many years after I got hurt. Somehow, I don’t even know how, but I managed to get a feeling of self-worth back through helping others via my blog. My hopefully bringing a smile to the readers each day is my way of again using my Nursing Skills from the usually lonely prison of my everyday boring life. You are indeed Good Enough Lisa and don’t you ever forget it! :)

    • No worries, Mark. The Freshly Pressed line was really an addition my husband suggested because I used to rant about it. But I haven’t really thought about it for a long time now. I rarely even read Freshly Pressed anymore, unless something really catches my eye. ;)

      As for your victory, so true! You, through your blog, your humor, and your willingness to create a supportive community in many venues (including certain private groups on Facebook) have shown the power of a story. Your honest sharing of your story, as well as your genuine care for others makes you a truly successful and wonderful person. Thank you for the laughs and the occasional serious thought, as well as always knowing when someone needs the extra hug of the perfect comment.

  3. When we are comfortable in our own skin, we more easily shrug off the opinions of others with respect to how we should live our lives. We stop using an external yardstick to measure our worth to the world.

    Jealousy and envy of others falls to the wayside because we know that we would not step wholesale into anyone else’s shoes . . . leaving our own behind.

    Instead of looking to others for guidance on what to be, say, think, and do, we look within and develop the “best” of our unique talents, skills, and abilities.

    We realize the goal of life is not to be better than anyone else . . . but to be better than our previous self. With our increased self-acceptance, we are able to say, with confidence and conviction, Who I Am . . . Is Who I Want To Be.

    C’est moi! :D

  4. FreshlyPressed, The Devil’s hairdresser’s cousin’s auntie’s boyfriend. “Good enough” doesn’t have a thing to do with FP! I love that you are seeing your value, Lisa. YOU ARE MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH, and I meant that enough to type-yell it at you :)

  5. I can thank lifeintheboomerlane for introducing me to your blog. Evidence of far more than good enough I find already! And what a perfect post for me to join in, as your words ring true to me. Thanks.

  6. You asked us to list something here that we’ve every right to be proud of, with no qualifications, so here goes: I work hard on my hundred word stories, so I came up with the idea to start a new site just for them. “Words One Hundred” addresses the ‘shorter post’ rule of building readership, and it has the potential to show potential employers what I can do with my writing, in an easier to read format. (I’ll stop abruptly now to keep from going into ‘but…’ territory.

  7. You really said the most important thing when you noted that yours is the only opinion that matters about you.

    I learned in therapy about locus of control, which is exactly what you are talking about in this post. The power should reside only in you. Don’t give it away to anyone. And don’t do it because I said so–cause even then you are only responding and not taking true control of yourself.

    If you have time or are able, I would really appreciate your feedback on my last three posts. They’re biggies for me in terms of memoir, and your thoughts as a writer, friend, fellow human being would help so much. I just value your eye and ear, as well as your heart. When you have time or have the internet connection, would you mind taking a look?

    Great revelations you are having, and, of course, you are GOOD ENOUGH!

    Kathy

    • I will indeed look at your posts, Kathy. Although, of course, my opinion shouldn’t matter. ;) I’m sorry I have fallen so far behind. It is challenging when you don’t have regular internet access to accomplish everything you need to do when you are at a location that gives you access. But, guess where I am typing right now! At home! I’M BACK!!!

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