What’s your reaction when I ask, “Are you good enough?” Do you find yourself cringing, disappointed, discontent — because the phrase ‘good enough’ just communicates to you that you aren’t ‘the best’? I know many perfectionists who face the same issue, but I’ve got news for you: Good enough really is GOOD ENOUGH. None of us can measure up to perfection! There will always be someone better than you, there will always be someone with better ideas, better skills, better whatever. Fill in the blank! Whether you’re thinking about your work, your relationship, your parenting, your exercise, or anything else, it’s much healthier for your well being to take on a good enough stance, rather than expecting yourself to be perfect. This need for perfection can actually hold you back! As Voltaire once noted, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”
What’s more, an obsessive search for perfection can negatively affect any relationship you find yourself in. That puts so much pressure on your partner! I remember when I was young, I put so much pressure on Eric and I. I expected him to PERFECTLY meet all my needs. But there was no way that even a Greek god could meet my expectations perfectly! Then one day I was talking to a man at a leadership conference, giving my sob story about my imperfect marriage, and he said something that really shifted my perspective: he felt that having expectations, any expectations, was a SIN. Sin?! Really?! It was such a strong statement I couldn’t believe it! He explained, “Hope for everything — but expect nothing.” That stuck with me, and became the complete paradigm shift that I needed. Hope for everything. Expect nothing. After all, “Love always hopes.” It’s the search for perfection that sneaks in that dirty word expects.
And let me tell you: My marriage is much stronger favoring hope over expectations!