Good enough can be good enough

My site has been down for maintenance. The reason for that is because I decided to challenge myself by developing my own wordpress theme.

I did that. (Update: I’ve since purchased a theme because updating themes is time consuming.) During the process, I discovered something that has often held me back. I don’t believe that good enough is good enough unless it’s perfect. This is something that prevents me from completing the things that I set out to do.

I can almost hear the voices of the adults of my childhood saying

“That’s not good enough.”

“You can do better than that.”

“You aren’t even trying.”

Hearing those things repeatedly as a kid led me to internalise the belief that I wasn’t good enough. Imagine going through a big part of your life believing that you weren’t good enough. Of course, I know many people don’t have to imagine that at all. Many people probably have the same belief for very similar reasons. If you were fortunate enough to avoid that, then trust me when I say that that belief has long-term, negative consequences.

I am fortunate in that, for the most part, I have worked through that. I had thought that I had stopped believing that I’m not good enough. So, it was a surprise to discover that I’m still holding on to the idea that it has to be perfect or it’s not good enough.

My newly themed website is not perfect. There are little things here and there that still need tweaking. Those little imperfections itch at me. But, I’m deliberately letting them sit there to itch at me. Hopefully, in that way I can force myself to get over the belief that anything less than perfect isn’t good enough.

It doesn’t need to be perfect to be good enough.

My website isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough – for now.

Why am I writing this ramble on my blog? Because this is an issue that many of us face and have to overcome. Many of the times that I was told I wasn’t “good enough” were times when I couldn’t do something. Being Autistic meant that I didn’t have the same abilities as the adults telling me that I wasn’t even trying. It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying. It was that I was trying my absolute best and my best was being declared not good enough. Being Autistic, being disabled, means that there will be times that we need to do things differently than other people, and when that happens, those around us should presume that we are doing our best and they should not decide that our best isn’t good enough.

2 thoughts on “Good enough can be good enough”

  1. Also, the phrase “You’re not trying” can be taken to mean “You should focus every SCRAP of effort in your body into the thing I am asking you to do. If literally every single muscle in your body isn’t SCREAMING in protest from the effort you are making to do it, it doesn’t really count as trying”, which is ridiculous because, for instance, the muscles in the balls of your feet physically cannot lend themselves to a pull-up, and they certainly cannot lend themselves directly to academic effort. Furthermore, one can be gaslit into equating wanting to do something, even if the reason for the want is because you don’t want to be punished, with being able to do it. Therefore, if you, for instance, wish you could stop crying, you might be scolding yourself for being unable to do it because you think that your desire to stop crying is the wherewithal to stop crying, when really it is just desire to stop. Not only that, you can be gaslit into thinking *awareness* of an act is the same as being able to do it, although they are two different cognitive processes. Same with a lack of extreme pain associated with an effort; you may not realize as a result of having been told constantly that you can do better that just because you cannot feel the effort throughout every part of your body (or even head, if it is a mental or cognitive skill), it does not mean that the parts of your body or brain that you cannot feel the strain in are actually available to do the thing you are trying to do. Thus, whenever you do something, you may always feel that you could have tried harder.

    1. Those are all excellent points, and it is true – that feeling of “I could have tried harder” is always there regardless of how hard I actually tried.

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