Why Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

user Darren Gold
calendar

I am an avid yoga student. I find it’s a great practice for my physical and mental well-being. The particular studio I attend has a tradition where the instructor begins the class by offering the students an intention for the hour of practice. On a recent evening, the teacher began the class by offering the intention of trust. At the conclusion of class, the instructor spoke about why she chose that particular intention. She explained that she is in the third month of a new job (she teaches yoga in the evenings on the side), and that she is working with an incredibly talented group of colleagues – so talented that she often questions her own intelligence and ability. Trusting herself, she shared, allows her to feel that she’s “good enough.”

I immediately appreciated and was moved by her vulnerability. The practice of self-acceptance is an incredibly important one. For many, it is a healthy, valuable discipline that allows one to move from a place of self-doubt or even self-loathing to a place of self-compassion and self-assuredness. As class ended, however, I found myself questioning the notion of good enough. “This woman isn’t good enough,” I thought. “She is extraordinary. Why would she be denying herself the gift of that belief?”

I have written quite a bit about the power of self-image or identity. I argue that identity is one of the most powerful drivers of human behavior. Everyone has an identity and can take only those actions consistent with that identity. I believe that an unexamined identity is the most significant constraint on one’s potential. “Good enough” is a much healthier and stronger identity, of course, than “not good enough.” And yet, a “good enough” identity robs the person of so much more. Good enough implies just that. A person who is good enough is sufficient. He or she meets the bar but doesn’t exceed it. A person with a “good enough” identity will take actions and get results in life that are just good enough. So, although this is much better than not good enough, it is far short of the full potential which most people are capable of reaching.

I left class that evening thinking about the nuanced implications of the beliefs we hold about ourselves. The consequences of a negative self-image are clear. Less apparent, however, are the subtle limitations of otherwise well-intended, healthy beliefs about self-sufficiency. Paradoxically, beliefs like “I am sufficient” or “I am good enough” may be the most limiting. Simply put, good enough is not good enough.

Back to TriumIQ

Let’s Talk

Contact Us

Trium IQ

structure

VIDEO | Clarity Creates Connection

Trium CEO, Andrew Blum’s latest video on how greater clarity can foster deeper connection. width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″…

Watch

Creating Clearer Strategies in an Unclear World

Nearly every time I talk with CEOs about their strategic planning process, I hear the same story:…

Read

Men: How to Not Get Triggered by Conversations About Gender

This article by Will Harper was originally published in Leadership Excellence. As a society, we are in the…

Read

Take 10 Minutes Each Day To Change Your Life

This piece was written by Darren Gold and originally published by Forbes Coaches Council. One thing that…

Read

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Leadership Effectiveness for Challenging Times

This post was written by Mark Teitell and Monica Chi, and originally published by DEG: The Digital…

Read

Meet New Trium Partner, Doug Randall

Doug Randall is a thought leader and advisor on strategic planning, leadership and communications. Through his 20+…

Read

“I Can’t” vs. “I Choose Not To”

Recently, I was on a much-needed vacation with my family. It was an opportunity to unwind and…

Read

Leadership In Times Of Rapid Change: 6 Lessons Learned From A Suddenly Failed Institution

Leadership in Times of Rapid Change was written by Darren Gold and originally featured in Forbes.  A…

Read

It’s a Man’s World… Or Is It?

This article was written by Catherine Gray and originally published by HR.com. If they don’t give you…

Read

Trium Recognized as Top 10 Leadership Development Consulting Company

This article was written and originally published by HRTech Outlook.  The Trium Group: Better Leadership for a…

Read

Strategy is a Conversation, Not a Deliverable

Strategy is a Conversation, Not a Deliverable was originally featured in Forbes. “Developing a strategy” is fun,…

Read

Action Coaching: Putting Executive Coaching to Work in Real Time

Many companies use executive coaches to advise their management teams…but to take that guidance to the next…

Read
Ajay-Thumbnail-Image

VIDEO | Dropbox CFO, Ajay Vashee: Trium’s Impact in 30 Seconds

Dropbox Chief Financial Officer, Ajay Vashee, shares the impact of Trium’s work with the organization.

Watch

Help! My Boss Is a Narcissist

This article by Annette Templeton was recently featured in Psychology Today. Since the day I began studying…

Read

VIDEO | Fandom CEO, Perkins Miller: Trium’s Impact in 30 Seconds

Fandom Chief Executive Officer, Perkins Miller, shares the impact of Trium’s work with the team.

Watch

Dialogues on the Future of Leadership: Join Byron Katie & Trium on October 21st

Join us for a day of deep self-reflection, where you will be challenged to look at the…

Read