One of the many joys I am experiencing through my ongoing Co-Active® Coach training is the book list. This doesn’t come from the Co-Active® Training Institute itself, rather from the community of coaches that I have met, bonded and collaborated with along the way. Social media often, and justifiably, gets a bad press, but in its ability to join groups across countries and pandemics, I shall always be grateful.
So, in our CTI WhatsApp Family Group (you know who you are coaches!), there is such a warm generosity of sharing. Sharing experiences, fears, successes, podcasts, articles and yes, books! And I love books. I have diligently been keeping a list of all the books mentioned along the way and having had some family members asking for Christmas present ideas, I have also shared this with them. The result was a very bumper book crop of seven books this year – I am thrilled! I have polished off “Hungry” by Grace Dent (recommended!) and am saving Monty Don (time wonderfully slows when I am in the presence of him) for when I can feel the days start to lengthen. Also, in the read pile, “Taming your Gremlin” Rick Carson, an easy entry for anyone ready to tackle their inner critic. I am now in the midst of “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr and I feel perhaps a little late to the party here, but in and amongst chapter 6 ‘Hiding’, the phrase ‘good enough’ kept popping into my head. So much so, that I put the book down and made a note on my phone to pick up the thought for my further musing.
‘Good enough’ for some, may immediately conjure the opposite thought.. ‘not good enough’, but actually for me and here, I mean exactly what I have written. I come from the large stock of people with perfectionist tendencies. It has its rewards, along with its limitations and I have both benefitted and held myself back because if it. However, some years ago and bolstered by a Mindfulness course featuring the concept of Maximizers and Satisficers, I began my mantra of “good enough” and I have to report I have been very satisfied with the results! I finished things faster, made decisions faster, which meant in both a professional and personal capacity, I got more done. But more than that, accepting that it was ‘good enough’ enabled me to lessen the swirl of tripe in my brain, where I metaphorically and actually chewed my nails to the elbows, agonising about every tiny, TINY, detail. All of which took place before I started anything, then whilst I was doing it, prior to any decision or submission and then after the fact for an age, just for good measure. Exhausting.
I won’t lie, my ‘good enough’ remains a pretty safe place for me, it has checks and balances in place that can largely placate my perfectionist lurker, but it also crucially allows me to better let things go and to move on without beating myself up too much. The ruminating is reduced. I can still remember the relief at being able to genuinely laugh at myself in a presentation to a senior person in my organisation (and I suspect a recovering perfectionist themselves..), where said person pointed out my repetitive typo of “footware” as opposed to “footwear”. Clearly I had leftovers on my mind when I wrote it.. Historically I would have gone to town on myself for that. I hope this not taking myself too seriously, a distinction from not taking my work seriously, demonstrated my maturing as a leader. Certainly, I felt significantly more resilient than in the past.
More recently ‘good enough’ has enabled me to start something new. Tara Mohr says ““This before that”... the false beliefs we hold about the order in which things need to happen.” The potential to continue to place barriers in my own way, was very real. I am grateful that I was able to acknowledge, but choose not to accept, the thoughts that said I need to have ABC in the bag before I can do XYZ. What would I be missing out on now, what articles would not get posted, what techniques not tried out in coaching sessions? Likely I would still be in my corporate career, on the treadmill I had created for myself, getting by but not feeling the joy. Because crucial to learning anything new, is having a “beginners mind”, experimenting, making mistakes, basically having a go. Try doing any of these things when you are hiding away and waiting for every star to align and for when everything, included you, are perfect.
An invitation then for you to muse: From the position of ‘Good Enough’, what’s possible for you?
Should this resonate with you and if you would like to explore with me further, do reach out www.starttothrive.me