The Cost of 'Good Enough': 7 Simple Shifts for Greater Success

getting started goals good enough mindfulness mindset self love you deserve more Apr 08, 2024
What's the Cost of 'Good Enough'? blog | Julie Loomis

Whether it’s from clients or friends, I hear the phrase ‘good enough’ far too often. I'm not referring to the notion of 'good enough' as a means to steer clear of the trap of perfectionism. Rather, I'm talking about the kind of 'good enough' that results in accepting less than what you truly desire or are worthy of.

Settling for ‘good enough’ can be a dangerous roadblock when it comes to reaching your goals and dreams. Let’s be honest, it can even drag your mood down.

An example of this came up during a coaching call with a client. She mentioned how frustrated she was by her perpetually cluttered kitchen island. I invited her to look at each item on the island and reflect back on how it ended up there. Looking at it all, she realized that she brings stuff in from the car and sets it on the island with the intention of putting it away later, thinking that “At least it’s in the house. That’s ‘good enough’. 

The problem, though, is when later comes and she feels completely overwhelmed because of the number of things on the island and feels stuck not knowing where to even start. Then this ends up triggering a whole bunch of negative emotions and absolutely no motivation for her. All because she settled for ‘good enough’ in that moment.

Does that sound familiar?

How about this example…

Imagine that you had another long, draining day of work. You’re tired, hungry and still have some work to do yet today. You haven’t worked out or done much of anything physical in probably longer than you care to admit and you’re feeling like a slug, so you decide to pull up your favorite online trainer for a 45-minute workout class.

As you follow along, you continue to ruminate on something your boss said and how much work you still have to do. You stop the workout after 25 minutes, pour a glass of wine and finish off the leftover takeout before you get back to your office work. You think, “At least I did something. That’s good enough for now.”

Unfortunately, this has been your pattern since that work project started and you’ve somehow gained six pounds, with little joy and no progress towards your goal of getting back in shape and losing weight.

These seemingly little decisions can add up surprisingly fast and sabotage your healthy habits and goals. Before you know it, you can gain an extra 20 pounds and accumulate 20 piles of stuff sitting around needing to be put away!

Let’s consider some similar examples.

  • You’ve been begrudgingly getting out of bed every morning to go to a job that drains your spirit for the past 5 years, but keep going because you make ‘good money’. You figure that it pays the bills so it’s ‘good enough for now’.
  • You’ve always dreamed of hiking across New Zealand. You even have an article about someone who hiked New Zealand from end-to-end taped to the kitchen cabinet. You don’t have the money or vacation time to go now so you settle for hiking near home…and continue to not take any steps towards your dream, like saving money or planning.
  • You’re in a relatively new relationship and have started recognizing that they don’t appear to be who they said they were or have the life they led you to believe, but you continue the relationship because you have a lot of fun together and you dread the idea of having to start dating again…even though your gut is telling you that there’s something not right

There are infinite possibilities for how we use ‘good enough’ to justify things we do or don’t do. It comes in all shapes and sizes and can apply in basically every area of our lives. For each of those times we settle for ‘good enough’, there tends to be one general outcome – a lack of the true happiness and fulfillment that we crave and deserve

Whether it’s in the short- or long-term, too many of us find ourselves wishing we would have pursued our dreams…or taken better care of our bodies…or wouldn’t have wasted so much time... In other words, we develop a sense of regret. No good!

So what’s a person supposed to do?

Stop settling for good enough and start claiming what you deserve – NOW! I know this is a lot easier said than done, but this is your life and you deserve to reach your goals and live your life fully. It’s up to you, and you alone, to step up and take control. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Get clear on what your goals and dreams are – crystal clear. No more ambiguity. Write out all of the details of your vision, add pictures if you want. Whether it’s a clean, clutter-free home, more purpose-filled work or traveling the world for four months – get clear on the vision and then identify the steps you need to take to make it happen.
  • Shift your mindset. Start a gratitude journal. Keep it easy and simply write out at least five dot points on things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. It’s amazing how this activity can shift your perspective, especially when done on a regular basis!
  • Get curious! Stop thinking that you know for certain how things are or will be and start saying “I wonder.” Instead of “I know I can’t afford that,” start saying “I wonder how much money I can save each month so I can make that happen.” (Also, check out this blog for 3 simple steps you can take.)
  • Challenge yourself by asking “I wonder how quickly I can get this all put away” or “I wonder what I can stop spending time on so I have more time for that.”
  • Start showing yourself more love and respect by creating and maintaining boundaries, with others and with yourself. If you say you’re going to do a 45-minute workout, then follow-through on that and don’t settle for only 25 minutes.
  • Create a new mantra. The client I mentioned earlier adopted the mantra “I deserve better now!
  • Meditate! Meditation is going to help you stay present in the moment and help keep you feeling balanced so you’ll be less likely to settle for less than you deserve.

So, is it REALLY ‘good enough’ to bring a pile of stuff in the house and just toss it on the counter? Wouldn’t it actually be so much better if you got everything in the bag put away too? Of course! But it's up to you to respect your future self enough to take the extra minute to make it happen, whether it’s right away or within a reasonable timeframe.

It can feel overwhelming with so much going on in your life already. And it may even feel impossible to make progress towards your dreams, let alone actually achieve the vision. But progress is progress! Don’t settle and sell yourself short with good enough.

This is the PERFECT time to start working towards your goals. You can be one step closer to reaching your goals when you ditch the good enough mindset and choose a different action.

You’re one step closer to a clean and clutter-free home when you put those things away in the moment.

You’re one step closer to your fitness goals when you claim space and follow through on finishing your workout.

You’re one step closer to traveling when you start saving – even if it’s only a dollar a day or not spending on unnecessary items.

You’re one step closer to happiness when you set boundaries with people – including yourself – and you reinforce them.

You’re one step closer to fulfillment when you start looking for a new job or networking to increase your opportunities.

You deserve more happiness and fulfillment than what you get by settling for ‘good enough’ or ‘close enough’ as a habit. These ideas are some examples that you can start creating for yourself. Think of them as building blocks. You may be surprised by how fast you can gain momentum with even simple shifts!

The question is: when are you going to stop settling for good enough and rise to the level you deserve?

Enjoy the journey!

P.S. Need some support with this? I've got you! Schedule a Clarity Call today and I'll help you figure out what this all can mean for you in your life.

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