How can we be sure when enough is enough?

One of the words I hear most frequently when talking with my clients is “enough”.  It appears in questions like “Am I good enough?”, “Will that be enough for me?”, “How can I earn enough?”.  Or statements such as “I don’t have enough time”, “That seems easy enough” or “Enough is enough!”.

It’s used so often we must have a pretty clear idea about what “enough” is…..or do we?

This one word comes up again and again and yet it’s not something we pay much time trying to understand.  When you look up the definition, the Oxford Dictionary will tell you it means “as much or as many as required”, not overly helpful when seeking an answer.  This means it is not a constant. This means you can’t look at something and say that it is and will always be enough.  It is subjective and changes depending on the person and the situation.

If we adjust the questions accordingly, we just seem to get more questions:-

  • “Am I as good as required?” – by whom?
  • “Will that be as much as I require?” – how will you know?
  • “How can I earn as much as is required?” – how much is that?

So when we are asking “Am I good enough?” how can we answer?  Who are we trying to be good enough for, and how will we know what they feel is as much or as many as required?  How useful is knowing this if it will change over time?

The only constant thing in life is change.  Day changes into night.  The seasons change from autumn to winter, winter to spring and so on.  We change from babies, to children, to adults.  This is life, life is change.  What is enough now may not be enough tomorrow.

So maybe we need to be a little more thoughtful with our use of “enough”.

The only person you can really ask whether something is enough is you.  This means you need to be able to answer the question from your own point of view.  Are you absolutely clear on what feels enough for you?  We can quite easily ask “Am I good enough?”, but find it much harder to know for sure what our own measure of it is.  We are generally too busy getting on with life to be spend time being so reflective.  Even if we feel we are enough now, we may not feel we are enough in the future, it depends on how we measure our “enoughness”.

In fact it seems we are more likely to be clear on what it means if something/someone is not enough i.e. inadequate, insufficient, lacking or unsuitable.  So are we really asking “Am I inadequate?”, “Will I feel I am lacking?”, “Will what I earn be insufficient?”.  I don’t know about you but these all feel pretty negative.

Maybe the way forward is simply to say

“I am enough”

for me, right here, right now. And leave it at that.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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