In yesterday's post I described "good enough" syndrome. This is where we find that we're settling for many things in our lives that are OK, but not great. We are essentially making compromises in areas of our lives where we should be shooting for the stars. Today I'm going to share how you can start moving out of "good enough" into "great."
Moving to Great
How do you move from good enough to great? You have to start by looking at the different facets of your life and identifying those things that are OK, but are not the stuff of your dreams. Look at:
- Your career
- Relationships--partners, family, friends
- Hobbies and Leisure Time (assuming you've made room for those things, as so many people have not)
- Your own personal growth and development (again, assuming that you've made room)
Write down those areas where you feel like you're settling. Describe as completely as you can what it is about these areas that makes you feel like they're only "good enough." Then think about how these areas of your life would change if they were great. Describe as completely as you can how they would improve and what you would do differently.
One point I want to make here--You can explore these ideas in writing, but you might also want to use pictures. One of the best ways I've found to do this is through the VisualsSpeak Image Center, which I use with many of my classes and clients.
You can also try going through magazines with a particular question in mind (like "What would my ideal career look like?") and pulling out the images that seem to fit in with your ideas about that question. Then create a collage with those images. Visuals are a great way to bypass the "rational" brain, which always does an AWESOME job of keeping you in "good enough" mode. In fact, that's its purpose!
Once you have a good picture of how things would look if they were great, rather than just good enough, start thinking about a plan to deal with these areas. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do I need to get rid of altogether because it's really NOT OK to have this in my life? What will I do to get rid of that element?
- Where do I need to make some changes so that I can make room for great? For example, you may not be able to quit your job, but you might be able to start backing off on your responsibilities a little to make room in your life for other things that will lead you to "great," like learning new things or having a chance to develop your creativity.
- What parts of my life that are OK just need to be tweaked to be great? It may be that it's time to take something in your life to the next level. Maybe you've been doing some side projects that, if you devoted more time and energy to them, could become full-time work.
Once you have your plan together, it's of course time to put it into action. It may be daunting to deal with several different elements at once, so you may want to shoot initially for those one or two things that are either causing you the most pain or that will move you the furthest in your road to greatness. Once you've set those things in motion, then you can come back and deal with everything else.
Rinse and Repeat
Something that's always important to remember about "good enough" syndrome is that it seems to be ingrained in most of us and can easily creep back into our lives. You'll need to be vigilant, at least for awhile, in monitoring yourself so that you don't begin settling again for those things that just aren't great. There's no point in clearing out all the junk in your life only to bring more home!
You'll also have to get comfortable with the spaces you clear out. You'll be tempted to fill them in immediately with something else, even if they're just another form of settling. Try to be OK with having some openings in your life and give yourself time to find the "great." Often I find that just giving myself the space seems to bring in new opportunities.
Finally, when new "great" options start coming your way, be sure to say yes to them! One of the biggest obstacles to greatness is our own fear. We think that maybe we aren't "ready" for the great or that we won't have what it takes to make it happen. We have to learn to ignore that fear and just say "yes" to any greatness that comes our way.
So how have you moved from "good enough" to "great"? What has worked for you?