AN UPDATE ON BEING 'ENOUGH'

an update on my word for 2017 "Enough" - am I enough or too much?

ENOUGH

Well, we're more than halfway through the year so I thought it might be timely to look back at my Word for 2017 - "Enough" that I wrote about at the beginning of January. Time has certainly flashed by and in the process I think my idea of "Enough" has changed slightly and now has a different emphasis.

A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE

Back in January when I was thinking about the word "Enough" it was in reference to being grateful and appreciating what I had - not constantly striving for more. Now when I look at the concept of "Enough" I think my perspective has changed a little bit from it being about what I have to being about who I am.

I've come to realize that part of me struggles with the concept of being 'too much' for some people - too loud, too honest, too direct, too forthright etc. At the same time I also feel that I can be 'not enough' for other people - not warm and fuzzy enough, not soft enough, not maternal enough, not girly enough, etc.

SO MANY QUESTIONS

I waver between the idea of being true to who I am and at the same time trying to fit what others expect me to be. Even after 50+ years I still die a little bit inside when I disappoint other people - when I don't live up to their expectations or perform in a way that they expect me too. What's with that? Why does it bother me still? Why do my feelings get hurt when I don't get that approval from those close to me?

Most of the time I sail through life on my own terms, but every now and then there is the kick in the teeth that comes with not being "Enough" in a situation. I hate it when I hurt someone, or disappoint someone, or fail to meet the expectations of someone. Why does it get to me so much? Why do I chew on it and go over and over it trying to figure out why I wasn't enough for that particular person - especially when it is someone I care about?


not enough for some and too much for others - my constant dilemma

ADULT VS CHILD 

I'm not sure I'll ever have the answers to those questions. The mature part of me knows that I can't please everyone and that people choose their responses in any given interaction. But the child in me (the people pleaser) wants to be enough for everyone - to make everyone happy, to have everyone like me. How ridiculous is that? I know it's unachievable, and I guess that's where my word for 2017 comes into play. Knowing that really I am "Enough" - that I'm only human and doing the best I can. Holding on tight to that is what helps when that inner child feels the pain of not being the perfect friend, or the perfect parent, or the perfect partner.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

So my word for 2017 is still a work in progress - much like me. I've still got a few months of the year left to work on this one so we'll see where I am when December rolls around. Hopefully I'll have a positive update to finish off the year. 

Did you have a word for 2017 - and is it working out for you? Am I the only one who struggles with being "Enough"? Please let me know in the comments because I'm so interested in how other people figure all this stuff out!


an update on my word for 2017 "Enough" - am I enough or too much?

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40 comments

  1. I think it's always going to be disappointing when you feel that you're not "enough" for a person. It's easy to say that you shouldn't care and that if we're happy with ourselves it shouldn't matter what other people think. But maybe in practice it's a lot more difficult.

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    1. That's the truth of it for me too - I can tell myself I have the whole "enough" thing figured out, but when I fall short of the markf or someone it still hurts my heart.

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  2. I hear you Leanne and the last week or so I've been feeling that I just can't be everything to everyone. Life gets overloaded and I feel like saying 'enough' not in the context you have written but I'm just over it. It is hard though for some of us to feel that we are 'enough' and not let others and their actions hurt us. For me it will always be a WIP. xx I love the quote you have included.

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    1. "Enough" has so many meanings doesn't it Sue - it really is grounded in balance and finding that sweet spot between too much and not enough - whether it comes to relationships or commitments in general - I think we're all a WIP!

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  3. No I didn't have a word for the year but I love your choice. I have a little technique I use when I sense the disappointment of others; it involves pulling my energy back to myself rather than getting tangled up in theirs. It allows me to sense for myself whether or not I need to take any action e.g. apologise or just let them be in their disappointment and understand that perhaps it has very little to do with me.

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    1. What a really interesting concept - something I've never heard of before but I really like the sound of it - the idea of being able to step back and assess the energy of an interaction is a really healthy concept and one I think I need to develop.

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  4. Ahhhh you sound so much like me Leanne - either too much for people (too honest, too open, too emotional, too affectionate, too spiritual) or not enough (I won't bother to list these out!). At my age now I am tired of trying to fit in and please everyone. I want to feel free to just be ME and I mostly try to do that, even though I know there are many that will judge me, criticise me, scoff at me, disapprove of me. Mostly I try not to think of those things but yes ... now and then ... the child in me gets hurt when I sense disapproval or criticism. xo

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    1. Min thank you so much for writing this - it is so nice to see someone else who gets it - and the journey of trying not to fall into the trap of pleasing everyone but still being hurt when you know you failed in some way. It's all so hard isn't it? Getting the balance right and learning how to not overinvest our energy in others is such an ongoing process!

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  5. Oh, that is a great 'note to self' up there. I used to be one of the ultimate 'yes girls'. People pleaser extraordinaire. Now, I'm much better at pleasing myself and taking care of my own needs. I'm a work in progress, and will always be, but I'm more at ease with who I am, and who I don't need to try and be.

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    1. I'm slowly getting there too Linda - my problem is I want everyone to like me and not to be criticized or less than expected. Letting go of that is so hard at times, but also so liberating when I succeed.

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  6. This post has given me much to reflect on, Leanne. Like you, I agree that 'enough' can mean different things at different stages of life.

    SSG xxx

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    1. It definitely means different things to different people depending on what they're going through - it changed meaning for me in a six month period of time - so who knows what a decade could do?

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  7. This is something I have also struggled with and I'm 60+ and I've seen so many women with the same concern that I wrote a similar post a few months ago. I think women are wired to be caretakers who fill others' needs. Maybe that's why we feel inadequate whenever we can't be everything to everyone. I hadn't though about being too much for others - your words really hit home with me. Thank you for writing it.

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    1. I find the whole "too much" thing quite an issue at times Melody - especially in the context of church and being what is expected of a 'middle aged church lady' I just don't fit that box at all and I know I tred a fine line at times with being more than is really acceptable - but I'm willing to push the boundaries every so often!

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  8. I can relate so much to this post! Thanks for your honesty!

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    1. Thanks Michele - it's just something that is on my heart all the time (and probably needs more work!)

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  9. YESSSSSSSS.
    For some reason as I get older – or maybe it's just my 40s and did a couple years I will get over all of this :-) – – I've started to feel too much for some people as well. Intellectually I realized and they are not my people. But on some days… I'm just not sure

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    1. It's comforting to know that even someone who has their act together as much as you do Carla, still has issues with this area sometimes. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my struggles :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing your insights about the word "Enough." I like the concept of a focus word, but I have a hard time picking just one. So maybe my focus word should be "Focus"! All my best to you in all your worthwhile endeavors in 2017, particularly your "Enough" intention.

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    1. Thanks Karen - I have had a word of the year for the last few years - I forget about it most of the time, but then it pops up in my mind and reminds me to take a moment and assess whether I'm getting a handle on that part of my life.

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  11. It's a not a fun feeling to think you're "less than." You know on one level that "enough" is a relative term, one's enough is another's where's-the-rest, but it can really wear on your happiness.

    I started asking myself: Who set this bar? Is it me? Or all those people still in my head from the past who were disapproving? And, if I were the only one judging me, would I cut myself some slack?

    Practice questions like that. Once I took care of myself like I would a friend, I was able to see that it's often others who set us up, when if left to our own fair standards we'd think we were really pretty good humans. XO

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    1. That's really helpful advice Susan (and I really enjoyed your post today too) I think there's a lot of negativity in my head from childhood onwards that I really need to address and draw a line in the sand with. I hate when small things trigger hurt feelings and when I can't let go of pain when the other person has moved on so easily - definitely areas that need some work!

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  12. Enough is a tough one no doubt! To a loved one feeling you are coming up short is sad and we all feel that from time to time. I admire your commitment to you 2017 word!

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    1. Thanks Haralee - and you're right about it being about loved ones and trying to measure up and fit the boxes they create for us. Sometimes I just want to be accepted in all my imperfections.

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  13. Very thoughtful post, Leanne. It's interesting how our perspectives on our theme words ( and other things) change over time.

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    1. I thought so too Donna - to re-read that post and to find that it applied to a completely different area of my life was quite a revelation.

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  14. I have a mantra that I use when I'm feeling lacking. It's a simple, "You are enough," that gets me through the day sometimes. You are enough.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - most of the time I hold onto that, but as soon as I realize I've disappointed someone or overwhelmed them, the lack rises up. It's so wearying at times.

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  15. Hi Leanne! I tend to believe that as women we are hardwired to be nurturers. That's a good thing in so many ways but it also can make us veery susceptible to being sensitive to everyone's needs at the expense of our own. Luckily, as we age we hopefully wake up to the awareness that our sole purpose on the planet is not to try to meet everyone else's needs and expectations--and to realize our value for just being who we are. But yeah, I know it's not easy--and definitely harder for some than others. Something that's really helped me is listening to Abraham-Hicks. Even if you don't get into the whole "channelling thing" it is helpful to hear over and over again that we deserve happiness and be reminded that we really can't make anyone else happy for any length of time unless all they want is a slave. But you're young yet :-) and have lots of time to live and explore your options. Thanks for such a thought-provoking post! ~Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy - I love your insights into stuff like this - it's like you've forged the path (also not having children probably freed you up from some of the judgement) and you are so right about us deserving happiness - I often pin Abraham Hicks' quotes because he has such a positive approach to self worth (which is what it all comes down to ultimately!)

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  16. I am finding as I approach 64, that it is I who needs to understand that I am enough! No one else really matters. So, I am less critical of myself, way more accepting of everything about me...........both mentally, emotionally and physically. Not everyone is going to agree with me, like me or want to hang out with me. However, when I feel good about myself........I know that I am being the best person that I can and that is ENOUGH for me!

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    1. You're right Ellen - it really is about developing our own sense of self worth and not letting it depend on the opinions and judgement of others - something I'm still getting a hold on (sometimes I succeed and other times - not so much!)

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  17. Thank you so much for linking up for #lifethisweek 28/52. As it is my first week back since major surgery and I am very much in recuperative mode, I am leaving this general comment on your blog this week. Many thanks for your support of my blog and my recovery, Denyse x
    Next Week's Prompt: Winter.

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    1. My pleasure Denyse and I'm so glad you're home and doing well - and I can't believe you're already back on the blogging horse :)

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  18. I've commented before Leanne but have shared on my ST60 & Beyond FB page, tweeted and G+. Thanks for sharing at #BloggersPitStop. Have a great weekend. x

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    1. Thanks so much Sue - you are a trooper indeed :)

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  19. I read your post with varying emphases on the word "Enough" swirling in my brain. The one that emerged most strongly for me at this point in my life is "Enough!" as in "I've had enough of this!" It applies to the relentless self-judgment, criticism, and anguish when I worry over disappointing other people, or think back to an event where I disappointed or offended someone 50 years ago. I'm so tired of this self-flagellation.

    My word for this year is "Savour." I'm doing a good job of savouring moments. I think that my word for next year will be "Enough" in all of its incarnations. It's a perfect word. Thank you for sharing it, Leanne.

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    1. Hi Karen - I really liked your take on "Enough" and I couldn't agree more with what you said about self-flagellation - it's time we stopped isn't it? I'm learning to give myself some grace and accept that I'm not perfect and only human, and I'm hoping others will too. Looking forward to your view on "Enough" in 2018.

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  20. I love the note to self. Thanks for reminding me.

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    1. thanks so much - I loved the quote because it is the story of my life - and one I'm working on every day.

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