Because you are.
Yes, we are always striving to do and be better. But at the same time, we can say that under these circumstances, with where we are in our life and with what we know about ourselves and the situation...we are all doing the best we can do. If we knew more and were ready to take on more, we would do more.
Do you believe it?
If not, you might be looking at it in a completely different way. Let's see that side first. It's darker, more shaming. Less compassionate. And it says:
We are not doing the best we can do.
We can always do better.
We are never enough.
The Never Enough mindset expects perfectionism in self and others, becomes resentful easily, is constantly disappointed in self and others, has the "should's," blames self and others too much without taking responsibility for actions, becomes judgmental of self and others, and can become self-righteous with beliefs.
Sound familiar? I'm sure it does. We all have some of these things going on. How has it affected you? How has it worked for you? How has it not worked for you?
Some might say the mindset works for them - that it has motivated them at the gym, at school, at work. And I'm sure it's helped. It can be a mindset that pushes us far. The problem comes up when we start to evaluate how we feel about ourselves. Some might agree with me, saying that it causes them to find fault with themselves and everyone around them. That it creates judgment and shame.
When we live by this mindset, we are not comfortable/happy/okay with who we are right now. We focus on everything that's wrong except of everything that's right in the present. This is a hard mindset to break, let me tell you. We've probably been living this way for years. It might be so ingrained within us.
But it's time for a shift in energy. We are doing the best that we can do. We are enough.
Let me tell you how I was able to get there...
I first read about this Enough mindset in Rising Strong by Brene Brown. It was an aha moment for me. I realized after reading about it, I had been using the Never Enough mindset since I was a teenager, especially with the view I had of my weight. Through my personal development work, I had begun to shift my mindset to more compassion self-talk.
For the past 3 years, I have been about 10-15lbs away from my ideal healthy weight. I am no where close to my highest (that was about 75lbs heavier) but I also know what it feels like to be healthier (I was about 25lbs less than where I am now). I am not where I want to be.
While I sit in the awareness that this is not my ideal weight, I can pick a couple options. I can pick shaming beliefs - What's wrong with me? Why can't I lose weight?, I should be better at this, etc. And I was there. For awhile. I would never look in the mirror because I would focus on the negative parts of my body. I hated shopping and never liked the clothes I wore.
But then, without realizing it and through personal development, my mindset shifted. I realized I am doing the best I can do. Right now. In my situation. In this body. I'm working with what I got and moving forward. I'm more mindful of my limitations, what my body can handle and how I want to move forward. I also want to be happy with it too! (Wow, what a concept, right?!) And I must say with this new mindset, I have been much more positive about my body than I've ever been.
And don't get me wrong, I am not always doing the best there is to do. No way. I could exercise more. I could get a trainer. I could stop eating dessert. But I am choosing what's best for me in the moment. I hold myself accountable when I need to. I become mindful of the patterns and how my body feels. I learn the lessons that I need to learn. And I stay here, in the present. And with that, I am doing the best I can.
A recent blog post here brought up the concept that just because we are doing the best we can, doesn't mean we are doing the best there was to do. She states "When I yell at my four-year-old, I know it's not the best I'm capable of - objectively speaking. However, in that moment, considering my stress level, my energy level, and God knows what else, I am doing the best I can with the tools available to me." (She may even be able to forgive herself later on).
And I agree with her. She allowed herself to acknowledge the behavior, hold herself accountable so that she can do better next time. With this mindset, we will be able to focus on what is, accept what is, and have compassion with ourselves and others. We can maintain boundaries, become generous and we will be able to forgive.
When I shared this blog post title with a friend recently, he responded "And what if we're not doing the best we can?" I said "It's up to us to realize that we are. Because we all are."
How does it feel to heal your inner wounds? What does it mean to be fully alive?