3 Reasons To Make Friends with ‘Enough’

What’s your gut reaction to the word ‘enough’?  Is it positive or negative?  Is it agitating or calming?  Does it mean less than, settling, adequate, satisfactory, complete, full, excellent, or _____?   ‘Enough’ is often very personal.  Its meaning changing with the circumstance. I believe enough can offer clarity and direction.  Here are 3 reasons to make it (or keep it) your friend:

We have the choice to frame and define ‘enough’.  Creating the context for meaning and then responding with purpose is a core tenant of emotional intelligence.  Enough can be framed to remind us what we feel good about, what we have invested, and accomplished.  It can also be defined in ways that trigger rumination, worries of inadequacy, and stress.

Being friends with ‘enough’ supports a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.  It can serve as a reminder that while we might not have all the answers yet, we have what it takes to engage in learning, adapting, and refining as an active iterative process.  The ‘enough’ of a fixed mindset limits possibility and can mislead us into thinking there is only one way to get it right. Further, that if we are uncertain about if or how to do it we shouldn’t even try.

‘Enough’ can boost our time and energy capacity such that we stop overworking without creating any incremental value.   Those with perfectionist tendencies as well as those with a Myers Briggs type ending in ‘P’ might find themselves easily down the rabbit hole of lost time and mental energy if they are not friends with their own definition of ‘enough’.

We could say that making friends with ‘enough’ begins like many other friendships.  Perhaps we notice we run into it frequently, and decide to learn more about it.  As we become more familiar, we might notice some of our assumptions, beliefs, and biases about it.  And finally we consider how we feel when we spend time with it, energized and looking forward to more, or drained and wanting less.

Are you ready to make friends with ‘enough’?

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