Giving Your “Good Enough”
By Emily Phifer
A few months back, I was contemplating the importance of giving of ourselves– to the world, to our work, to those around us.
For me personally, when I go to offer anything of myself to the world, it’s very easy for me to get caught up by my own inadequacy, insecurity, and uncertainty. The following questions readily bubble to the surface:
“What if I don’t say just the right thing?
What if someone has already shared an idea like mine before?
What if what I have to give isn’t enough? What if I am not enough?”
We all have our own insecurities and uncertainties, true enough. And, we all realistically have limitations, especially now at this historical moment in which we find ourselves today. But, the realization I have made is that, while whatever I have to offer may be imperfect, I have a unique something to offer the world. And this “something” might just help or encourage someone if I follow through on giving my “good enough.”
The foundational attachment research of psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot in the 1950’s provided us with the concept of the “Good Enough Mother”. Winnicot discovered that a secure attachment between a child and caregiver does not have to be perfect, or without failings, in order to be more than adequate in filling a child’s basic needs for safety and security in the world.
What if we thought about what we have to offer to the world and to others, in the same way? Doesn’t it stand to reason that offering our “good enough”, whatever that might be, is more important than stifling the life-giving spark we might offer to help light up the dark?
At this time in which we are starved for connection, hope, encouragement and the reassurance of a better tomorrow, what ways do you feel uniquely inclined to give of yourself?
By giving your “good enough”, you may make a world of difference to someone needing compassion and beauty today.
- Read a story to a child in your life- in person if you are living together, or via technological means, if apart.
- Offer to coach someone who might need help with setting up Zoom for meetings/online visits with family, friends or business partners
- Leave flowers on the doorstep of someone you know who could use encouragement
- Write a letter or email to someone who has been on your mind
- Smile at someone from 6 feet away and say “hello”
- Offer produce from your yard in a FREE box for passers-by out for walks
- Reach out and let someone know if you might need help or support
Don’t hesitate to give your “good enough”.
Even a small gesture may mean the world to someone who needs a sign of hope today. Our own mental health is exponentially bolstered by offering even the smallest gesture to others out of the paucity of what we have to give. Don’t let your limitations or insecurities prevent you from making a world of difference to someone starved for encouragement today- and finding the fulfillment and hope this will bring to you in return.
For Further Reading
Learn more about Donald Winnicot’s theory of the Good Enough Mother