August 22, 2017
What is Enough?
Ever feel like you work your ass off all day and it’s never enough? Read on. This one’s for you.
“Even if I work for 40, 50, 60, even 70 hours a week, there’s always more to do. I never feel like I’ve done enough.”
That statement you just read? It’s something I used to say to myself all the time.
The constant refrain of “never enough” echoed through my mind. It’s the first thing I’d say to myself every morning. It’s the last thing I’d think to myself every night.
It didn’t matter if I spent every single moment of my day working. Often, I’d still go to bed feeling disappointed in myself.
Even when my colleagues and I experienced a big victory, rather than pause to celebrate, I’d move quickly onto the next task. There was always something else.
Does that resonate? Are you stuck on the “never enough” hamster wheel, too? If so, here’s a question to consider:
What does “enough” mean for you?
Can you define “enough” in a sentence or two? (Be specific.) Can you describe how “enough” feels in your body?
So many people chase this elusive feeling of “enough.” We feel like we’ve never gotten “there.” And yet many of us don’t even know what we’re chasing, exactly.
Here’s how I currently define “enough”:
- I offer an e-book, a couple of digital courses, and one group mentorship program. No year-long programs and no one-on-one mentoring outside of my Radiant Leadership Intensive.
- I have a weekly podcast, a Patreon where I share resources, and one new blog per month, maximum.
- I show up on Instagram consistently, but I’m not on any other social media platforms.
- I give my time to just one activist projects right now.
At the moment, my self-care looks like a hot shower, drinking plenty of water, and occasional yoga and walking. I read a poem every day. Right now, that’s enough. (Because even self-care can trap us in “never enough” if we let it.)
For me, those are realistic, feasible numbers.
For you, the numbers (and projects, and priorities) might be very different.
But for me, in this chapter of my life, those numbers feel like “enough.”
If I suddenly find myself worrying, “But should I do more…?” I can interrupt those thoughts and remind myself, “I did what I intended to do. And that’s enough.”
My definition of “enough” doesn’t have to be rigid. It can bend and flex.
I give myself the space and flexibility to adjust any/all of those numbers as needed, because I’m a human being, not a robot. Some months I have more bandwidth than others.
So, what does “enough” mean for you—at least, for right now? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Write it down.
If you notice yourself writing lofty and vague goals, consider re-wording that statement to make it more feasible and specific. End each statement with, “That’s enough.”
The work of caring and compassion is limitless. Our human lives are not.
Yes, there is great work to be done. But not all of it can or will be done today. More than anything, we need you for the long haul. Which means doing “enough” and doing it well.
That’s why it’s crucial to place boundaries around our time, and to be compassionate with ourselves about what “doing enough” means. (Instead of trying to “do it all” and half-ass-ing it.)
Urgency is not an invitation to burnout.
Breaking news does not automatically expand our capacity. Difficult times are really an invitation to go deeper with our practice and to fulfill our purpose with greater love and attention.
There has never been a more important time to bring love to both our work and ourselves. This starts with defining “enough.”
Once you’ve arrived in that place, there’s no need to strive for more. You’ve done your piece, wholeheartedly. And truly, that is plenty.