Never Good Enough Syndrome: Constantly Raising the Bar on Myself

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately coming off my most recent MBSR™ 9-day teaching intensive at UMass Center for Mindfulness near Boston last month. I’m so grateful for being in the company of such amazing, talented people. Professionals coming together from all over the world – literally – to share in a joined passion of serving others – so amazing.  (By the way, I’m officially a “qualified” instructor!  Both exciting and nerve wracking for me.)  While I left campus feeling so much more confident in my abilities as a guide for this unique style of teaching…the longer I integrate myself back into “normal” life, that familiar voice creeps back in, questioning: “Yeah, you almost thought you were ready….about that…don’t quit your day job.”

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Our graduating class….I’m way in the back  🙂

According to StrengthsFinder®, one of my biggest strength is “Input” I believe they label it. While there are many attributes to loving to learn new things, and striving to have all the answers, I’ve learned over the years that it also inhibits my growth. I feel I have to be an expert and know everything about a subject before I pull the trigger, so to speak. And that negative, jerk-of-a-voice in my head begins to creep up and tell me I’m not good enough yet, I still have more work to do before I put myself out there.  My comparing mind comes in full force to attempt to show me how I don’t quite measure up yet, to my just-out-of-reach standards. By the way, why is this such a female thing?  I don’t see a lot of guys out there, worrying about these things…

While I’m definitely not a Buddhist, I’m utterly fascinated by ancient Buddhist psychology and how it’s helped me so much more than any other philosophy of self-help book to date.  One of the fundamental teachings is that as human beings, we possess basic goodness. There’s nothing else we need to acquire because we’re already whole, there’s nothing to “fix” since we’re not broken to begin with.  I’m reading “The Buddha Walks Into a Bar.” by Lodro Rinzler, and came across this piece in the book which was such a breath of fresh air. I talk about it briefly here before rushing to work and getting kids to the bus stop…you can hear cartoons and kids coughing in the background.  Talk about multi-tasking 🙂

But the truth is, I am ready. I’m putting in the time and hard work. Now all I have to do is step off the curb…which feels more like a cliff right now. 🙂 Life is too short not to try. Listen to intuition, that physical gut feeling. It’s so much wiser than thinking alone.  I’m continually learning to turn toward fear and have a wiser view of failure. I now know what to look for when it rears its head.  If something scares me to death, but I can’t stop thinking about it, then I should run, not walk, in that very direction. Turning toward that fear, and moving through it, is where true growth and transformation lies. It’s empowering and magical doing things that are difficult, even if I fall on my face or look silly to others in the process. I know that anything is possible, as long as I can master the loud, yammering mind and listen to that soft, but brilliant voice of the heart.

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2 thoughts on “Never Good Enough Syndrome: Constantly Raising the Bar on Myself

  1. You have nailed it Allison! I’m starting all over again with a writing career and there is no way I could turn away from it, no matter how terrifying. Run towards that shit! You’ve got this.

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