I recently read “Daring Greatly,” which has led to the concept of “enough” reappearing in my life for yet another lesson since I haven’t internalized it.
It’s a hard concept. It means acknowledging that we are flawed, incomplete, wrong, and sometimes downright ornery, and it’s enough. It’s about knowing our limits, ending perfectionism, and focusing on the completeness of “enough” rather than on what we aren’t, what we haven’t gotten done, and what we don’t have.
I’m not so good at enough. People who know me well say things about me like, “she doesn’t do anything at less than 110%.” I get obsessed. I go all-in. Then I get frustrated by my imperfection and usually move on.
I’m pretty good at balancing enough when it comes to time management skills. It can be measured and monitored and limited in ways I understand well.
Where I have more trouble with the concept of “enough” is figuring out when I’m doing something for the joy of it vs the desire to please. I find that when I do things out of the desire to please, it ends up pleasing no one, least of all me. Who wants to be around someone who is feeling resentful and put upon because they’re fulfilling an obligation they don’t feel up to fulfilling?
On the flip side, when I do something for the joy of doing it, the only pain I experience is cramping in my smile muscles. There are certain things that just make me feel joyful. Sharing something I love with someone else who’s interested is a biggie. It’s the same experience as giving someone a really great gift–it just feels like I have the ability to make a difference when I can give someone else something they want–especially if they never knew they wanted it.
This begs the question: what is the difference between joyfully sharing something I love and getting joy from people enjoying it vs trying to please others?
Perhaps the difference is how vested I am in the others enjoying it? Maybe there is only a hair-breadth’s difference between sharing my joy in something without needing someone else to approve vs feeling more or less lovable based on whether others approve or not?
After all, when someone is just sharing what they love without the expectation of reciprocation, it’s hard not to catch their joy.
If I do something purely out of joy, I can allow the space for someone not to be as excited as I am. In allowing that space, it almost guarantees they will at least appreciate my joy if not experience their own.
If I do something because I think it will please someone, I need them to be pleased. That need creates a sense of expectation that can cause push back or resistance–why should they be obligated? It reduces the chances of pleasure all the way around.
I’m not sure I really understand this, but I think I’m making progress.