#66 “Am I Good Enough?”

am I good enough

From performance reviews to lunch with colleagues, you are surrounded by insights into your reputation. It is easy enough to get caught up in a vicious cycle of, “am I good enough?” This is how to answer.

Performance vs Identity

The link between job performance and self-identity can form a self-destructive trap – if you allow! See Post #35 for details.

Job performance includes your output, your results, your production. It involves the steps, mistakes, and research you’ve done to produce your output. Performance also includes communications with others, something professionals can easily dismiss. If your wonderful work is not clearly communicated, how can it serve a purpose?

In contrast, your identity includes how you think of yourself inside your mind. It is the mentality that describes your state of being. Your identity is shaped by several external and internal parameters. Your identity includes the ways in which you choose to think of yourself as a human being.

Identities are fluid and always changing. Thus, you should never feel pressured to formulate a concrete description of your identity. Nobody gets to decide or choose your identity except for you.

So far, we’ve established that performance is doing; identity is being.

Dissecting Feedback

When people provide criticism or feedback, even if unintentional, it may be common to dwell or ruminate. Lingering thoughts may plague you, such as, “what am I doing here … what if I don’t belong … am I good enough, etc.”

Here is a helpful nugget (that might require some practice): Differentiate between being vs doing. You (the being) are separate from your output (the doer).

For example, someone may state, “You’re not good at communicating.” First, this is poor wording as it references your state of being, not doing. Second, it does not mean you, the being, are a bad communicator. Rather, it means you, the doer, have skills that might need to be strengthened.

Your being is completely adequate as is; your doing (skillset and output) can always use improvement. 

Read more to understand why the answer to, “am I good enough?” is always YES!

Why You are Good Enough

You are good enough because you, the being:

  • were not hired to know all the answers to every problem
  • become smarter by facing challenges and tough decisions in a volatile, uncertain world
  • have a brain that knows how to be resourceful and figure things out

That is what it means to be human in the workplace. As a human, you are good enough!

To be human means to embrace our inadequacies while striving to evolve. We know that mistakes are inevitable, that perhaps they act as our teachers.

Sure, it’s possible you can be replaced in your current role if you are too big a liability. But guess what? The next flawed human is going to bring their own inadequacies and weaknesses to the job. It is a cycle that will always continue because we are humans.

While skills, abilities and knowledge can always be improved, your humanness is good enough exactly the way you are.

The next time someone dare imply you’re “not a good so-and-so,” make no mistake: they have zero vote in your integrity as a being.

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