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Am I good enough?

Trophy (image from Pixabay)All of us experience moments of self-doubt. We lose a contest, get passed over for promotion, or have our ideas rejected. That’s when the question pops up, “Am I good enough?”

There are times when we feel that we aren’t.

Our talents only go so far. We are constrained by our physical bodies. We may lack knowledge and experience. There are certain things we cannot do no matter how much we want them or how hard we try. We all have limits.

But we don’t know what those limits are.

So we push ourselves. We compete. We learn. We allow ourselves to fail. When we do, we get up and try again. And then fail again. We go through the cycles of learning and failing to see how far we can stretch our limits. Each time, we push the boundaries a bit until we reach the point we can’t push them any further. We found our limits. What happens then?

You realize, as I have, that the effort is its own reward.

In the years I competed in Toastmasters speech contests, I never placed higher than second in Founder’s District. I still have a shelf full of trophies. More importantly, I have a lifetime of memories. Audiences who listened with rapt attention, laughed, and applauded. People who told me how much they appreciated what I said. I found enjoyment from being in front of a crowd and gaining their attention. The real benefit of winning was the opportunity to speak in front of larger crowds. The sting of losing fades in favor of happier experiences.

That’s how I discovered the answer to “Am I good enough?” It is always “Yes.”

You are good enough because you have something to contribute, no matter how small or limited it may be. You may not be the next World Champion of Public Speaking, but you can give an encouraging word to someone who needs it. Your post might not go viral, but it can make someone smile or think twice about an issue. Your book may not be a bestseller, but there are readers who will enjoy it. Even when you fail, you are good enough when you challenge yourself to do better.

You cannot do everything, and you might not achieve your loftiest goals. You can find pleasure in the effort and find victories in what you are able to accomplish. In that respect, you are always good enough.


Also published on Medium.

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