How to Tell Good Enough from Not Good Enough

Have you ever noticed yourself feeling uncomfortable around some people or in some places when you’d been fine before that? Nothing major, just a queasiness in your stomach, maybe a pain in your back or tightness in your throat, or a sense of irritation, or gloom, or drained energy? Pay attention – that’s your intuitive sense telling you something not good for you is going on! 

Your explaining mind will probably find ways to dismiss it or rationalize those feelings as something you ate or the fight you had with your bf/gf, or tell you to just get over it already, but if you listen to the wisdom of your intuitive mind you can tune in to the guidance that’s built into all of us. Psychiatrist and empath Judith Orloff, M.D., calls intuition “a direct line to your life force” whose job it is to work for your happiness, health, and wellbeing. Your thinking, on the other hand, has been shaped and trained by all the social forces that have surrounded you since before you emerged onto the planet, including marketing messages and media manipulations, and guess whose interests they have at heart? Not yours!!  Which of those would you rather trust? 

So how can you tell whether you’re in a good environment or a not good enough one? Here are some things to consider: 

When Things Are Good Enough 

People mostly accept each other as equals and valued individuals.

Interaction is encouraged, planned for, and made comfortable.

People chat, listen, share in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Humans are seen as fallible beings with emotions, sometimes needy but understandable.

Most of the time you feel happy and connected to yourself and others.

Stories, dreams, and imaginations are shared and accepted. 

People are admired for their real qualities and included at their own comfort levels.

It feels safe to experience your entire range of feelings, perceptions, and body sensations. 

Anger is permissible and used to clarify and solve problems.

Silence is fine and so is laughter and fun.

People are approachable, authentic, and spontaneous.

Hopefulness and encouragement are predominant. 

When Things Are Not Good Enough

People are often rejected, stereotyped, or considered inhuman.

Contact is avoided, forced, prohibited, sexualized, and/or feared. 

What you say is used to criticize, belittle, threaten, or control you.

Human needs and fears are seen as unreasonable, shameful, and unacceptable. 

You are often doing things that feel uncomfortable and pointless.

It feels like dreams will be mocked, ridiculed, or used to manipulate you. 

People are denounced, excluded, or pitted against each other. 

You have to dumb yourself down, hide or suppress parts of yourself, or numb yourself to feelings. 

Anger is used against people, both openly and behind their backs. 

When there is silence, it is strained and uncomfortable; or there is yelling or mindless repetition. 

People are distant, uninvolved, withdrawn, or preoccupied with themselves. 

There is an atmosphere of irritability, hostility, discouragement, hopelessness. 

In societies with high individualism like the U.S., the tendency is to emphasize personal responsibility for how we feel, what we do, whether we succeed or don’t, without considering all the other factors that influence everything that happens. So chances are you blame yourself when you feel creeped out instead of welcoming it as a nudge from the wiser you, trying to direct your attention to something not good enough. You’ve probably also been steeped in the mythology that reason and logic are the opposite of emotion and intuition. In this dualistic thinking things are presented as either/or, black/white, good/bad, rather than both-and, shades of gray/color, nuanced. What if reason and intuition are partners, complementary tools functioning in different areas with different purposes, each in its own way? Would you use a power saw instead of an umbrella to keep the rain off your hair? Neither is inherently superior or more respectable or intelligent; they’re both useful for different things. So are thinking and intuiting. It’s just that intuition has been consigned to all things feminine, while reason supposedly represents masculinity. Makes about as much sense as trying to drive in a nail with a blow dryer. To quote everyone’s dad, use the right tool for the job!

So next time you feel distress or discomfort in a situation, think about the Not Good Enough characteristics and ask your wiser self if it might be a good idea to move on to something better. Transformation Consulting services help Lynne Barga, PhD stay ahead of the curve in today’s digital world. We work with you to develop a digital strategy that fits your business needs, optimize your digital presence, and leverage technology to drive growth.