Do you ever get the feeling you’re not good enough?
Not successful enough? Not rich enough? Not achieved enough in your career? Not been a good enough parent or partner?
Because I get that. All the time.
I got a postcard from my mum today. She titled it “Bringing Home The Bacon” and put a note on the back, reminding me that it’s important to be ambitious but not to the point where you set yourself targets you can’t reach. She is wise.
I can’t seem to battle the feeling I’m not doing ENOUGH at the moment. Before Christmas, I blogged about my huge workload and battle to get everything done. I wrote last month about a lack of balance and shared recently that things have started to even out a bit. I’m working less and relaxing more.
There’s always a voice in my head that whispers “Do MORE!”. I feel like I should blog more, better. I should pitch more, to bigger publications, better. I should be actively seeking out more broadcasting work, touting myself more. I should be, just, well, BETTER.
A better mum, a better writer, a better presenter, a better wife. I look around my Twitter feed and see a string of successful people. Surely I can’t be the ONLY person to occasionally get a pang of career envy or mother envy or just, sheer self-doubt, as I kick myself for not trying harder?
I’ve always been this way. As a kid at school, I’d get an A grade and instantly feel cross with myself that it wasn’t an A*. Or at university, I’d write a piece for the student newspaper or do a stint of work experience at a radio station and feel dissatisfied. It wasn’t enough that I’d done something more than my studies, I would scold myself for not being the one student in the year to be picked out for a job before they’d even graduated.
I don’t think being a woman helps. I constantly question if I’m being a good enough mum to my toddler, if I’m around enough, if I give her enough attention and arrange enough one-to-one activities for her. I battle with a constant pile of laundry and unmade beds and dusty carpets, cross with myself that I haven’t stayed up an extra hour to get it all done. I know my husband doesn’t worry about these things.
And that takes me back to the being good enough issue – I’m not a good enough homemaker (or whatever we call it in the UK). Basically, I’m rubbish at housework.
The share it all society that we now live in doesn’t help particularly. I live in a world of Facebook and Twitter, emails and text messages. Not a day passes when another person’s success, big news, exciting project or motherhood win isn’t posted in my face. We are connected with so many people, so much of the time, that simple maths concludes we will regularly witness these kinds of triumphs. This is positive – of course it is – but it’s also negative, if you’re having a bad day. On days like these it can make you feel like a bit of a failure if you don’t have big news of your own to shout about.
On this occasion, I’ve decided to take my mum’s advice. Like I said, she is wise. I’m going to remain ambitious in every area of my life, but I’m going to be pleased and satisfied with the small wins too. I don’t think we shout enough about the small wins – the ORDINARY stuff. I need to start feeling successful again.
So, my small win of the day: I made a pancake without it breaking up into a mound of rubbery gunge. Granted, not IMMEDIATELY…
What’s your ordinary win of the day? And do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? I know I can’t be the only one…