Are we measuring ourselves against our own or other’s expectations?
We spend our lives comparing others to ourselves. How often do we think “If only he had done ‘y’ or she had done ‘x’?” or “If it were me, I would have done ‘z’…”. We can put people on a pedestal and look up to them, deciding they are better than us, or we can reduce people to not being as good as us. Either way, when there is inequality in a relationship, it stops us from being the best version of ourselves and it impacts our relationships.
What if we challenged ourselves to always find a sense of equality in our relationships – what would change in our interactions with others and how differently would we feel about ourselves?
I think we feel others’ disappointment because we didn’t behave in the way they expected, according to their view of the world. We often decide that we are ‘not good enough’ over a series of events and moments linked possibly to other people’s ideas, or our version of other people’s ideas.
Our view of ‘am I good enough’ might simply come down to what we think others think and how near we think we are to others’ expectations?… there are a lot of assumptions at play here.
Am I a good enough parent?
This question also drives how we show up as a parent. When we become parents, we need our children to be good enough too and our measure is often based on everyone else’s expectations. Let’s face it – when you have children lots of people are very opinionated, sometimes judgemental and often enjoy sharing their ideas and advice. Do we mould our parenting in order to ‘fit in’ with what others think?
We can also have a skewed view of other people’s achievements. If we see another child sitting quietly and listening conventionally and our child is running around the room, not listening but exploring, we might subconsciously decide their child is better – why? If we think like this, it can transfer to our child without us realising it (see blog Do we pass our fear onto our children?).
We look at other ‘perfect’ parents and we try harder to follow their lead, however we don’t know if they are perfect and we don’t know if their parenting would be right for our child.
I think we need to ask ourselves “whose permission are we seeking in how to bring up our own children in the best possible way?” And we need to trust our own thoughts and ideas more. How can we feel more liberated as a parent? How can we be open to a range of ideas, but then choose the one we believe to be best? Try things and make mistakes and share our mistakes with other parents, and with our children so they can learn too?
I think we can all agree we are not perfect parents, there’s no such thing, but if we are open to learning, we love our children and we are trying our best, then in answer to the above question – “yes, yes you are good enough!”
What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and stories please feel brave enough to share them.