Regarding impatience, we often expect a great deal more of ourselves than we would expect of anyone else.  Whether it is about the time we allow ourselves to master a new skill, or the way we are unable to say ‘no’ to the demands of others, and overload ourselves with commitments, or simply the way we refuse to allow ourselves to make mistakes, we often have unrealistically high expectations of ourselves. 

Even the term ‘mistake’ implies a judgement.  A wise teacher once said that there are no mistakes, only experiences.  This is restated in NLP terms (Neuro Linguistic Programming, which we will consider later) as, “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”.


Whether we call it experience or feedback, it is a powerful idea, because it implies that we have choice, decision, and then experience, and whatever the outcome of the experience, it teaches us something, even if we learn that we do not want to repeat that experience.  The power of this philosophy is that it prevents us from judging ourselves harshly, and allows us to learn from the experiences that we would previously have called mistakes.


 There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!


Fear!  One of the most unkind things we do to ourselves is to waste vast amounts of both time and energy worrying about things that will probably never happen, and half scaring ourselves to death in the process.  Our bodies react physically to fear by producing an extra burst of energy.  This is very useful when the fear is real, and we need to do something to get away from it. But when the fear is in our minds, the physical rush of adrenaline is not useful at all – in fact it produces the symptoms we know as stress.  This process of turning molehills into mountains occurs for many reasons, almost all of them associated with the way we feel about ourselves.  “What if … I can’t do the job…? Nobody likes me … I forget what I wanted to say when I stand up in front of all those people … they laugh at me … I fail the test … I fall on my face…”

fear 2

The possibilities are endless, and share one thing in common.  None of them have happened yet! Andrew Matthews, in his delightfully humorous book “Being Happy” (1988, p 38) has a simple solution to this problem. Products – Andrew Matthews


“All you have is now.  The measure of our peace of mind and the measure of our personal effectiveness are determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.  Regardless of what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow, NOW is where you are.  From this point of view, the key to happiness and contentment must be in focusing our minds on the present moment”.  Just think about it.  How is the “now” in which you are reading this page?  Is it all right, maybe give or take a bit?  Think about it.  Any moments past have gone.  Worrying about them will not help.  When the next moment comes, and the next, it will be “now”.  Wasn’t your “now” when I asked you “Are you really all right?”

 There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

More about Good Enough

Here is some more for you to think about regarding ‘good enough’.  If we do not particularly want or need to do a certain thing, our ‘failure’ to ‘achieve’ in that area becomes a choice, and not a failure.  There is therefore no point wasting time thinking critical thoughts about ourselves.

self criticism 1


The destructive habit of self-criticism is usually internalised at an early age, and is seldom updated to reflect an attitude consistent with our adult lifestyles.  The idea of free choice and the Moment of Choice is one to remember.  We internalised many of the ideas we have about ourselves at a time when it was necessary for our survival.  Doing so was GOOD ENOUGH for that time.  This is a different time, and we can change our attitudes accordingly.  We can once again do the best that we know how at this time.  We can begin to be gentle with ourselves.  We can stop judging ourselves by the standards of others.  Please go back to the ‘lines’ exercise and see if you can expand your list.

self criticism 2

Remember also that the standard set by yourself as being GOOD ENOUGH can vary to cover different periods of your life.  This can be enormously releasing.   As we get older, we have not got our earlier physical prowess.  A mother who provides regular meals for her growing family may opt not to do that to the same extent forever.  A wage earner may not always have to / want to or need to earn at the same rate forever.  It is really OK for the GOOD ENOUGH levels to be regularly fluctuating.

The opposite of criticism is praise.  To counteract the effects of self-criticism we can work on praising ourselves – when we do something ‘good enough’, we can allow ourselves to experience a sense of satisfaction, and we can praise ourselves.  Another pleasant thing to do is to accept the compliments given by others without a ‘yes but’ response.  We may be surprised at how often people express their appreciation of us – appreciation that we often disallow due to a false sense of humility.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Good Enough

This post is to introduce the Winnicott concept of good enough. When asked to list everything we think we are good enough at, the chances are that after a great deal of thought we may come up with perhaps two or three items.  If we then consider the number of things we do in the course of a day, we get a clear idea of the impossible standards we set ourselves as we try to evaluate ‘well’ in terms of our lives. Dr Winnicott, the eminent psychodynamic psychologist who specialised in working with children, wrote extensively on the nature and needs of children in a language that parents could understand, and introduced the concept of the ‘GOOD-ENOUGH’ parent.

He made the point that in general, parents do the very best they know how at the time – and that given their circumstances, this is usually Good Enough. When we do or complete any action, I am sure in my own mind that we are doing the best we can with what we are deciding at that moment, even if we decide a few minutes later, that we were mistaken!

 “Good Enough”
Do remember writing ‘lines’ as a punishment at school?  I want you to do this for discovery and pleasure, not punishment!  Take as long as you want over this!  Please keep your list and add to it.

I am a good enough ………………

I am a good enough ………………

I am a good enough ………………

I am a good enough ………………

I am a good enough ………………

I am a good enough ………………

It is as well to complete this on a “good day” when you feel well resourced.  Put you list where you can easily refer to it – the front of your diary, the kitchen wall or on your work desk

good enough

I remember working with a General Practitioner who consulted me not feeling very good about himself or his life.  He was the father of three small children and was living with them and his wife, the family being completed by a tortoiseshell cat.  His wife had had an affair with his best friend, and the GP had completely taken this as if he was solely to blame, and not that there were three people in the scenario who all  had their own reasons for behaving how they did. 
The man and wife parted company eventually, and after due time I decided that he was perhaps less blameful and ready to start on his “Good enough” list.  He was very fragile, and the task took him some time to complete, in terms of self-acceptance.
In the context of the above example, it is important for you to be patient with yourself as you make your list.  Writers such as Maria Montessori echo this idea, when talking about the behaviour of children.  The judgement that a behaviour or action is NOT good enough comes from an externally applied value system. I would urge the adoption of the philosophy of GOOD ENOUGH, to be applied liberally throughout our lives, both to ourselves and to others.  It is possible to consider most behaviour as GOOD ENOUGH. It is not a matter of lowering standards, it is a matter of accepting and living in the present, the now.
If we drive a car, our driving skills may not win us a world championship title in racing or rally driving, but we are probably able to get from point A to point B safely – and thus for our needs, we may be GOOD ENOUGH as drivers.  We may not be good cooks, or homemakers, but if we are reading this, we have probably not starved to death, and are therefore GOOD ENOUGH providers of food for our needs. This reasoning can be extended to cover many of the activities we engage in on a daily basis, and by doing this, it can feel that the weight of the world is suddenly lifted from our shoulders.  This is true in quite a literal sense, because when we consider ourselves GOOD ENOUGH, we take the bite out of the judgements the world passes on us daily – or at least the judgements we think the world is passing on us daily.
When we think in terms of GOOD ENOUGH, suddenly our list of skills can grow quite considerably. Even if we do not consider ourselves very good at a particular activity, by evaluating it honestly in terms of our needs and of the situation, we will find that often we judge ourselves (and others) by external standards that cannot be applied to all situations.  Perhaps we are trying to cook like Aunt Sally, and until we can, we do not consider ourselves good enough.  But if we add to the equation that Aunt Sally loved working in the kitchen, and in fact had the time to spend all day working at exotic culinary creations, and that we hold a regular job in addition to being chairperson of the local Whatever Society, suddenly we can see that our freezer-to-oven hotpot is in fact quite GOOD ENOUGH!
There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Thoughts about validation: think of this today and every day!

Thoughts about validation: think of this today and every day!

Think of the things you appreciate in yourself at work, or at home, or qualities that you have that you feel good about. It can be something quite simple.  Write a list about how you are / what you do that you appreciate and like about yourself.

 If you want, do this exercise with someone else and appreciate each other, giving your “partner” a verbal pat on the back, indeed, appreciate the person you have been listening to for their caring and competence.  If necessary, help the other person to come up with things they feel good about, and if they get stuck in negative things, encourage them to move on.

Strange as this may seem, it is asking rather a lot to expect another person to love us if we don’t consider ourselves good enough for our own love.  Or perhaps we find it difficult to love ourselves because that would be conceit.  If we look back to where our resistance to this idea originates, we will come to understand a great deal about the way we approach life.  Louise Hay (1991) identifies some of the ways in which we sabotage ourselves by acting or thinking negatively.


It is an almost universal tendency to criticise and berate ourselves for not being as good as we feel we should be at a particular thing or activity.  In fact ‘should’ is one of the most common words we apply to ourselves.  We ‘should’ be better parents, better employees, and better people in general.   If we were asked to think of a list of things we were bad at, the chances are we would think of a lot pretty quickly!



From “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living” by Sue Washington


Looking after ourselves

Looking after ourselves can give us a due sense of validation

I wonder if you would take some time to think about this today … 20 minutes would go a long way!

Write down the answer to the following questions: –

What do you like doing just for you? 

When did you last do it?   

Could you do it more often?

What else could you do for yourself?

looking after me

… think of actioning some of this for yourself as you look after yourself …

Regarding looking after ourselves, there are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!  Doing the relaxation and positive suggestion CD will help you a lot.

Think before you speak!

My beloved husband taught me 20 years ago that once something is said it cannot be taken back: I have tried to be more moderate.  This is the next stage for me!  Thank you for this Mr Samuel … I know that sometimes I am guilty as charged!

Before you speak, consider the relevance of anything you feel needs to be said

David Samuel

David’s Website