Just Being Enough.

February 6, 2012 at 9:04 am | Posted in Career angst, Just Be Enough | 9 Comments

My good blogger friend Kirsten at The Kir Corner does a weekly feature on her blog called Just Be Enough.

(By the way, it’s Kir’s birthday. Go over and wish her a happy one. She’s a gorgeous person and deserves all the love that surrounds her today.)

Given the past week I’ve had and all the emotion it’s evoked in me, I’ve decided that it’s high time to start embracing the notion of Just Being Enough.

My view of myself has been so skewed for SO long. It’s like I decided a bunch of years ago that I wasn’t, in fact, worthy of being loved unless I was Perfect. Or close to it.

And that’s defined me for nearly two decades now.

My self-esteem is contingent on being a Success.

Except? My definition of Success is unattainable. So I am setting myself up for failure right off the bat.

And THIS, I’m sure, is my subconscious way of punishing myself. I need something with which to feed my Inner Critic. Because I’ve never existed without her. Ever.

Dyfunction anyone?

My Inner Critic is both keeping me from real, true happiness… but she’s also my crutch.

Until now.

I know it probably seems clear to you all from my writing that I really need to leave my current work situation. And I wish I was overstating it when I said leaving is fucking terrifying.

It’s admitting defeat. I’ve spent 18 years proving that I can do anything I put my mind to… and leaving here, after this blowup, is saying, Well, actually, no, I didn’t succeed at that job. I hit a rough patch and ran with my tail between my legs.

That’s one way to look at it, of course. That’s how my Inner Critic sees it. She makes up these stories, you see, about how bad of a person I am. I don’t work hard enough, I didn’t spend enough time managing the situation. I failed.

But this weekend? I started to see glimpses of a different story.

I am starting to see that maybe I can CHOOSE happiness. Where maybe, instead of running away from Fail, I have the power to create the life *I* want my family.

Where instead of being held captive to external forces like a shitty job, or IF, or winter, I choose my OWN path.

I have felt far too powerless in the past few years.

Yesterday, when we mentioned that I was planning on giving my notice this week, and explained the situation, our practical New Englander friends told me I should wait it out. Because if my instinct is right and my company is planning on replacing me, I might get severance and unemployment out of the deal.

And yes, that IS practical.

All through the game last night, I wondered why that wasn’t an option for me. I mean, financially, it’d be better. More money is better than less money, right?

Except it’s not about the money. It’s about taking control, making a CHOICE. About stepping onto another path, that winds off into the distance into the underbrush, twisting and turning away from what I’ve always done.

It’s the first step for me to Just Be Enough.

And that’s why I’m going to take that path.



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  1. So here’s my thing. That inner critic? She’s not the devil. She’s done good things for you, speared you on to work harder, do more, get places. It doesn’t mean it was always the right places. It doesn’t mean you kow-tow to her – she needs to be kept in her place. You are the boss and she has to work FOR you. But you don’t need to sack her outright, you just need to have a little “you’ve got wonderful talents, and I truly value your opinion on this one, but I think Inner Fuck It I’m Resigning Anyway actually has the argument on this one” conversation. I’m just putting that forwards.

    • I agree with Bea 100%. Inner Critic isn’t necessarily ALL bad, you just need to know when to tell her to STFU already and when she’s actually spurring you to go beyond your comfort zone.
      So, I guess what I’m saying is: Be skeptical of your inner critic, where her motives lie, but don’t kick her out of the relationship completely.

      This job situation though? You are spot on to tell her to shut up. You are doing the right thing.

  2. Is there any way you can get yourself to look at this as an empowering decision? A not-being-a-slave-to-your-paycheck decision? A brave decision? Or even, a decision that you are fortunate to be able to make because of the credibility that you have among other accountants who might be able to give you some work, and because you are financially stable enough to take the risk?

    I know it is scary. I wish you luck.

  3. Leaving sounds terrifying, but I think it’s the right choice for you. Furthermore, I don’t think anyone could succeed in a situation where their boss is so willing to throw them under the bus. Choosing your happiness and the well-being of your family is a good move no matter what. Good luck!

  4. You are amazingly brave.

    And I don’t think I’d want to sit around and wait to be fired either.

    Good for you, and good luck!

  5. You might get severance and unemployment. Or the company might just not force you out directly, because it’s now known that you’re under pressure and if they tighten the screws just a little bit, every so often, you’ll eventually quit on your own and they won’t have to compensate you. So waiting isn’t really THAT practical.

  6. Just so proud of how far you’ve come, to know your inner critic so well and endeavor to choose to see things from an alternative point of view.

    Extremely excited for you even though I totally appreciate how fucking terrifying it is.

    Wishing you and extreme lightness of being.

  7. you go girl!! I am so proud of you

  8. I think you are doing the right thing, logical or not. My husband was in a situation that he was not happy with and could have waited it out (as they were doing layoffs and his was probably coming a few months down the line) but he was miserable. Leaving there and taking a lower paying position wasn’t easy but it was 100% worth it and we really haven’t regretted it since. Yeah, we’ve struggled but that’s better than being unhappy because we now have the control to work hard and not struggle in the future. I can’t wait to see the success you are going to have on your own.

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