The Rolling Stones were wrong. You can too get some satisfaction – but only if you decide what that means for you.
But wait, isn’t being satisfied the same the same as rolling over and giving up? Or playing small? Nope. But it’s easy to confuse complacency with satisfaction. Satisfaction has a very bad rap in the West, especially with people like us, who want to live full out. We’re creative! We’re vegans! We wear hemp!
Here’s the paradox: you need what I call conditions of enoughness -a simple concrete way to declare what enough is – to live your crazy, sexy life. Endless possibilities fed overwhelm, perfectionism and procrastination. Life is a creative act and creativity likes boundaries. Art school starts with limiting students to using only pencils for a reason – the boundaries don’t restrict their creativity, they unleash it.
Abby’s Story From outward appearances, Abby already seemed to “have it all”–a loving marriage, two healthy kids, and a brand-new business. When she came to me for coaching, my first thought was, “Why?” I honestly couldn’t imagine what was missing for her. Yet within five minutes of conversation, I knew what it was.
No matter how hard she worked, she would end each day with a litany in her head of what she DIDN’T get done. Her discontent wasn’t just
keeping her up at night; it was eroding her marriage and her relationship with her children. It was damaging her fledgling design business because she’d keep redoing her work for her clients, unable to trust if what she was doing was “good enough.”
Abby wouldn’t have known “enough” if it bit her in the butt. Would you?
It’s difficult, if not down-right impossible, to get what you want–let alone, enjoy it!–if you don’t know what “It” is. Or if you’re relying on something or someone outside of yourself to reach “It.” Or if when you do get “it,” you decide the actions you took or the goal you reached weren’t enough.
Why You Resist Being Satisfied If you’re like me, the idea of naming what enough would look like for today or for your summer vacation or your date with your sweetheart sounds really boring.
It’s so much more fun to hang out in possibility. Vaguely imagining a perfect life with creative work and fulfilling love and deep friendships is a lot easier – and safer – than declaring, “I will write down five questions I have about starting my own Etsy shop before bed tonight.” It’s even scarier to declare, “I will call my friend who has a successful Etsy shop before 2 today and ask her my five questions.” It’s a lot safer to hang out in “Someday I will learn more about Etsy.”
Because someday, thankfully, never arrives. You never have to sully your dreams with the imperfection of reality. You, like Abby, never have to say, “This is what I can give my client /my kid / my partner right now and it is enough.” A life without boundaries is a life where we can all live in a Real Simple magazine spread.
But declare what you want in measurable terms that are dependent only on you to fulfill and yikes! Add taking action within a defined time frame – stop, that’s too rigid. I’m creative! Where will the magic be?
Yes, lofty, fuzzy goals are more fun. Only, like winning the lottery, they rarely happen, and meanwhile, your life spills away while you are waiting for clarity or permission or courage. Hang out in the lofty, fuzzy place long enough and your self-trust disappears like money in a teenager’s hand. And with it, your motivation and desire to create your crazy, sexy life.
Instead, Give Satisfaction a Try Here are the four elements that make up Conditions of Enoughness. These are detailed in my interactive kit “The Satisfaction Finder” Take one lofty goal you have and break it into one set of COE’s right now then check in with yourself afterwards – what feels better: dreaming or being satisfied?
The Four Elements
1. Name what is enough in simple facts. Make it measurable and keep it simple. Not “Eat all raw” but “Price a dehydrator.” Not
“start a famous blog” but “spend one hour learning about how to get my own domain name.”
2. Include a time element. By when, for how long, whatever. Creative people like to leave this element out. Don’t. “Price a dehydrator before bed tonight.” Yes, going all raw is more sexy. Pricing the dehydrator before bed? The first step to getting there.
3. Ensure that whatever you declare is dependent on ONLY YOU on an AVERAGE day. Not a superhuman day. So if your needy in-laws are
visiting for dinner, and you have to work all day, today is not the day to declare you will spend an hour learning about domain names.
4. Declare you are satisfied when your conditions are met–even if you don’t feel satisfied. This feels stupid but it’s HUGE. Your brain has been trained to want, want, want more, more, more. You need to retrain it. You do that by focusing on what you did do and praising that. Even for 5 seconds. It works.
My heart felt invitation to you is to use COE’s in one area of your life where you do not believe you can ever do – or be- enough. My years of using these four elements with thousands of people has proven to me, over and over again, how life changing it is to build your life on declaring enough on your own terms.