The Bodies that are Never Good Enough

Posted by Gay McKinley on April 11, 2018 . 0 Comments

The Bodies that are Never Good Enough is the title of one of the chapters in my book "On Becoming Good Enough".  I was exploring how and why we are so hard on our bodies. Fortunately, I (now) long ago found peace in what my body looks like; what it can do and what it can't do.  It is profoundly 'good enough'. However, only yesterday I was challenged to re-think my own perception of my own body. 

Yesterday I attended a most wonderful yoga retreat organised by Mitch Gibson from Yogabowl.  It was seriously uplifting stuff.  Gentle yoga by the sea, meditation by the sea, eating yummy food by the sea, massage by the sea, swimming in the sea.

Two experiences shook me up.  In a mindfulness exercise we were invited to explore our hands, to really...

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Does an award make Good Enough better?

Posted by Gay McKinley on April 14, 2017 . 0 Comments

I was watching Insight on SBS last Tuesday night and pondering how elite athletes on retiring from their chosen sport can find themselves in the depth of despair and 'not good enoughness'.  How a former World Champion sees herself as lacking because an Olympic Gold Medal eluded her.  How an Olympic Gold Medalist sees himself as lacking because he didn't achieve the same in subsequent Olympics.

Who are we without the external measure, the 'other', telling us whether we are good enough or not?

Even though I have written about being good enough, JUST AS WE ARE, I found myself falling into the same trap of looking externally for that affirmation.  If people don't buy my book, does that mean it is not good enough?  In fact, simply no good.  If book stores don't buy more copies, does that mean it's no good? ...

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Walking the Talk

Posted by Gay McKinley on November 19, 2016 . 0 Comments

If I thought writing a book about becoming good enough and believing I was good enough to do so was difficult, it was nothing compared to taking the book into bookstores and having to convince the owners that it was good enough for them to stock.  Actually, convincing the owners was relatively easy - the challenge was convincing myself!

Then, having the courage to go back into the store to check if any had been sold; if they want more; persuading them that they do; suggesting that it could be positioned more prominently; advising that it would be difficult to find McKinley under the Ws; and not freaking out with a crisis of confidence when they tell me they haven't sold any!

Was my writing a fraud?  Did I really not believe that I was good enough?

I went...

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How feeling not good enough is in the very water!

Posted by Gay McKinley on July 29, 2016 . 0 Comments

I have a friend who swims whatever the season, whatever the weather and he shared this story with me.

He was doing his final lap of a 2.5k swim and was powering down the lane (as he does!) and before he knew it he was passing someone on the inside which is a no-no in swimming etiquette (which he never usually does).

He got to the end of the lane and the lady he passed said very nicely, "I thought you were supposed to pass on the right." He said very nicely (because he was completely out of breath, a bit exhausted and in the wrong), "Yes, I know and I'm sorry.  It was my fault.  I didn't see you until it was too late and so I just had to keep going. I'm very sorry."

She said in a resigned way. "Yes, I am usually invisible." "No," said...

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How never being good enough is eating away at our top chefs.

Posted by Gay McKinley on June 24, 2016 . 0 Comments

In a recent article in the Good Weekend, “Too Much on Their Plate”, Jane Cadzow painted a worrying picture concerning the pressures top chefs in Australia and around the world are under.  Their quest for perfection, (even a wood sorrel leaf has to be the perfect shape), has resulted in suicides, sleeplessness, high anxiety, depression and money worries to name a few.

One chef stated that even if his restaurant were given rave reviews, “it’s still not good enough.  It will never be good enough”.

My first thought in reading this was, “There it is again.”  That sense of not being good enough.  If a successful, top chef doesn’t think he, or his food, or his restaurant is good enough, what hope do all of us mere mortals have?

The truth of course is that we all are – good enough that is.  And good enough is just...

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How can a Woman in Business ever feel Good Enough?

Posted by Gay McKinley on May 23, 2016 . 0 Comments


When I was working in the corporate world more than 30 years ago, my (male) boss gave me the following to read and have a bit of a laugh.  I don’t know who wrote it but back then it rang very true and I didn’t find it amusing at all.

How to Tell a Business Man from a Business Woman

A business man is dynamic.  A business woman is aggressive.

A business man is good on details.  She is picky.

He’s a go-getter.  She’s pushy.

When he’s depressed everyone tiptoes past his office.  When she is moody it must be her time of the month.

He follows through. She doesn’t know when to quit.

He is confident.  She is stuck up.

He stands firm.  She is hard as nails.

He has the courage of his convictions.  She’s stubborn.

He is a man of the world.  She’s...

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When Mother's Day is good enough.

Posted by Gay McKinley on May 04, 2016 . 0 Comments

There’s nothing like focussing on the subject of ‘mother’ to also put the spotlight on insecurities, doubts, fears, responsibility, guilt, shame, and a sense of ‘not good enough’.

How many times does a mother ask herself, “Was it something I did (or didn’t) …?”, “If only I had …”; “Am I doing it right?”; “Am I a good enough mother?” and the list goes on.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.  The DAY when mothers are celebrated, fêted, spoiled, acknowledged, pampered, dined, wined, breakfasted, hugged, loved, given gifts and generally told they are not just good enough; they are ‘the best’.

That’s how it is, isn’t it?

For many mothers that is the reality, and that is wonderful.  But for many mothers, the reality is quite the opposite.

I personally am not an advocate for any such ‘days’.  Why should we celebrate or acknowledge mothers on just one...

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When do we lose knowing we are 'good enough'?

Posted by Gay McKinley on April 17, 2016 . 1 Comment

I was sitting in my doctor's surgery recently where there is a huge blackboard and an endless supply of chalk for the endless supply of children in the waiting room.

A young child of around three was absorbed with drawing on the blackboard.  There appeared to be no question that what he was drawing was a masterpiece.  He was not concerned that people might be watching or, dare I say judging, what he was doing.  He was drawing for the sheer pleasure of drawing.  It was definitely good enough for him - as I assumed he was for himself.  Good enough that is.

Another child came into the waiting room with her parent.  She seemed very little in her oversized school uniform.  I assumed she was around five.  She wanted to draw on the blackboard also and asked her mother.  Permission was readily given.  But...

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What does 'good enough' mean?

Posted by Gay McKinley on April 05, 2016 . 0 Comments

Descriptions from relating to "good enough" include: wise, capable, desirable, competent, qualified, becoming, equipped, fitting, attractive, suitable, satisfactory, adequate, gratifying, delightful....I could go on and on and on.

But I expect for most of us when we hear the term, we don't hear any of the above descriptors.

Do words such as: inadequate, mediocre, not quite there, unacceptable, unfit - in fact, not good enough - have a greater resonance?  I believe so.

And yet, being 'good enough' is a state many of us aspire to and desire.

For me it is a conundrum and a paradox.  How can we desire to 'be' something that is patently 'undesirable'.  Who wants to be mediocre or inadequate?  But who wants to be good enough?

I was recently in a writers' workshop describing my forthcoming book On Becoming Good Enough and the above dilemma.  A few people were scratching...

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