Resilience Tip: Embracing “Good Enough”

Featuring Dr. Alyson VanAhn from Associated Clinic of Psychology

Today we’re focused on the drive to be perfect (or darn close). It’s not inherently bad; in fact, it has propelled many of us to get to our current status in personal and professional arenas. It can, however, take its toll on our well-being to be in pursuit of perfection versus accepting of “good enough.”

During this pandemic, we are pressed into roles that are new and require a great deal of learning very quickly. We are heavier with burdens and feeling ineffective even in roles that we normally feel very confident about. This is not our fault or anything we did wrong.

This is the natural outcome of surviving a disaster like COVID-19 that has no certain ending. You can learn to take it easy on yourself and reap the benefits of lower stress in your many roles. This can help those around you build resilience with your staff and your family as well.

To embrace “good enough,” a few of these items below may be a good place to start for yourself. You can also model them for your teams and your family:

  • Allow yourself the same compassion and leeway you would provide to your friend, partner, child or coworker. It may feel difficult at first, but you can do it well for others—so you have the skills to do so for yourself.
  • Practice using “oh well” as a response to a tough situation in which you might normally be frustrated with yourself. Repeat this phrase if necessary, even if you don’t have an “oh well” attitude. You are training your brain for acceptance of mistakes and things out of your control.
  • Celebrate disappointments, mistakes and discouragement as you would for anything positive. You’re modeling for yourself, your coworkers and your family how to be “good enough” which helps self-compassion sink in.
  • Find the silver lining after you’ve allowed yourself to have a frustrated reaction to something not going your way.

For more information about stress relief during COVID-19, go to

At no charge, you can arrange virtual staff support groups through LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation’s COVID-19 Staff Coping & Support Line project. Contact Terri Foley at or 651-815-8137.

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