Know When Enough is Enough

A Self Development Technique

Do you know when enough is enough?

"Enough" is an often-used word in our language. It reflects adequacy — from insufficiency to exaggeration — related to the subject that's the focus of attention.

The "subject" can include a person, place, thing, idea, or any combination of these. Enough can describe quantity or quality, depending on the subject or object. Your relationship to the subject often determines the perception of what is or is not enough.

Enough in Relationship to Self and Others

You, of course, have opinions about your own and others' adequacies or inadequacies. Such opinions can enhance relationships, although they more often detract from them. Can you imagine how your relationships might be positively transformed if you showed up to interact with another person without any opinions about your own or the other's adequacy?

Really, consider that for a moment. How would your life change if you interacted with others without any opinions about your own or their adequacies?

It's common for people to believe in their own inadequacies. I often hear individuals say, "I'm not _______ enough." Anything might go into that blank: short, tall, young, old, beautiful, slim, smart.

A variation is "I don't have enough ______." A variety of possibilities can also fill that blank, for example, money, time, energy, talent. Often people measure themselves against external criteria to decide if they are (or are not) enough or have (or do not have) enough.

Consider how your life would be if you believed in your magnificence without measurements. Just consider that.

Consider that for a moment. Really. I know it's easy to skim through the words, but this page is in the "Techniques Section" of this Empowering Personal Development web site, so I encourage you to ponder this idea of believing in your magnificence without measuring it. To further enhance your pondering, you can write down your considerations.

The Importance of a Feeling of Adequacy

The key to whether or not adequacy or inadequacy is a driver for you is how you feel about the subject. For example, let's say the subject is a particular job...

If you don't have enough of the right skills to do a job that's of no interest to you, you won't generate many feelings, positive or negative.

If you don't have enough of the right skills to do a job that's of major interest to you, you'll have strong feelings. Those feelings might prompt you into positive action or they might lead you to a path of despair or disappointment.

How you feel about your own magnificence is often the key to open the door to happiness and prosperity. Understanding "enough" as a principle allows you to use/have/be qualities or amounts that are different from others, and still be effective or feel satisfied and valuable. You know how much is enough by how you feel. When you feel good, enough is enough.

The Butterfly Enjoys the Moment

And, be assured, I find no fault whatsoever in wanting more, more, more! It's just that when enough is enough, it's good to pause and enjoy the moment. If you decide to let your own feelings speak to you, you'll know when to ask for more or when to say it's enough. Every moment changes your relationship to enough. With a positive relationship with adequacy, you elevate your personal development.

Develop Your Relationship with Enough

I think that one of the best ways to practice your relationship with enough is to ask engaging questions. Ask yourself or ask others any of the following questions, as appropriate, to explore what enough means to you on a variety of subjects. It's important to ask these questions without the belief that you already know the answer. Be curious. Ask, and listen to or feel the answer.

  • How much/long is enough?
  • When is enough, enough?
  • Is this enough?
  • By what standards do I/we/you measure enough?
  • Are we done?
  • How do I feel?

In addition, consider what question you want to explore about being, having, doing, or knowing enough. I encourage you to ask questions that are empowering. Often I find that having a good question is more important than having a good answer. What is your question? How do you know when enough is enough?

Examples of Knowing When Enough is Enough

Measuring Doses. Years ago, I attended a scientific lecture. A question came from the audience, "How much is required (of a particular substance)?" The scientist answered, “Enough.” The audience allowed him the silence that made his point even more profoundly. Some smiled in deep appreciation while others seemed ready to push for more specific, measurable information. He expanded his answer, "Enough to be effective. Not too much, not too little. Enough." Then most listeners were able to let go of having a “rule” to write down in their notes. Many variables tell you what is enough, and those variables are more important than the measurements.

Making Decisions. As a group facilitator, I often notice a dynamic of rehashing a decision that a group had already made. As a consultant not emotionally involved in the content, I can easily recognize when enough was enough. This is sometimes more difficult when you're emotionally involved in the discussion. Another variation on this question is: “Are we done yet?” Sometimes you just need to claim that you've had enough or that you are complete. It can be gentle or jolting.

Voice of Authority. Likely you can recall a parent’s or teacher’s voice, louder than usual, saying firmly as a euphemism for stop, "Enough!" So, in that case, enough is enough when the one in authority says it is.

And so, Back to You

The Butterfly is Enough

Consider how you can shift your attention from measuring adequacy or inadequacy to feeling good about who you are and what you have while at the same time being open and eager for more of what you want. The words may sound paradoxical, but they are not. Feeling good about when enough is enough is all about self-acceptance with an eagerness for life to keep unfolding and expanding. You know by how you feel.


This Technique is about Knowing and Trusting when Enough is Enough

See Additional Techniques in the Self Development Techniques Section

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