Are You Good Enough? Part II

This is the follow up to my first article on the question that many people wrestle with in life, “Are you Good Enough?”

Keeping Your Peace

The context of this article is focused on preserving your peace and maintaining your mental-wellness when dealing with people who are very different from you and who may not share your experiences, perspectives and ways of relating – people, who by virtue of their very nature, might trigger you.

In this article, I will elucidate ways you can increase your self-awareness and cultivate a strong self-esteem through practicing compassion and kindness towards yourself.

Consider how most of us spend our time: we go to work and are expected to carry out complex projects with others who come from very different backgrounds and agendas. Working around people with different value systems and methods and levels of communication can be both rewarding and triggering. 

It is rewarding when you learn from others and gain a larger perspective on how things work, and when you are able to build collaborative relationships with your co-workers and develop camaraderie with them. 

It is rewarding when you feel your efforts at work are acknowledged and validated and you can see that you are making a tangible difference for good in the company’s growth and culture. 

However, we know that not all relationships are smooth-sailing, and all those aforementioned “benefits” do sometimes elude us when relationship issues come up.

As professional and cultured as we may presume to be, we are still emotional creatures – this is something we need to deeply reckon with in ourselves and in others. Given this reality, the next question to address is, “how do you successfully navigate the emotional minefields that do come up from time to time?”

When you are in sync with your team (or think you are) it feels like you are on top of things and have a support system and trusted relationships that you can turn to in times of need. 

However, when the chips are down and it looks like those trusted support systems are breaking down all around you, what do you do?

Common Coping Mechanisms

It is easy to internalise your experiences and blame yourself; alternatively, you might be tempted to point the finger at others and blame them instead. These adaptive methods are rooted in the core belief of “Never Good Enough.” 

I touched on the key drivers of the feeling of  “Never Good Enough” in my first article on this concept, and listed some practical methods for addressing feelings of inadequacy and clarifying your own values so you can decide how to handle yourself even when navigating difficult work situations and relationships.

In this installation of “Never Good Enough” I go a bit deeper and explore the root issues surrounding the feeling of “Never Good Enough” and provide key concepts gleaned from the “Working With Core Beliefs of ‘Never Good Enough’” Program at the NICABM (National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine). Apart from the above course, the concepts, ideas and suggestions presented here in this article are also distilled from my personal experiences and mental frameworks gleaned from literature I have read on psychology, emotional abuse, trauma and mental wellness. 

The approaches here pertain mainly towards building a healthy relationship with yourself, so that you can make the most of your personal and professional relationships with others.

Inadequacy and Shame

Feelings of not being good enough are rooted in shame. At the root of shame is the sense of disconnection and being “cut-off” and “unworthy” of love and belonging – and it stems from feeling judged – you get the message that whoever you are or whatever you do, it isn’t acceptable. It isn’t pleasing. It’s not wanted. It’s not necessary. It’s not permissible. And you might at times wind up feeling shunned, abandoned, betrayed, neglected. 

How do you cope with feelings of inadequacy and shame?

We all have those from time to time, and while those feelings can be crippling, we do not have to let these feelings hold us back.

For example, you are in a situation where your boss is being critical or there has been a misunderstanding where your colleague has said certain things in a spirit of defensiveness or judgment and has triggered you emotionally.

What do you do? 

Trauma Responses

There are a few knee-jerk reactions:

1. Fight – you get into a combative and defensive state of mind; sometimes the fight can turn inwards and manifest as self-blame, often culminating in mental or physical self-harm

2. Flight – you try and avoid the issue by removing yourself from the situation

3. Freeze – you numb yourself and shut down due to a sense of dread, detaching from reality

4. Fawn – you engage in people pleasing behavior and put your own needs last

5. Fright – you get into a state of hyper-vigilance or high-alert

6. Faint/Flop – you manifest physical stress reactions like fainting, vomiting, pain and exhaustion

Toxic shame takes root whenever we feel judged, criticised, rejected or put down, not only for what we do, but for who we are.

– Linda Graham, MFT (“How to Rewire The Self-Critical Mind”, Never Good Enough – Lesson 12)

Feeling Judged

When you feel under-valued and misunderstood it’s all too easy to default to any of the above six trauma responses. It’s part of your psychological defense mechanism to do so. However, this is maladaptive for communicating well with your boss or co-worker so as to constructively deal with the issue at hand.

If your brain is in survival mode, you might not be able to articulate yourself in a way that can problem-solve and objectively deal with the situation at hand. 

In order to do this, you need to work past your freeze, fight, flight, fright, flop and fawn responses and engage in a conversation with your boss, co-worker or neighbor which might be emotionally triggering but nonetheless necessary for the resolution of the problem.

So how do you do this? How do you talk to your boss or co-worker in a way that promotes understanding, cooperation and creative problem-solving? 

You need to be able to address the matter in a state of self-awareness, where you are not projecting your own fears on insecurities onto the situation and when you are aware of your emotional state.

Deep Emotional Work

Becoming self-aware requires some deep work, within yourself. 

While there is no doubt that the way others behave can, and does, have an effect on how we feel about ourselves, it is very important to work through any feelings of inadequacy that make it hard for you to show up fully to the situation as your best self or to exercise choices that are in your best interest.

In order to show up for others, you need to be able to have empathy, and that is usually in no short-supply. For example, when we see a someone who looks sad, our mirror neurons fire, allowing us to experience the same sadness and to feel empathy; however, when we are in a state of reactivity, our pre-frontal lobes (where our mirror neurons are and which are essential for experiencing empathy) are offline.

A major lever to move out from a state of reactivity to one of empathy and self-awareness is to shift from shame and blame (either blaming or shaming yourself or others) to self-acceptance and embracing yourself fully (not just the “good” parts) – the following activities go a long way towards making that shift.

To make it easy to digest, I’m going to make a list of things to do and then unpack it slowly. 

1. Positive Self-Talk (Talk To Yourself as if You’re Talking To A Friend)

If you had a friend whom you cared deeply about and who was down on him/herself and caught in negative ways of thinking about their situation, how would you talk to that friend?

1. Blaming themselves for everything

2. Magnifying and focusing on the negative aspects of a situation, ignoring any and all of the positive

3. Catastrophizing by expecting the worst and not letting logic or reason persuade themselves otherwise

4. Polarizing by seeing the world in black and white, good and bad – there’s nothing in between and no middle ground for processing and categorizing life events

A) Internal Self-Talk

If your friend were caught in negative mind-loops as detailed above, would you try to help them reframe their thoughts so they don’t get so down on themselves?

So, if for example your friend is saying “I’m too sensitive, I take everything too personally,” you might venture towards saying to that friend “You are sensitive and that’s your superpower; it gives you insight into people and their suffering and helps you to be kind to others.”

Would you be able to talk to yourself in the same way?

Or if you constantly get the message from others that you are “disagreeable or blunt” you could embrace that part of yourself and realize that what makes you special and gives you the ability to see beyond superficialities and be the voice of reason when everyone is too afraid to speak the truth, like in the classic case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?

Or are there aspects of that quality that you can refine so it becomes a strength? It is important to think critically about the messages you get from others and determine which messages are useful for you to retain and how you want to use the information you get to your advantage.

B) Writing Letters To Yourself

For some of us who might do better with the written word – writing letters to yourself can be very therapeutic and healing. Start the letter by writing to yourself the same way you would write to someone you care deeply about and build yourself up.

Here’s a sample of a letter I wrote to myself:

Dear Deborah,

I love you but babes, you got to get your ass off the asphalt. Don’t let those losers put you down and make you feel small. You want revenge? Get well, get up and FIGHT! I believe in you babes! You’re fucking awesome and if you want to mope around and feel sad for a while, that’s okay, *sad face w tears* but you better get up and KILL IT tomorrow morning. OR ELSE…


Love ya,


Injecting some humor can be fun, try taking on different personas and if you want a friend that gives you tough love, or you want to be that ditzy friend that is soft and kind and funny, be that friend to yourself. 

C) Make Audio-Recordings of Your Thoughts and play them back

Sometimes it helps to be able to articulate your thoughts out loud and play it back so you can really listen to your thoughts without feeling the need to justify or explain yourself to anyone. You just need that space to listen to yourself. 


For more deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy and shame, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is an evidence-based approach which enables clients to process recurring traumatic memories which can subconsciously trigger feelings of shame and self-blame.

Mechanism of EMDR

EMDR relies on bilateral stimulation of the brain while recalling a traumatic incident. This process actually informs the brain that this memory happened in the distant past and can be safely stored in the hippocampus (a seahorse-shaped part of the brain responsible for narrative/autobiographical memory) as belonging to the past. 

This evidence-based approach has proven to be very effective in processing events which precipitate the feelings of “never good enough” in many people struggling with a sense of low-self esteem. 

Performance Enhancement/Visualization

I went through EMDR to process PTSD that I went through from physical assaults and emotional abuse that I went through in my earlier years as well as a previous marriage. 

The practice of EMDR is multifaceted. But there was strong use of visualization, i.e. imagine being successful, doing whatever amazing and wonderful things you want to do; or going back to the inciting events/traumatic incidents in your life that set you on the “never good enough” track and reimagining them in a way that empowers you. 

EMDR is scientifically proven to increase connectivity between the two spheres of the brain and leverages the imagination to help the client to gain a sense of agency in processing painful and traumatizing memories in a pace and style that makes sense for a client. 

3. Be Kind To Yourself

In many cultures, people believe in “tough love” and so often fail to be kind to themselves, believing that indulging in little acts of kindness means that they are just being “soft” on themselves. However, it is counterintuitively really important to be kind to yourself. 

Kindness is key to healing yourself and being able to show up for others in a way that does not engender resentment.

Below I have listed some of the key components of being kind to yourself.

A) Enjoyable Activities

Practice being kind to your inner child; unconditionally loving and accepting yourself – hugging yourself, allowing yourself to rest, or to watch TV without self-judgment; giving yourself room for your creative pursuits, doing something you enjoy, e.g., shopping, going for a massage or a haircut, or even just drinking a nice, warm cup of tea.

B) Holding space for yourself and allowing difficult feelings to surface

Facing up to your inner feelings of inadequacy and talking yourself through them, going back to the earliest incidences of judgment you faced when you were a child when you internalized the negative parental voices and shifting your perspective with respect to various incidences that scarred you and left you feeling like nothing, e.g., your father was projecting his own failure on you when he called you a “useless piece of shit” – it had nothing to do with you and everything to do with how he felt about himself.

The key to working through these feelings is sitting with the pain and not trying to escape them, judge them, or to rationalize them away, but to observe them and feel them in your body as they come up. 

It’s normal to cry too when you are processing difficult feelings. 

Trust that these feelings will eventually pass, and remember that you are not your feelings. It is helpful to tell yourself, “I’m feeling sad, but these feelings will eventually go away, I can give myself space to feel sad for now.”

Remember that if you keep on trying to force yourself to be positive, it will have the opposite effect. It is important to hold space for yourself. Dr. Jaime Zuckerman, a licensed clinical psychologist and trained cognitive behavior therapist, explains the mechanism by which suppressing your feelings only amplifies them.

By hiding your discomfort, you’re only adding fuel to fire.

Acknowledging and accepting all emotions and thoughts

“The more we avoid internal discomfort, the more isolated we can become, the more anxious we can get, and the more depressed we can feel,” Dr Zuckerman states. We need to not only feel, but also acknowledge our legitimate emotional responses to situations. Efforts to avoid or ignore them can isolate us during times of need and perpetuate the stigma that mental health issues equate to weak-mindedness.

When we pretend that emotional pain doesn’t exist,” she explained, “we send a message to our brain that whatever the emotion is, it is in some way bad or dangerous. If our brain believes we are in a dangerous situation, our body will respond as such. For example, we may experience rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and a natural need to unnecessarily avoid the misperceived dangerous situation. When we avoid any kind of emotional discomfort, even physical pain, we end up unintentionally making those feelings larger, louder, and more overwhelming. If you don’t confront or process emotions in an effective and timely manner, the science shows that it can lead to a myriad of psychological difficulties including disrupted sleep, increased substance abuse, risk of an acute stress response, anxiety, depression, and even post traumatic stress disorder. (For more information on this, I have listed these symptoms in another article I wrote on “The Power of Solitude”.)

Part of holding space for yourself is accepting and allowing yourself to feel deep internal discomfort: 

“Allowing yourself not to feel ok involves accepting all feelings, thoughts, or sensations, and sitting with them until they pass. If you try to avoid, suppress, or ignore them, they will only grow stronger and leave you overwhelmed and believing that you cannot cope.” – Dr Jaime Zuckerman

Dr Ron Siegal, author and expert on the mind-body connection, reinforces the notion of the importance of facing up to the pain of negative emotions and self-esteem collapses. 

So often, when people get near the pain of one of these self-esteem collapses, they either try desperately to have a win or to numb it out through drugs or distraction or something. 

We try to escape it rather than move toward it and be with the moment-to-moment pain experience of a self-esteem collapse …because I think when we get close to it, on a heart level, it helps to heal it if we can feel it; and on a head level, it helps us to see how arbitrary these different judgments are.” 

– Dr Ron Siegel (How to Help Clients Heal from Deeply Internalized Judgment – Working with Core Beliefs of ‘Never Good Enough’- Lesson 1)

Inner Child Meditation – Working Through Layers of Judgement and Pain Buried in the Past

Working through key-moments in your life where you felt intense rejection and hurt is important, even though revisiting those moments might be difficult. Dr Joan Borysenko, a licensed psychologist, author and world renowned expert on the mind-body connection, uses the “Accepting your inner child meditation” by Louise Hay, a pioneer of the self-help movement, for processing these deeply painful moments in your life.

Below is a summary of the process Dr Borysenko describes in the NICABM course on Working with Core Beliefs of ‘Never Good Enough’. (How to Help Clients Heal from Deeply Internalised Judgment – Lesson 1)

1) Picture yourself as a baby and meditate on how beautiful that child is, how vulnerable, how authentic. That child is you. As you meditate, look at that child, allow yourself really to feel those feelings, and mentally tuck that baby into your heart.

2) Go to a time a little bit later in childhood when you were a child and you weren’t accepted or there was something not quite right. And once again, look into the eyes of that child and then connect and take the child and put it in your heart. And go through the stages of adolescence, the stages where these things really happened and repeat the process. 

3) And then, finally, you’re imagining your adult self and you’re looking into your eyes and accepting yourself for the precious being that you are now, having gone through all those layers of judgment and pain— and then accepting your adult self into your heart

I applied this method of inner child meditation to myself and found that at each of these stages, childhood, youth and adulthood, it is helpful to recall moments where you were rejected or felt overcome by feelings of shame and self-loathing and to embrace the person you were in those moments with kindness, love and acceptance. 

Through carrying out these exercises I found that I could fully extend that same embrace to myself in the present moment. 

Art Therapy

It can be quite therapeutic to use art therapy to process some of these difficult moments.

Below are two short cartoon strips I drew which illustrate how you can go back to various key moments in your life where you went through a self-esteem collapse and look at what you based your self-esteem on in those moments. 

What I have also found to be helpful is to play back those reels in my mind and then look at the broken and sad self I was in those moments and fully hug and embrace the person I was – full and unconditional acceptance of yourself is key to healing.

Comic Strip 1: “You’re too sensitive!”

Comic Strip 2: “I want a divorce!”

C) Doing Nothing

In the age of the hustle culture, doing nothing might make you feel as if you’re committing one of the seven deadly sins. However, there is much to be said for inactivity. 

My mother, not usually one for poetry, used to quote this line to me when I was younger, “What is life, if so full of care, there is no time to stand and stare?” 

I didn’t really think too much about it back then, and felt that she was being facetious, however, it was one of the few times my mother waxed lyrical and I think it behooves me to pay attention – she was quoting from the poet W.H. Davies:

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep’s or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight, 

Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.”

Studies have shown that doing nothing and experiencing boredom are actually invaluable for the creative process and necessary for reconnecting with ourselves. Dr Ruth Lanius’ – Professor of Psychiatry and expert on the diverse neurobiology of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – studies on the idling brain demonstrates that in non-traumatised individuals, the Default State Network of the brain is activated when you do nothing – the brain areas that work together to create your sense of self is activated, i.e. posterior cingulate, medial prefrontal cortex, insula, parietal lobes and anterior cingulate – this means that doing nothing increases your self-awareness and helps you to get in touch with who you really are.

As such, daydreaming or taking time for mindless and less focused activity, like going for a shower or a walk are essential for our thriving and mental dexterity.

I do believe that Gudetama (Lazy Egg) sums up this idea perfectly. One certain days (or part of my days) when life gets a bit much, I take a leaf from Gudetama’s philosophy for life.

Item 1: My Fridge Magnet:

Item 2: Personal Affirmations I am working on Internalising:

4. Know Your Own Values

Sometimes the feeling of being “never good enough” stems from holding ourselves to other peoples’ values – especially when those values clash with what’s really important to us. This can show up especially in societies where conformity is highly valued and you are a non-conformist, so it is important to know what your values are and live in alignment with them.

Sometime the price tag of your independence means breaking away from others’ expectations of you and facing the disapproval of others; it is important to remember, however, that their disapproval does not say anything about you, but is a reflection of their projection on you based on their own principles for life, and the personal lenses that they’re applying to you. 

I found that once I renounced the disapproval of others, even people I love and care for, I learned to feel more in touch with myself and to accept myself unconditionally. I was no longer viewing myself through their lens of approval or disapproval, but through my own lens of love and unconditional acceptance. 

So much pressure is lifted when you live this way, as you are no longer doing things from a place of fear and craving for validation, but from a deep sense of grounded-ness and purpose. 

“There is a place that we all have that’s deep inside us that’s untouched by trauma and shame.”

                              -Mark Nepo, Poet, Healer

5. Prescribe Mistakes (To Get Used To Not Being Perfect)

When you are stuck in a pattern of never being good enough, it is easy to get down on yourself and never feel like you are okay, no matter how hard you try. 

Dr Ron Siegel prescribes certain “shame-busting” exercises for getting over the feeling of needing to be perfect to be accepted. (“How to approach Unrealistic Expectations of Perfection” – Working with Core Beliefs of ‘Never Good Enough’, Lesson 13)

Albert Ellis, pioneer of rational emotive behavior therapy, claims to have started doing the following low-risk exercises and discovered a lifelong cure from shame.

1. Go to an event wearing very unsuitable clothes – the kind that make you stand out and make other people talk about you behind your back.

2.  Go to a restaurant, order just a glass of water, drink the glass of water, and then thank them and leave.

3. Sing at the top of your lungs on the street.

4. Wear something silly.

5. Stop an old lady and ask her to help you cross the street.

6. Yell out the stops on the subway or the bus.

7. And then stop people on the street and say, “I just got out of the mental hospital. What month is this?”

Takeaway thought: “What if we played with this feeling of failing and just went for it in a big way?”

The founder of this therapeutic approach, Albert Ellis, claimed that he started doing these things when he was in his 20s, and he found a lifelong cure from shame. 

6. Define Your Boundaries – Understanding Who You Are and What Is In Your Control

In many organizational and family systems, boundaries are often blurred and people can get enmeshed in dysfunctional guilt and obligation-ridden relationships. 

In order to break free of toxic shame and guilt, it is important to set your boundaries and stick to them, so let me begin by defining what a boundary is and what it is not. I have found Leslie Vernick’s, author, counselor and licensed social worker, explanation of boundaries (quoted below) to be very helpful in understanding what boundaries are.

“Boundaries are always about you, not about the other person. There are two types of boundaries, internal (within your own self) and external (how you will interact with others or your environment). Boundaries don’t seek to control another person’s behavior towards you. Healthy boundaries define two specific areas of you: identity and responsibility. 

Let’s start with identity: boundaries help you define who you are and who you are not.  

What you stand for and what you stand against. 

What’s important to you? 

What will you live with? 

What will you not live with? 

What do you value? 

What do you love? 

What do you hate?

How do you talk to yourself?

How do you take care of yourself?

I find a helpful way of thinking about this topic is to look at the 50 states in the United States. We do not have fences that define each state’s border, but each state in the US has a border identifying where it begins and where it ends (identity). The 50 states have unique identities. One state does not attempt to control another state. Instead, they create laws, regulations, norms – and a value system that is unique to their particular state. For example, some states frown upon owning a personal firearm, and licenses to carry a gun are difficult to get. In other states, that’s not true. But the state that allows firearms, does not attempt to regulate or control the laws of the states that do not. Each state has its own unique identity.”

My takeaway: our responsibility is to deeply consider what our personal values are and then choose to live accordingly. This will be a deep anchor in the midst of the storms of others’ opinions, perceptions and misplaced boundaries.   

7. Accept That There Will Be Judgment and Decide How You Will Deal With It

Accept the fact that you will be judged – “you are not going to escape judgment being applied to yourself because we evolved the ability to judge other things and problem solve because of that.

“We need to do it – but that’s a wild horse, and it’s coming back at you. And so all of us are dealing with, ‘I’m not good enough’.” – Steven Hayes, Author and Psychology Professor 

Once you realize that people’s judgment and their treatment of you does not say anything about who you are, but who they themselves are, it’s easier to foster a strong sense of self-esteem.

My favourite fictional example of choosing yourself:

The following is an excerpt from one of my favourite books of all time “The Fountainhead” – where the protagonist, Howard Roark, is a gifted architect and has a singular vision of the type of work he will create. However, there is immense pressure to conform to societal tastes and mores in the type of buildings he creates. So he rejects the norm and finds his authentic way of establishing himself in the craft.

Having studied the fundamentals at the most prestigious architecture school in NYC, Roark drops out; he views all further courses as superfluous and aimed at training architecture students to conform to prevailing societal standards of “good taste” – something which Roark rejects completely, as he believes in function over form and discards notions of pandering to popular taste and opinion.  

Roark’s raw talent and outstanding portfolio earns him a job as a draftsman in an established firm. However, as he will not compromise on his values to pander to people’s egos and bad tastes, he eventually loses his job. 

In a bid to get an honest job, he reaches out to his foreman to get hired for a workman’s roles – his foreman tries to discourage Roark from taking on this role because of how others might view him. But it doesn’t matter to him, and he takes on the role for the purpose of earning an honest income. 

The following conversation ensues between Howard Roark and his foreman Mike:

Roark: “I don’t want to touch it. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to help them to do what they’re doing.”

Mike: “You can get a nice clean job in some other line.”

Roark: “I would have to think on a nice clean job. I don’t want to think. Not their way. It will have to be their way, no matter where I go. I want a job where I won’t have to think.”

Mike: “Architects don’t take workmen’s jobs.” 

Roark: “That’s all this architect can do”

Mike: “You can learn something in no time”

Roark: “I don’t want to learn anything.”

Mike: “You mean you want me to get you into a construction gang here, in town?”

Roark: “That’s what I mean”

Mike: “No, God damn you! I can’t! I won’t! I won’t do it!”

Roark: “Why?”

Mike: “Red, to be putting yourself up like a show for all the bastards in this town to see? For all the sons of bitches to know they brought you down like that? For all of them to gloat?”

Roark laughed. “I don’t give a damn about that, Mike. Why should you?”

8. Be Honest With a Close Circle of Friends

My last and final recommendation for working through those feelings of “never good enough” is to build a close circle of trusted friends that you can turn to for advice, support and the quintessential sharing of your stories. These are people who will speak honestly with you, but who will do so from a place of love and genuine care.

These friends are also people who share similar fundamental values systems as you – meaning that they “get” you and live their lives in a way (or are actively working towards living their lives in a way) that resonate with what you fundamentally believe to be right and good about how they relate to others in the world. 

For example, if you fundamentally believe that manipulating others and using guilt tactics on them is wrong, it is unlikely that you can have a deep relationship with someone who employs those tactics on a regular basis. The issue here is trust. If you do not speak the same language of love and care, there is basically no basis for building trust. 

I hope the above eight points I raised have been helpful to you or stirred up some inspiration for your self-care. 

Healing the mind and heart is not a monumental task and you can engage in some small activity everyday towards that end. 

Nourish your heart and mind, and over time you will see veritable change and, in turn, your acts of kindness and healing towards yourself will ripple outwards to touch the lives of many others in your orbit and even further beyond.

Trust the process, trust yourself.

“But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units — because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves anymore, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.”

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

2 responses to “Are You Good Enough? Part II”

  1. Comprehensive treatment of a very difficult topic; could do an academic expert in the domain proud!
    Excerpts from Ayn Rand and Steinbeck are sublime… (I read FH, cover to cover in one sitting, albeit eons ago)

    Looking forward to future posts. Suggest u post this on Substack/Medium, may make some $$s and/or announce your talent at worst.

    1. Thank you Paddy. Isn’t FH simply sublime? I have an account on

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