New voices in my head.

I used to have a voice inside my head. She used to tell me that I wasn’t good enough – yet.

One more set of exams, one more rung on the career ladder, one more friend, a marriage certificate, a perfectly hung set of curtains on a Victorian bay window – get all of that, she used to say, and you might be good enough. After all, she whispered, your own mother didn’t want you. How could you possibly be good enough?

I probably spent 20 years listening to her. I spent 20 years chasing after all the things she said would make me good enough. And then I lost them all.  I lost the husband, I lost the friends, I lost the Victorian bay window. Then there was a recession and a baby, which pretty much took care of the career, too.

For a while, I was lost. I was falling, and I didn’t know how to stop. I hung on to the wrong things, the wrong friendships, the wrong priorities. I panicked in the wee small hours about how to get it all back. And the voice? Well, she always knew this would happen. 

Then, there came a point where I just… stopped. I took a deep breath, and looked around. I listened. And there was a new voice.

This voice said: “20 years is an awfully long time to try and live up to someone else’s  idea of good enough.” It said, “You’re already good enough. You always were.”

So, I have this new voice inside my head lately. He reminds me it doesn't matter if anyone else thinks I'm rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, young enough. He tells me to chase my own dreams, and let go of the dreams other people might have for me. He says that every day that I laugh, love my daughter, and try to make the path a little easier for someone else – then I'm good enough. We all are. 

This post written for Josie's writing workshop head on over to find out more!


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 30th January 2010 / 2:35 pm

    I had that voice and for twenty years at least it was as critical as that. The voice made my life miserable as it meant I was never good enough. After a lot of hard work and effort I discovered that the voice did not actually belong to me, the words running through my head belonged to someone else.
    So I started to develop my own voice and work out what I wanted from life. I started doing what I wanted not whatI thought other people wanted, and I developed my own voice and personality, and I have to say my blog has helped me find my voice, it would have been more difficult without that outlet.
    There’s still a way to go though…

  2. 30th January 2010 / 4:19 pm

    Wow…this is the voice I need to find. I can agree with this gorgeous piece of yours. And I think you’ve silenced that voice forever with the amazing things you’ve accomplished.
    Lovely piece…

  3. 30th January 2010 / 4:51 pm

    Sally this is beautiful.
    Your voice is very wise and speaks far more sense than mine does. I can expect my nice, patient, sensible voice to kick in when now?

  4. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    30th January 2010 / 5:01 pm

    I know so many women who have that ‘not good enough’ voice inside their head. I think your new voice sounds like a keeper.

  5. 30th January 2010 / 7:59 pm

    Well done you for finding your new voice. I hope he’s doing the rounds, I could use a new voice.

  6. 30th January 2010 / 9:27 pm

    Are voices in our heads like self expectation?
    I have often wondered why we put pressure on ourselves, often unreasonable pressure..
    I was asked the other day by a Dr what plans i had for the future. I simply replied why plan? I enjoy every day for what it brings. I have no plans and thus no expectation and so no failings or disapoitment. He didnt get it.. I love every day, and every day we enjoy it as much as we can!
    Vicki xx

  7. 31st January 2010 / 12:54 pm

    this is a lovely piece. we all have that voice to a greater or lesser degree and it can be soul-destroying. Julia Cameron talks about this in The Artist’s Way – about setting up a room in your head where all the people who have said good and kind things to you (all the blogging community!) hang out. I’m glad you found a new voice – or at least listen to him more.

  8. 31st January 2010 / 9:15 pm

    So glad you found a new voice. Still trying to find mine. Hope my new voice is as positive as yours.

  9. Baby Genie
    31st January 2010 / 9:52 pm

    Lovely and inspiring, thank you for sharing, it’s sparked a thought inside me from a similar voice xxx

  10. 31st January 2010 / 11:14 pm

    Found your pages only this evening and enjoyed flicking through some of the blogs listed in your Top 100. I DID look for somewhere to post my own link in the hope I might end up jostling for position in the low 90’s but alas, couldn’t find where to click.
    Any chance I might still be able to join in please?
    Thanks in advance