Counselling - why enough is never enough

Why Enough Is Never Enough

by Dr Emma Gray - 30th July, 2012

Evolutionary Psychologists suggest that our brain have evolved to cope with scarcity not abundance which is why we struggle to say ‘no’ and know when ‘enough is enough’. Add this to a marketing industry that spends billions on ensuring we are never content and it become incredibly hard to know where to draw the line in the sands of striving and achieving.
This challenge is made even harder if constantly striving for more has become a way of coping with low self esteem and feeling of worthlessness. Constantly reaching for the next thing or adopting a set of unrelenting high standards for ourselves (sometimes referred to as Perfectionism), in the short term can help people to manage the negative emotions that are triggered by high levels of self criticism. They act to balance out or compensate for feelings of not be good enough or a sense that you are working off the back foot. However, although in the short term setting oneself such goals can temper the anxiety and depression that accompanies low self worth they ultimately reinforce core low self esteem as constant striving, is not sustainable. Such an approach in essence is setting the individual up to fail thus confirming the feelings of worthlessness that it was initially created to resolve.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


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