Nothing You Do Will Ever Be Good Enough

Sometimes, no matter what you do, it will never be good enough to meet the expectations of others. But do you know what? The only expectations you ever have to meet are your own.
Nothing You Do Will Ever Be Good Enough
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

For some people, nothing you do will ever be good enough, and they’ll make you feel like a professional failure, even though that’s far from the truth.

These are damaging situations, especially if the person with the intense expectations is a family member or your partner.

These types of people have a very specific goal: to keep you under their control and in line with their demanding values.

Believe it or not, these types of relationship dynamics are everywhere. Sometimes no matter what you say or do, it just won’t be good enough for that one family member, friend, or coworker. In their mind, you’ll never be right.

Instead of basing your life on how other people might react, you need to break away from these toxic types of relationships.

Below, we’ll explain how.

Nothing you do is ever good enough: 3 steps to freedom

Emotional openness, active listening, and reciprocity aren’t in high supply these days. People are tremendously complicated and not everyone has the same understanding of “respect.”

Underneath, we all have many facets that need to be taken into consideration:

  • Fears: These limiting attitudes sometimes make you want to control people so that you don’t lose them. It’s common for fear to force you to humiliate other people to maintain that control. Reassuring yourself and covering up your fears can make you realize how low your self-esteem really is.
  • The way you were raised: This is a key aspect. Growing up without healthy, secure bonds where you could learn the meaning of respect leads to a lack of personal and affective skills.
  • Personal interests: Your own selfishness and desires. Regardless of how they were raised, some people feel the need to control their entire environment and establish dominance.
girl on flower not worried if she's good enough for other people

This proves a very simple point. Human beings are extremely skilled at putting up protective armor. Nobody knows what lies under our thick shells. The harder the armor, the more complex the person underneath.

Below, we’re going to explain how to defend yourself against these types of people.

Your priorities are not my priorities

We’re sure that, at some point, you’ve experienced something like the situation below. Sooner or later you’ll realize that what you value might not match up with what other people do. If you chose to be a vegetarian, for example, maybe your family ridiculed your decision.

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If you came home with a new partner, maybe they told you that you “deserve someone better.” Instead of feeling humiliated, you should understand a few things:

  • Everyone has different opinions. However, some people choose to impose their perspectives on other people instead of respecting them and letting them be. They think their truth is superior to everyone else’s.

This isn’t right. Every time you find yourself in a situation like this, remember:

  • Your life doesn’t revolve around anyone else’s: you’re free and have the right to live your life with dignity.
  • No one has the right to tell you what to do to be happy.
happy woman driving car

What makes me happy is good for me

If what you do, say, or stand for makes you happy, that’s all that matters. Your choices define who you are and every step you take marks a path that is yours alone, no one else’s.

  • Remember that if other people criticize or don’t accept your choices, that’s their problem, not yours. You have to be conscious of your own needs.
  • If we lived our lives pleasing other people and trying to live up to their expectations, our lives would have no meaning. Creating your own happiness takes courage, self-awareness, and fighting for what you deserve.

Life is too short to live up to other people’s expectations

We all make mistakes, and people who truly care for you will help you do better. But someone who is always correcting you and putting you down is no help at all—they’re actually causing damage instead.

Read more: The Incredible Mind of a Mature Woman

  • If you know someone like this, you need to understand that they’ll never change. It’s really difficult when someone cannot empathize or reciprocate respect.
  • Nothing works better than remembering that life is too short to be unhappy. Make yourself a priority. If nothing you do is good enough for this person, accept it and let them go.
woman dancing

You know that the things you do are good because you do them your way, according to your personality and values. Never let anyone upset this balance or damage your self-esteem.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.