Dear Mrs. Not-Good-Enough…

I’m doing some great coaching work with Beth Buelow, the Introvert Entrepreneur and one of my assignments is to write a “Dear John” letter to a critical voice that I carry.  Have you ever done an exercise like this?  If so, I encourage you to do so, as letting go of our inner critics can create feelings of freedom, space, and true enoughness. Here’s to saying goodbye to critical voices and self-sabotage! 

Here is my letter:



Dear Mrs. Not-Good-Enough,

You stink. I mean it. You smell like rotten onions and I’m tired of wiping my eyes from the sulfuric acid you send my way from your chemically-induced not-good-enough stench.  The tears you cause me don’t feel therapeutic. You know how a good cry can make everything feel better eventually?  Well, Mrs. Not-Good-Enough, you cause me tears of rot and it’s truly time to say goodbye. I’m through with you.

You used to be Mrs. Good-Enough, a tender motherly voice. Encouraging. Inspiring. Supportive. Remember when you used to show up unannounced when I was a kid? Remember how you brought me bouquets of clearly-confident gardenia blossoms and full-of-talent tiger lilies?  You told me I was beautiful, smart, capable of anything. You said you believed in me.

Then you turned bitter. Did Mr. Not-Good-Enough come along at some point? Is that when you decided to marry him, take his name — and his tune?

No matter, I’m done. You’ve made me question myself too many times, caused me to feel faulty, damaged, too sensitive, lacking.  Instead of flowers, you brought me rotten onions.

I have decided to compost these onions, I’ll have you know, and when the soil is worm-filled and nutrient rich, I will add it to my garden. I will grow basil and sweet peas and chives with sweet purple-puff flowers. I will grow lavender and snap dragons and rosemary.

I do thank you, though, Mrs. Not-Good-Enough. You taught me that I have the power to compost anything in my life that doesn’t serve me, anything at all that damages my sense of good-enoughness, self-worth, and confidence, and yes, oh yes, I will transform this compost into sweet, sumptuous life.


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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2 Responses to Dear Mrs. Not-Good-Enough…

  1. Binky says:

    Great idea. Kick her ass Courtney. You are such a kind wonderful person and don’t need her interjecting crap into your head.

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