There is often much debate surrounding NAPLAN testing in schools with one of the main concerns being that it doesn’t give a holistic view of the student’s capabilities. It does not measure qualities such as creativity, drive, helpfulness, compassion…the list goes on and on. The test result is simply a number which gives us a little glimpse into the academic abilities of a student. Yet, so much time and effort are dedicated to achieving a score which is “good enough”.
Why have numbers come to play such a powerful role in defining our lives? We see this in many areas of health and wellbeing.
1kg a week weight loss is success, but 900gms is a failure.
Completing a 5km run in 29minutes is success, but 30mins is a failure.
Reducing our cigarette intake by 80% should be a huge achievement for some, but it can feel like a failure because we haven’t given up all together.
Does this seem fair to you?
If a family member conveyed these feelings to you what would you say to support them?
Why are we so hard on ourselves for not being “good enough”?
What do these numbers tell you about the person?
It does not tell you that the reason they are so motivated to improve their health is that they are so passionate about being an active role model for their family.
It does not tell you that this person has so much determination that they try time and time again, learning from what didn’t work so well for them last time.
These numbers don’t tell us about the obstacles, injuries or trauma that this person has overcome, or how far that journey has been.
We like numbers because they are concrete, they give us evidence of what we are and they can be compared to where we started. Numbers can be a great help to allow us to measure things such as baselines, progress, achievements and growth.
We need to realise that not everything that makes us who we are can be so easily measured.
The satisfaction after even one day of fuelling your body properly.
The confidence or ‘sexiness’ you feel when you fit into that special goal outfit.
The peace that can come with knowing you are doing everything you are currently capable of doing to live a full and enriched life.
These may not be the same for everyone.
The important thing is to stop gauging our efforts, achievements and success by other’s standards.
Do not let those numbers define you. Do not let them dictate whether you are “good enough.”
TOP TIP: Try writing down 5 of your strengths or most positive qualities/ characteristics. Now put them somewhere you will see them every day…Fridge, toilet door, bathroom mirror. Remind yourself every day of your strengths and that you are more than a number.
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, you are amazing!
Abit about Sarah -
Hi, My name is Sarah and I’ve been involved with Nicole’s FLASH group since 2012.
I am currently in the final stages of completing my Bachelor of Psychology and have my eyes firmly set on a career assisting people to enrich their relationships with others, in particular with their family, through family/relationship therapy.
My particular areas of interest are working with children and also with women during the antenatal/postnatal period to love not only themselves, but to strengthen the bond they have with their children. I believe that a mother is a powerful, beautiful facilitator for her family, and that when it comes to working with children it is a team effort of both the child and their parents.
In my “non-university” life I am a full time mum to two busy, beautiful girls which allows our family to venture out into the world and start exploring and engaging. Music is one of the most important elements of my life and I have spent 15years singing on stage and over the last few years I’ve started writing original material. I never get bored of learning new ways to view the world and meeting the people in it.