Conditions of Enoughness

Con·di·tion [kuhn-dish-uhn] noun: a state of being.

Enoughness [ih-nuhf-ness] adjective: sufficient to satisfy a factually stated desire; a satisfactory amount.

What is enough? What a tantalizing question. Can you feel it in your body, maybe around your belly button or your heart? The draw of inquiring: what is enough for me?

“For me” is a crucial addition. Because, of course, there is no one or final answer to the question, “What is enough?” but rather an ongoing relationship between you and your desires. It is in the asking of what will satisfy you, and then the declaring, “This will be enough,” that you experience satisfaction.

And when you don’t ask and don’t declare? There lies the aching void and often the lost agency to build the life, and the world, you want.

Enoughness is a daily declaration of what you want and the action you will take to create it. (Click to Tweet)

It is also about learning to train the Hounds of More, More, More who bay:

“Improve yourself! Make more money! Be more awesome! Rise to the top! More, more, mooooooooorrrrreeeee!”

The Hounds of More yip at you until you become a woman who completely forgets it is up to her, and only her, to declare what is enough.

The hounds also love to mess with your routine, yammering:

“Meditate first thing in the morning! No, I meant start with yoga! No, you should go to the gym! But it’s summer so walk in nature! No, I meant writing, working on your side gig/sketching!”

Notice how the Hounds of More use a lot of !!! points? They are always on the search for perfect. They are never interested in enough. Their baying is exhausting and distracting and, quite frankly, boring because it keeps us from diving deeply into anything. The Hounds keep you from taking action.

Conditions of Enoughness quiet the Hounds and sustain you in consistent, mindful action.

In a nutshell, COE’s are using four simple steps to create a boundary or container around anything in your life (and I mean anything – parenting, finding a partner, writing a book, doing the yard work) that you want to shape and build.

The four steps are:

1. Name what is enough in simple facts.

What you will actually do next. Measurable. Factual as in no aspirations. “I will write new material on my project. I will start and finish an exercise video. I will write one section of my profile.”

2. Include a time element.

For how long…
How often…
By when….

Name a boundary around your efforts so you know when you are finished. Not the big finish, each step. I will write new material for 30 minutes. I will do a complete exercise video before the kids come home. I will write one section of my profile by Satruday  at 3 pm.

3. Ensure they’re dependent on ONLY YOU on an AVERAGE day. Not a superhuman day.

The quickest way to experience enoughness? Stop making an aspirational to-do list that you could never complete. Stop expecting a day in which you are someone you aren’t. Start planning for average – a day in which you have to take the car in because it’s making that funny noise again, a day in which you have a bad headache, a day in which you get brain fuzzed at 3 pm: a day of reality.

4. Declare you did you what you did when your conditions are met—even if you don’t feel satisfied.

Everybody likes to skip this step. They feel stupid, especially saying it out loud (super powerful) “Good on me, I did what I said I would do.” But this is where you stop to notice, and very briefly celebrate, which means you are creating new positive associations in your brain, associations where enoughness is experienced rather than just imagined. Research shows this is incredibly important for your success. So don’t skip it.


Use COE’s in areas of your life where you feel less than or overwhelmed.

Use them to break down a big project or to get unstuck.

Do not use them as a to-do list, it’s overkill and can become oppressive.

The overall idea: clarity. Doability. Living your human scaled life now.



Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

The Different Ways We Can Be Kinder to Ourselves | Weightless - August 19, 2014

[…] Creating your personal “conditions of enoughness.” […]

Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray - August 19, 2014

[…] How & Why To Know Home and Conditions of Enoughness or the Art of Building Your Truer Life from Jennifer […]

Lower Your Expectations - August 25, 2014

[…] writes here about Conditions of Enoughness which is closely related.  I also relate it to Brene Brown’s […]

Level Thinking – The Value of Negative Space | Sharon Wildwind - August 28, 2014

[…] I added Jennifer Louden’s Conditions of Enoughness to my tool box. She says that as creative people we tend to over plan, over commit, and over work […]

Conditions of Enoughness, the Art of Building Your Truer Life - Eusophi - September 22, 2014

[…] Originally published at […]

30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery - September 29, 2014

[…] what is enough for […]

Journaling Prompts… | KimHine - October 29, 2014

[…] what is enough for […]

Letting Go of the Outcome: How Do You Measure Success? - November 5, 2014

[…] bump to Jen Louden, who taught me about the Conditions of Enoughness which inspired this […]

Remarkable Focus – One of Three Direct Steps to Mompreneur’s Balance | Your Work Is All I Talk About! - January 12, 2016

[…] wish I had come up with that phrase, but I accredit it to Jennifer Louden. Conditions of enoughness help me know when I can walk away, at least for the day. If I focused only on my business […]

List – The Missives Unsent - January 14, 2016

[…] what is enough for […]

Life Navigating Through My Bout of Depression - Eusophi - February 10, 2016

[…] cling to COE’s and make clear plans for each […]

Goodbye February - Becoming Who You Are - March 14, 2017

[…] Conditions of enoughness […]

Kindness Practices To Get Things Done – To thine own self be kind - December 28, 2017

[…] me just the other day through Saundra Goldman’s wonderful article on the topic. I believe the term was coined by Jen Louden, and what it means (briefly — you really should read Jen’s article) is that you decide what […]

Stop Trying to Be Perfect - HCP Feed - April 18, 2019

[…] the core of MED is the concept of enoughness. Just like deciding that “Yes, that water is indeed boiling, by golly!” — one can […]

Dillon - August 18, 2020

The universe has such clever timing – thank you for your words and guidance, Jen.

-ness Monsters – ….Bilocalalia…. - September 2, 2020

[…] As a translator and editor, I sometimes run across words that sound made up but are actually used, mainly in academic circles. Today’s were “betweenness” and “enoughness.” […]

Leave a Reply: