Many of us have learned one way or another that we can’t bring all of ourselves to life. Our work, our families and friends need us to take things down a notch. “Please”, we hear, “just don’t be so particular” or “don’t be so needy” or “don’t be so talkative”. Whatever the “don’t” is that you have heard in your work or life, I’d bet you’ve tried to change that. Perhaps you noticed someone else who had more of the quality you needed, and decided to be more like them.
The problem is, when we try to be someone we are not we typically do a pretty poor job of it. We end up copying the negative characteristics of others, even though we are aiming for their best ones. If we have been told we are too opinionated, we decide to try and not care so much. Or at least, don’t appear to care so much. What happens next? You guessed it, we tone down. We stop sharing our opinions. Instead of becoming less opinionated, we just are disconnected from them. As you might expect, this doesn’t serve us very well. What to do?
Accept your “too much” ness. Whatever your “too much” message is, fighting it only creates other problems. Too passive? Too critical? Whatever it is, discarding a part of yourself will only enflame the problem. Start with acceptance.
Lean into the big picture behind your “too much” ness. Are you too passive because you desire peace and stability? Perhaps you are too emotional because you think others downplay the emotional experience of life? What if you are too critical because you think it is important to get things right, the first time? Whatever the reason is, direct your energy into that, and do so to your heart’s content! Your “too much” ness is a strength, and when it is where it needs to be you can express it as fully as possible. It may surprise you to know that leaning in to the big picture will largely change others’ experience of you. If you need help understanding what is behind your “too much” ness, speak with a trusted friend, coworker or coach.
Don’t tone down, the world needs more of what is most fully you!