There was a long period in my life that I was often told I am too something. And I can assure you of this fact – when they use the word too in any feedback they give you, it’s never good. They never say you’re too beautiful, too amazing, too wonderful, too enthralling, too captivating.
They may say those things, but they never put the word too in front of them. Nope. When they use the word too, I can tell you from personal experience it’s never good.
I have been told I am too direct, too enthusiastic, too friendly, too optimistic, too exuberant, too intense, too much of a rebel, too nonconforming, too unrealistic (I really love that one), that my affinity for other people is too high and I work too hard.
It makes me laugh because these are exactly the things that have made me successful in life. You have to be something in order to succeed, or you turn into a corporate sheep. You have to believe in something, you have to stand for something, you have to act.
I’ve learned that the people who think I am too anything are not the right friends or clients for me. There are plenty of other people in the world for them … people who aren’t too anything.
Not surprisingly perhaps, many of my clients have suffered the same fate. They come to me saying, “I’ve been told I’m too _____” (fill in the blank).
They come to me thinking I’m going to teach them how to be “Less ____” whatever it is.
Why would I ever do that? Teach them to be less direct? Less exuberant? Less nice? More realistic (which is the same as teaching them to accept defeat)? That would be criminal!
Instead, I teach them the OTHER skills they need to have to be able to get away with it, to succeed because of it. Otherwise, they let what others say to them turn them into corporate sheep and the world has too many of these already.
But in honor of all the people in my life who ever said I was, “Too _____ (anything)”, I was thinking about putting on my tombstone “Too Dead” because at that point, I would agree with them.