Have you ever been told that you are too much of something?
I’ve been told I’m too:
I’ve even been told I’m too bright because I love wearing colour (who seriously wants to wear black every day?)
Every time someone tells you that you’re ‘too much’ of something, what they are really saying is “STOP. I feel threatened.”
I normally don’t put much thought into what people think but that all changed when I started my business. I wanted my clients to like me and get value out of my work. I also had to be really clear and upfront about who I was and put myself ‘out there’ for everyone to see.
When you do this, people feel like you’re giving them permission to critique you. And boy do we have a lot to say about each other.
To be honest, most people are really supportive and encouraging but like most humans, I forget this as soon as I get one comment after a really bad day like:
“You’re TOO HONEST. People may not find you professional.”
“I expected to get more communication tips. You talk about yourself TOO MUCH.”
“You’re TOO SALESY, I want conversational copy.”
“Your workshop is TOO CHEAP. What do I actually get out of it?”
I tried really hard to ignore these type of comments and to keep doing my thing but for some reason, it started to get to me. It happened so slowly that I didn’t notice, but in January of this year, I realised I wasn’t putting myself out there anymore and I had started apologising.
I was saying things like:
“I’m sorry, it’s going to take me three days to complete this project, not two.”
“I’m sorry it took me a day to get back to you.”
“I’m sorry was that too direct?”
Why was I apologising?
What was I even sorry for? Not rushing through a project so I can do a good job? Not asking the hard questions I’d been hired to do? Not being available 24/7? I’m not sorry for these things. This is who I am and how I work.
What started off as few backhanded comments, ended up affecting my self-worth. And despite my attempt to making myself quieter, plainer and more compliant, not once did I get told I was finally ‘enough’. But I was never going to.
So many of us wait to get permission from others before we show all of ourselves. (We want to be sure we aren’t hurting anyone’s feelings.) But I don’t need your permission, to be honest, friendly and confident me.
Does that mean I get to be an arse and not care about how my actions affect others? No. But it does mean that I don’t have to be sorry that I’m a three-dimensional person and I might do or say things you don’t like.
I need to be all of me if I’m ever going to do all ALL. THE. THINGS.
We are meant to use our gifts and not squash ourselves into a neat box to make space for others to shine. The sky’s a big place, I’m pretty sure we can all be stars. But only if we give ourselves permission to be.
So please be the person who’s just too much — too themselves, too loud, too encompassing, and too busy doing their thing that they don’t care who feels threatened.
I made a thing!
Do you have a love-hate relationship with words?
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Featured image from Pexels.