I can’t remember a time when I was told that I was “not enough,” in any area of life. The repeated message delivered to me, embedded in my nervous system, engrained in my psyche, was that I was “too much.”
Too emotional. Too intense. Too sensitive. Too stubborn. Too demanding. Too dramatic. Too loud. Too obsessed. Too attached. Too serious.
I think too much. I feel too much. I cry too much. I talk to fast. I walk too fast. I’m “too smart for [my] own good.”
As far back as I can remember, the message I received, and the lesson I learned, was that I was too much.
I developed a belief that if I was my fully-expressed self I would not be accepted. People wouldn’t get me.
I had a fear of being too much.
What happens when you believe you’re too much?
First, you close off a part of yourself. You shut it down, you put a block in the channel so that you don’t come out all at once and scare people away.
You learn to stifle the “excess,” to give people just what they need and no more.
You learn to hold back.
You learn how to hide yourself.
Second, you develop fears. If you’ve been holding back and hiding for enough time, you begin to fear what might happen if you didn’t hold back.
I feared if I revealed my capabilities people would expect more of me than I might want to deliver. Or that I could deliver.
I feared if I revealed my empathy and compassion and sensitivity people would take advantage of me.
I feared that if I revealed what I knew, I would be expected to always have the answers.
I feared that if I shared what I saw and perceived in my environment and in people around me, it would make people uncomfortable.
Making Other People Comfortable
Because I’m highly sensitive and perceptive and empathic, the last thing I want to do is make others feel uncomfortable. Because I feel what others feel, in the most acute ways. Making other people uncomfortable causes me discomfort.
Funny how that works.
I often downplayed my capabilities, my intelligence, my perceptions. I stifled my emotions. I played dumb. I pretended not to see things or feel or know things.
As the tallest person in my class and among my friends, I always stood out to an uncomfortable degree. To compensate, I often slouched to fit in.
I made myself smaller — literally.
A New Outlook
I realized that in making myself smaller to fit in, I hid the parts of myself that are my greatest assets and gifts.
Perception. Empathy. Compassion. Emotion. My capacity to hold space. Intuition. Insight. Intelligence. Deep insight. My fast brain.
All the things that make me brilliant in what I do, that help me help my clients achieve radical transformation — these are the assets I’ve hidden away out of fear of being “too much.”
Some of us are here to speak the truths that nobody wants to speak, to expose hypocrisy, to see what others cannot see and share those insights. We are here to bring light to the dark spaces, to illuminate the shadows.
That’s my calling.
It’s not my job to make people comfortable. Obviously, I don’t want to cause others pain. But discomfort is not pain.
But I no longer believe that it’s too much. That I’m “too much.”
For some people, maybe. But for the right people, it’s just right.
Does this resonate with you? Please share in the comments.