Posted in Success

Being Too Nice is Not a Benign Flaw

Of all the flaws a person could have, being too nice certainly isn’t the worst of them.

So said my grandmother when I lamented to her that I was too nice and therefore easy to pick on. The bullies of my youth preyed upon this aspect of my personality and I often wished I could be harder. If there was a way for me to go back in time and teach my young one skill to make her life easier, I would teach her how to throw a good punch.

But I can’t go back in time and I can be too nice. My grandmother did have a point. Being nice isn’t a terrible thing to be. There is a point, however, when the effort of being nice causes a person more harm than good. This is something I’ve been examining lately and I want to detail out all the main ways being too nice can be a real detriment to a person.

Being Too Nice to Consider Yourself

Letting someone who is clearly in a rush ahead of you in line is nice. Letting everyone who asks ahead of you is being too nice. If you say yes to every single thing without any consideration for yourself, you set yourself to be walked on. Believe me, I know. It’s been a bit of a life long struggle.

Being Too Nice to Tell the Truth

This is really just a fancy way of lying, which isn’t nice at all. Maybe you want to spare someone’s feelings. Maybe, in that moment, you don’t want to deal with their disappointment. Then later, you tell the real truth. Maybe you back pedal on an earlier statement or say no after agreeing to a task previously.

This isn’t really being nice at all, though it may feel like that in the moment. It’s a way of avoiding a situation or a conflict.

Being Too Nice to Stand Up

Standing up for yourself, a cause or a person is certainly a good and kind thing to do, but it can also be confrontational. You might not feel like you should stand up in the interest of keeping the peace, but that can be hugely flawed. Sometimes you have to stand up or risk letting yourself, a cause or a person get stomped on. Even if you’re not the one doing the stomping, you still share some of the blame for not trying to stop it from happening.

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Posted in Success

Understanding and Embracing Success

What if you’re already successful and simply haven’t recognized it, yet? You keep seeking it, stressing out over uncompleted tasks, all the while wondering why success remains elusive. It remains elusive because it sits behind a self-imposed blind spot.

This is the perfect description of the place I have been for the past few year: successful, yet unable to recognize that success. This year, I’m devoted to truly embracing the success I have and embracing the happiness each day has to offer.

I can trace my idea of success all the way back to 4th grade. I was 10. I was depressed. I wanted out of this life and thought about dramatic means to achieve that goal on a near constant basis. That had been my life for years, but on one fateful night in 4th grade, I decided to choose a different path. I gave myself a set of specific goals to achieve success and dedicated the next two decades of my life to those goals

  • Get grade grades in school in order to get into a great college
  • Travel to a different country
  • Learn Japanese
  • Learn how to fence
  • Live independently for at least one year
  • Have a successful and well-paying career

Drive to accomplish this list overcame everything in me for years. Then, a little more than two years ago, I checked the last thing off this list. I was happy and I was lost.

I’ve done a lot of wandering in the past few years, but I it all finally clicked in 2016. I am happy. I have succeeded in every goal I set for myself those many years ago. But I have a blind spot.

Every blind spot is different, but mine is mostly made up of the expectations of others. I have not achieved the things other people think I should have at this point in my life and they let me know. In 2017, it’s time for this to stop.

People will always feel the need to comment on you and your success, especially those close to you. Most comments will come with good intentions as those who love you simply want you to be happiness. But they also have a blind spot: they are not you.

You are the only one who can define what success means to you. Once you define it and achieve it, you have to recognize it. Embrace your success and don’t let anyone convince you that your successes are somehow inadequate.

This is the biggest lesson I learned in 2016 and I’m ready to fully embrace my success in 2017. It’s time to stop worrying about success when I already have it. It’s time to do those things that make me happy with no guilt attached. It’s time to be unabashedly me.

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