I spent a few days last week in Texas at a coaching event. At lunch, I was seated next to another life coach and ran something by her.
You see, I've been told before that I'm "too nice". It's happened more than once from friends, bosses, friends of friends, and to an extent I get it. In the past, I've been known to do what I thought was "right" without regard for how it affected me or my family, or whether or not it was in my best interest.
I was so overly concerned with trying to keep others happy, that I didn't really pay attention to what it was that I wanted. I was often too scared to stand up for myself if I did know what I wanted.
For fear of disappointing someone.
For fear of the conflict, it may cause.
I didn't want to rock the boat.
I am a recovering people pleaser.
I've spent some time on this and feel like I've gotten to a place where I actually know what I want, am not afraid to speak up for myself, and am genuinely ok if I'm not someone's cup of tea. So when this "too nice" thing came up again this year, I paused to really give it some thought.
I flipped it around and tried to consider all angles. Really gave it a once-over.
Here's what I discovered. I like being nice. It matters to me. I feel good when I'm nice. So I try to be. I don't think kindness is a bad thing. I believe the world can use more of it.
So why does it bother me at all that someone may think I'm too nice? Am I? What would that look like? How might it be a bad thing?
So back to my lunch conversation with the life coach. I told her all of what I just told you, explained that I don't want to be fooling myself, asked if I was missing something? Where was my work here? It keeps coming up so there must be something for me to consider.
She asked me "how might you be too nice to yourself? When you have a goal, do you let yourself off of the hook? Do you give 80%, when what was actually needed to reach your goal is 120%? Because you've made a good go of it are you "too nice" to yourself and allow yourself to ease out of your dream? So close and yet not quite reaching it." That resonated with me. Maybe. Hmm. Let me think about it.
I went to sleep thinking about it. That's when my brain sometimes does great work. When I can get out of it's way and stop overthinking. My brain is then free to wander, and give wisdom.
So I fell asleep and dreamt of frogs. Yep, frogs. I've never once dreamt of frogs in my life. But this night I did. I dreamt that little baby frogs were hopping all around me and I was trying to catch them. They kept slipping through my hands. Off in the distance, there was one bullfrog watching the shenanigans. All I saw were some large bubble eyes watching as I scrambled to catch these teeny frogs that just kept jumping and jumping and jumping.
And then I woke up.
I remembered my dream and told my husband about it. Later that morning it was still on my mind and so I googled "jumping frogs in dreams" and here's what it said,
"Dream of frogs jumping or leaping around without any direction, indicates your lack of commitment. You have a tendency to jump from one thing to another."
Ouch! Ok, that one hurt. There's that shiny object syndrome showing up again. Commitment can be a tough one for those of us with ADHD tendencies.
I will admit, there have definitely been times in my life where I've jumped ship for the next best thing. Especially when it comes to career and my work life. In fact, at one point I had a website whose theme was "Variety is the spice of life." In a MAJOR attempt to justify my wiley ways.
I know that I'm capable of commitment. When it comes to marriage, I have chosen to be committed. Through ups and downs, highs and lows, ahem, newer improved models...I've chosen to be 100% committed, and it feels great.
I'm still working on it in other areas of my life. My goals are big, I have a ways to go. I'm committed to sticking things out and showing up, until I reach them.
It's nothing that a strategically placed life coach and a dream about frogs can't fix. Gentle reminders of where I've been, where I'm headed and how to get there.
Think I just figured out my word of the year, committed! ~Shaun