Are you too good for your own good?
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Yeah, you probably are. Too many of us are too good for your own good. And that’s a big problem.
Too good??? There’s not enough goodness in this sad, sick world we live in!!, you say. How can anyone be too good for anyone’s good??
So yes, of course, we need more goodness, more good people in this world. But you know what we need a lot less of? People pissing their goodness away. Want to be good? Be good. Please I beg you!! But there’s a problem with that.
A very nice woman I know was introduced to another woman, charming, interesting, vivacious, and they were both involved in the same projects. The idea was they’d become friends. It’s just that this other woman was a little too much. Too much in the Russia invading Ukraine sort of way. The taking over sort of way, but totally innocent, like a 4 year old.
The very nice woman, too good for her own good, felt stuck with this new friend. Good people, she believed, don’t reject other people or hurt their feelings. No, they just stay stuck with an impossible new friend until one of them dies or by some kind of miracle they can find a way to slither free.
So you see, the problem isn’t goodness. The problem is focus.
The question for the very nice woman was, Where do I want to put my goodness energy, which god knows is in short supply? It is for all of us, because we’re ALL strung out and overburdened. If we don’t focus our energy and our goodness on where we think it’ll do the most good, we’ll end up just pissing it away on people and problems we don’t really care about.
Think of it this way. You’re a firefighter. You’re driving the firetruck to what you know is a huge fire with many people’s lives at risk. Siren screaming, you’re zooming down the street. Suddenly, off to the side, you see a sad little lost-looking puppy. Do you stop the firetruck to find a new home for that sad little puppy? I don’t think so.
Good people rescue sad little puppies. And they rescue people from burning buildings. But if rescuing people from burning buildings is your job, and people are desperately needing you to do that job right now, then you have to focus on that. Sorry, little puppy. Catch you next time.
The very nice woman was encouraged to break up with her invasive new friend. Which initially felt like the bitchiest, cruelest thing she could think of doing. And she initially got lost in a dither of worrying about what she’d say to the other woman. But she did it, and she felt like a million bucks for having done so.
Not for breaking up with the other woman, but for keeping faith with herself. Restoring the trust in herself she needed. The trust that she could care for her limited energy and time—the most precious resource any of us have!—and allocate it in the very best way possible: to the people and projects she cared about most.
For one shining moment she unleashed her inner bitch so she could fully focus on her true goodness.
Just ask yourself what you really care about most. Then be, yes, ruthless about focusing your goodness on that. Everything and everyone you say no to is a huge bonanza for the carefully curated people and projects you’ve said yes to.
And a blessing for your nervous system as well.