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Introduction to the "Too Much" Game

By Niiamah Ashong

Welcome to "Too much" May! Yesterday at a dinner with my wife and two of my best friends in Singapore, I got triggered and triggered hard. I found myself feeling misunderstood, angry, and confused in the moment right in the middle of an otherwise amazing dinner. I am grateful to have done enough work to recognize being in the triggered state, but I was completely in its grasp as I fought to be understood and shut down conversations in order to try and protect myself from further pain. What caused this? Someone at the table said something along the lines of “BUT Nemo that’s YOUR style. You’re A LOT!”. The capitalization is how I heard it in my head. And how that translated to me was that I was being dismissed, shunned, and my accomplishments minimized because of my ability to do and be different. It turns out after talking through the incident further, it wasn’t at all the intention (no capital letters involved). Rather than trying to diminish me, the comment was meant to raise me up and shine a light on some of the awesomeness that was needed to show up in my own style. I just couldn’t hear it. It simply didn’t compute. There was just one way for that statement to be interpreted in my mind at the time. And it was to my own detriment. When I woke up this morning, I no longer felt misunderstood, angry, or confused. Instead, I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed for my behavior. Embarrassed for my wife for having been a witness and at times a target on it. Embarrassed as a leader of Outliers, Pioneers, and Mavericks for not having the presence of mind and emotional capacity to not get triggered. I have an amazing wife though and through an early morning reflection with her, I felt a new emotion: happiness. Happiness because yesterday had exposed a blind spot that I was unaware of: I have a low capacity for receiving and seeing myself as “a lot” or “too much” in a positive way. Happiness because with that awareness I could actively begin the work that I lead my clients through to Discover-> Embrace -> Leverage -> Appreciate new elements of my uniqueness to capture the value in it. So, I’m not trying to *accept* that I am too much. Nay, I am taking it further. I want to be celebrated and valued for being too much. I’m often afraid that I am playing too small. I can see how I’m trapping myself under a “too much” ceiling. It’s time to break down and break through. I know it’s possible and it’s my next level of growth. So I hereby declare this “Too Much May”. I am actively coming from a place of being, doing, and having too much and finding the positive gifts in all of it. “Too much” is my filter this month. Demi Langford-McConkie said it best: “It’s either Too Much or not at all”. — How you can help: If you want to participate or help with this, you can do so by sharing your own experiences with feeling too much along the way AND the gifts that come from it. You can also call out times when I am coming off as being too much for you. Be as specific as possible. Heads up, I won’t be apologizing for it or express gratitude . Instead I will simply say “You’re Welcome”. And leave it at that. This is my practice. I choose to be visible in service of myself and others. Game on!

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