Do you tackle significant problems? Are you at your best when contributing, creating, and paving the way for something new and exciting? Do you dream big and say yes to new opportunities frequently?

Have you noticed all those wonderful new opportunities leave you overcommitted?

When you’re overcommitted, the layers of complexity grow, which can slow your momentum, allowing self-doubt to creep in. Then that self-doubt can generate overwhelm and fuel indecision. Should I do this or that? What is most pressing? What will create the quickest win? What have I forgotten?

Help! It’s all too much!

THREE Obstacle to the Path Forward:

#1        Your Generosity

#2        Your Commitment

#3        Your High Standards


These three “obstacles” are characteristics that DEFINE me!

I’m my best when I’m generous, committed, and setting high standards.

These are my STRENGTHS!

How can they possibly be obstacles?

Intentions Honorable—Limits Missing—Results? Overcommitted

You are so right! Your generosity, commitment, and high standards are part of you. They set you apart and make you special.

  • You want to give of yourself and your abilities to solve problems and make others’ lives better.
  • You notice value and potential where others don’t.
  • You long for lasting and meaningful change in the world.

Others seek your help and participation in their projects because of your wonderful qualities. These qualities make you awesome!

Yet, these wonderful qualities become obstacles because of a principle embedded in all human endeavor:

**Your OVERUSED Strength Becomes Your Weakness!**

Overcommitted: Principle of Balance and Harmony Violated

Who can argue with ancient Chinese wisdom captured in the deceptively simple concept of Yin & Yang? Balance and harmony lead to wholeness.

But . . .

  • TOO MUCH generosity
  • TOO MANY commitments
  • TOO HIGH of a standard in TOO MANY areas quickly upset the balance and zap the harmony out of your life!

When you thrive on serving others, the shadow side of your strengths of generosity, commitment, and high standards often become your obstacles.

Strategies for Overcoming these Obstacles So You Can Fulfill Your Aspirations!

  1. Celebrate your strengths and the value you contribute to the world.
  2. Appreciate the seasonal variation in your life and career as you appreciate the natural world’s seasonal variation. Some commitments are much better suited for future seasons and not this one.
  3. Embrace your self-care foundation (adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise, fun, downtime, and a host of special things you do for you). You give best from a full, rather than a depleted, cup. Remember the admonition from the flight attendant, which initially may sound selfish to you, “secure your own mask before assisting others.”
  4. Identify, connect with, and honor your Personal Values. Download this exercise on identifying your Personal Values.
  5. Choose commitments intentionally.
  6. Align your commitments with your Personal Values.
  7. Limit your commitments EVEN when they fit with your Personal Values. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.
  8. Recognize that burnout and cynicism will undermine your Personal Values.
  9. Accept that sometimes adequate is enough!
  10. Count the costs of always prioritizing others’ needs, always overcommitting yourself, and always insisting on the highest standards for everything!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash