The Fear of Being Too Much: People Pleasing & Staying Within The Lines

Nicolette
3 min readMay 5, 2021

There is an essence, an undeniable feeling of achievement, that follows praise. It finally feels like we have done something right once our actions, choices, and behaviors are met with an applause. It’s a feeling of greatness, a feeling of acceptance. This external validation is unarguably short-lived and costly. Once we place such an exceeding amount of our self-worth into the hands of anyone but our own, the fear of not receiving those signals of approval lurk. Intensely.

These fears then translate into shame, anxiety, and toxic worry. All because we have become slaves to pleasing, our bodies are now limited beyond measure. We have locked ourselves into cages yet cry for our freedom.

But here’s the catch: only we have the key.

No one else. We’ve held ourselves captive to the fear of being too much. To the dangers of people pleasing. To the dangers of staying within the lines.

But when, ever, has people pleasing made you feel free? Or empowered? Or authentic? When has staying within the lines been fulfilling?

For me, never.

The fear of being too much doesn’t exist where there’s an applause. The fear of being too much doesn’t exist when we are met with the response we were searching for. The fear of being too much only survives off of what our brain senses as opposition. When the applause isn’t as loud. When the cheerleaders aren’t in full swing. When the external validation fades, we feel shame. We start to feel like we are “too much.”

Odds are, no one will directly tell you that you are too much. It’s a fear that develops internally and has external repercussions. In response to this fear, you limit yourself. You become afraid to speak your mind. You become afraid to love as hard as you can. You become afraid to make the phone call. You become afraid to send the first text. You become afraid to speak up. You become afraid to try something new. You become afraid to take initiative. You become afraid to propose ideas. Because you are afraid of being too much.

And what does that mean? What does it even mean, to be “too much?”

For me, being “too much” falls along the lines of talking too much, taking up too much space, texting too much, complaining too much, sharing too much, being too much to handle. Being “too much” is walking over the fine…

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Nicolette

Author of Amazon #1 New Release, Control Mindset. Undergraduate student, wanderer and writer.