“Everything should be in moderation, because too much of anything is detrimental”
So they say.
I used to convince myself this applies only to food and drinks. You know…you can grab a slice of cake once in awhile – just not every day, because sugar.
But I know I’m wrong. The same is true with almost anything. For example, too much Facebook could mean stupidity-overload (you know, with all the ubiquitous nonsensical stuff online); too much binge-watching could actually stress you out even more; too much of some healthy stuff could actually kill you (like tuna and cinnamon), among other things.
Unfortunately, this age-old adage applies to our behaviors or character traits as well. So, yeah, although we have all the good intentions to do this or that, coming in too strong might actually work against us.
Think about it: There are tons of different traits and qualities that are—for the most part—extremely positive. But if taken a little too far, they probably might seem completely obnoxious – positive traits that are probably betraying you.
You probably do wonder: What are these alleged positive traits that can actually work against me?
1. Being a perfectionist.
The obsession with perfection is a desirable character trait for the unrelenting obsession with the details is an excellent quality – you are willing to go out of your way to make sure everything is perfect and you are never willing to settle for mediocrity; “good enough” is never enough.
Yet the obsession to perfection can betray you. The workplace is a cut-throat, fast-paced space. Hours are limited, and they pass by swiftly. Ergo, one cannot obsess over which of Cambria or Book Antigua is the better font to use.
In some instances, one’s obsession with flawlessness can hold them back from trying new things because the threat of possible failure or embarrassment is too much to bear.
Don’t get me wrong. The quest for perfection is an admirable crusade. But let’s not forget the fact that life will never actually be perfect – sometimes “good enough” is the best you are going to get. And that’s okay.
2. Being a too self-driven.
Self-drive is a vital character trait if one wishes to self-actualize – overcoming hardships and attain their highest goals. And employers want self-driven individuals – people who get things done.
But too much self-drive can also work against you. Consider this for instance: Your team was just assigned a project. It’s supposed to be a teamwork, but you (inside your head) took it as a given that you will need to be the one to shoulder all of the work because you’ve always had the idea that everyone else is not as dedicated as you are and are always looking to shirk responsibility anyway. So, you just jump right in and take charge of the entire project – never giving the team a chance to pitch in their ideas.
Self-drive is great. That’s a fuel to success. But too much of it could catch fire and burn you out and also those around you.
3. Being a team player.
“I am a team player.”
Hmmm. Almost every candidate says that during job interviews, right? Because who doesn’t like team players? If you don’t want to be a complete control freak, then you will likely swing toward the end of the line – more on the team players’ side.
But being a team player is a tricky designation. There’s a delicate balance between being a genuine team player and a push-over. Honest question: Do you like working with someone who does not seem to have any opinion of their own? These ‘team players’ are so agreeable and malleable that they are hesitant to rock the boat and play devil’s advocate or whatnot.
In a team, the diversity of opinion, insights, and experiences fuels the richness of its output. A collaborative approach is appreciated and greatly helpful. Remember that you are entitled to your opinion. And when you decide to speak up and contribute, you can still be an excellent team player while doing so. Remember what Robert Anthony once said, “The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.”
It’s understandable that you desire to avoid conflict. But if you have awesome suggestions to share, it’s totally okay to speak up. Just do it right.
4. Being too social.
Are you a chatty lad? Are you well-liked by your officemates? Well, if you are always up for a friendly chat, chances are you are pretty well-liked in your workplace. If you are a resident butterfly then you are always ready to strike up a conversation about anything.
An outgoing personality is a great asset. But if taken overboard, that attitude could become a liability. There is a line to be drawn between the professional and otherwise. For when you become too chatty, you might end up rarely ever getting any of your real work done.
Note, however, that occasional banter around the coffee maker is one thing. In fact, it is encouraged that employees build better relationships with their colleagues. But keeping tabs on everything from James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s romance to cat breeds and cat foods could significantly impair your focus and detract you from work.
Take Home Message
Have you ever heard of the so-called “The Golden Mean”? In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example, in the Aristotelian view, courage is a virtue, but if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness, and, in deficiency, cowardice. Indeed, the golden mean is the concept behind the old-age maxim “Everything in moderation”.