Ever had a boss tell you you were just “too much?”

Ever had a leader tell you that you were just “too good” at something and in turn, that feedback had you questioning your gifts?

If the answer is yes, you have found yourself in The Goldilocks Dilemma.

“What in the heck is The Goldilocks Dilemma?”

It just sounds so . . . disempowering, right?

I mean, none of us wanted to be Goldilocks when we were kids.  


Because she was selfish, a burglar, a thief, a destroyer of property, and then she got lazy and fell asleep on the job only to be caught by the homeowners, and instead of fixing the problems she created, she ran away.

She’s the epitome of who none of us wanted to be as a kid and quite frankly, who none of us want to be today.

So, when I tell you that you are facing The Goldilocks Dilemma in your career, you naturally cringe with the association.

But wouldn’t you want to identify exactly what got you into the situation you’re facing in your career?

Don’t you want to know that you’re not crazy; that you are facing a very common situation that actually has a name?

What Is The Goldilocks Dilemma?

The Goldilocks Dilemma is when a corporate female leader is told her gifts and talents are “just too much” to which she must then decide how she will share her gifts from that point forward.

Said differently, we find ourselves in the Dilemma when question if our gifts are actually gaps.

Why do we so easily question our gifts?

When we are told we are “too much,” it’s mentally equal to being told, “you’re not enough.”  

Like Goldilocks, in the corporate world, we must be seen as “just right” in our performance reviews, talent assessments, and the like, or we will not be considered for a promotion.

What happens when you get passed over for a promotion too many times?

Eventually, you end up on the severance list.

So what do we do?

We start questioning our gifts.

We didn’t make it this far without knowing ourselves and what we bring to the table.  

But maybe we missed something . . . 

We don’t want to change our gifts, but we don’t want to lose our jobs either.

How do You Get Out of The Goldilocks Dilemma?

Unfortunately, we don’t find a way out of this Dilemma, though it’s not due to a lack of effort or desire.

It’s simply due to a misplacement of our efforts and desire.

When you so desperately want to fit in, what do you do?

If you are “too much,” you tend to try to be a little less.

A little smaller.

Quieter even.

You ask yourself, “how do I stand out and yet fit in?”

The reality is that you cannot get out of the Goldilocks Dilemma by making yourself smaller or changing who you are at your core.

You get out by mastering and applying personal leadership strategies.