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Goldilocks Had the Right Idea

I’ve been binge watching old episodes of the reality television show, Top Chef.

If you’ve never watched, it’s your typical competition cooking show where amateur chefs compete for a cash prize and the title of Top Chef.

Most of the challenges are individual cooking challenges, but there are also team challenges where groups of chefs are tasked with creating a cohesive menu and preparing individual dishes for the judges.

What is fascinating for me to watch is how each chef responds in the team environment.

Some chefs try to take over right away, bulldozing the others into submission.

Other chefs shrink back and defer to the group, suppressing their needs to the demands and desires of more aggressive teammates.

A third group of chefs try to find a balance between expressing their ideas and listening to the ideas of the rest of the group.

Because this is reality television, chaos and drama ensue in the kitchen and inevitably one of the chefs must pack their knives and leave the competition.

Can you guess who is likely to win the day and who is likely to leave?

The chefs most likely to leave the competition were the ones who took a back seat to more aggressive personalities.  These chefs gave up their voices and became invisible. 

The chefs who bullied their teammates were also likely to be on the losing team.  Because they put themselves above the good of the team, these chefs proved unsuccessful in the long run.

The group of chefs most likely to stay the course and win were the chefs who could stand up for themselves and also be team players.  These chefs were listeners and contributors, givers and takers.  They were thoughtfully selfish.

People pleasing is a losing strategy.  Self-sacrifice may feel good in the beginning, but it is unsustainable.  Eventually, you have nothing left to give.

Bullying is also a losing strategy.  It may put you ahead fast, but eventually you run out of people who will tolerate you and you will find yourself alone.

Goldilocks was really onto something – not too hot, not too cold; not too hard, not too soft – juuuust right.

Thoughtfully selfish is about finding the balance between giving and taking. 

We can be generous and also fulfill our needs.  We can help others and also help ourselves.  We can say yes sometimes and say no sometimes.

Where do you need to find balance?  How can you be more thoughtfully selfish?

For more tips and tricks to Create Healthy Boundaries and Say NO With Confidence, download my free People Pleaser's Toolkit and begin practicing today.  

If you have questions about how Thoughtfully Selfish Coaching works, visit or if you are ready to talk 1:1 click here to schedule a 30-minute discovery chat with me.