All of us recognize how crushing and upsetting failure and defeat can be. Whether it’s being rejected by a potential romantic partner, or whether it’s not getting a job after an interview, we’ve all experienced this feeling at some point and know just how crushing and upsetting it can be – and what a blow it can be too for our confidence.
However what we’re less prepared for often is the effect that success can have on us. The presumption is that success is a positive thing and so we shouldn’t need to prepare for it as such because it’s all going to be good.
But while the success itself might be a positive thing, and while it will certainly be a boost for your confidence and open many doors for you; it can also create some complications and issues that you might not have anticipated and sometimes be quite difficult in its own way. If you’re prepared for them though this can be a lot easier to overcome though, so here we will look at what some of the challenges are surrounding success and how you can go about lessening their impact.
The first thing you might find after accomplishing one of your goals is that it can leave you feeling a little directionless. Let’s say that it’s been your goal for as long as you can remember to get to a certain position at work. If you finally manage… then what do you do next?
The solution is to look to the next challenge and to keep on moving forward. Even if you’ve accomplished everything you want to in your career, then you can still turn to other aspects of your life and try to improve those. For instance could you be closer to your family? Or should you focus on getting a family? Or is there a hobby you’d like to take up, or a cause you want to contribute to? You could even consider entering an entirely new career and using your current success to help you thrive in that new environment.
Studies have shown that the state of physiological arousal in people who play the lottery is actually greater when they’re waiting for the numbers to see if they’ve won than it is when they actually find out they’ve got them right. The point is that you need a goal and something to strive for to really feel alive.
Is This It?
Another common issue for people who have accomplished their goals is that the reality doesn’t live up to what they had hoped. If you’ve spent your whole life imagining what it might be like to be a millionaire, or to date the hottest girl in your office, then this fantasy can sometimes be hard to live up to and you can end up feeling disappointed as a result. To avoid this happening you should try to prepare yourself for the reality by speaking to people who have achieved what you’re going after, and you should think realistically about how you’re going to make the most of your new position – if you’re rich for instance then what are you going to spend the money on that will feel worthwhile and make your life better?
Are You Worthy?
Sometimes we can end up feeling guilty when we achieve success because we question whether or not we deserve it. In most situations an element of luck affects the outcome, so it may feel as though you’ve just had your success thrust upon you. The point is though that you probably still worked hard to achieve what you have, and it’s not your fault if you had a bit of luck along the way. Rather than feeling bad about what you’ve achieved you should feel proud and you should try to enjoy it. And if you really struggle you can always try and help others to achieve what you have, or focus some of your energy on more philanthropic projects.
Success can often be isolating. For most of us, real success makes us an outlier by definition and this can make other people jealous, or leave them unsure of how to treat us or act around us. Meanwhile this can lead to your feeling paranoid about the people you are spending time with and questioning their motives, and ultimately growing your finger nails really long if your name is Howard Hughes.
The solution here is to try to stay as grounded as possible, and to remember who your true friends are. Avoid rubbing your success in their faces, and make sure you look for ways to meet more like-minded people. Mainly though the bottom line is not to change yourself – if you don’t change the way you act then you shouldn’t change the way others act toward you.
When Everything Changes
And then there are all the other kinds of changes that can occur when you are successful as you get swept up in things. This can be the case whether you’re success in money and end up moving to a big home, or whether you’re success in love and end up having your time eaten up by your new partner.
The point is though not to let things happen to you, but rather to remain the director of your affairs. In reality being successful should put you in a position where you are better able to choose what you want to do and to call the shots, so don’t let your knew circumstances control you – control your circumstances.