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Human’s Rejection of Success

Imagine your deepest, most passionate desire. You have been working day and night to achieve this one goal. Not accomplishing it would label you a failure (which is not true but that's a discussion for another day). To achieve this goal would be the ultimate success and it is certainly not easy. So you put your foot on the pedal and you work every second of every day, questioning whether you’ll ever even get there. And then, one bright day, boom, you’ve done it. Your wish has come true and you are now on the top of the world, beaming with pride but…are you? Or are you downplaying your efforts, telling yourself that it was something anybody could have achieved. You hold onto the feeling of not being enough. The values of humility and modesty triumph acknowledging and appreciating your success with the popular excuse of “anybody could have done that”.

But why? Why can't we celebrate our victories as easily as we beat ourselves up for our follies? Some would say it's the tiny voice in their head that keeps insinuating that they are not enough, that their accomplishments are ordinary and hence could be achieved. Others may feel the pressure of the societal eye cast upon them, entangled with immense joy and subtle jealousy. It goes without saying that they may also have to face the scrutiny of being the centre of attention and praise (the introvert’s nightmare.) Or maybe feeling like a fraud? Like you don’t deserve your success and continue to live in the fear of being moments away from being exposed (which are, by the way, the characteristics of imposter syndrome, a fairly common psychological phenomenon). And let's not forget the ominous thief - comparison. We often undermine our accomplishments upon finding that someone else has accomplished “more”, forgetting that the only person in your race is you. We all know it - we are all moving at our own pace and we shouldn't look at others to grade our victory- yet our first thought on even imagining that someone else might “outdo” us is, in the words of Tahani-Al-Jamil from The Good Place, No! Then this would be worthless. (‘this’ being our results).   

In general, a lot of us are constantly surrounded by the unsaid belief that the sin of pride is to be feared, for admiring your virtues is the epitome of all wrong-doings. Although, in reality, the feeling of victory at various turning points is essential for one to remain motivated in any activity they are pursuing. Ever wonder why you're so afraid of taking up more responsibility or exploring new domains? Well one of the reasons might be the lack of examples of when you’ve distinguished yourself from the crowd. But it has happened, except you never embraced it. A feeling of accomplishment translates to a feeling of growth and development, which proves to ourselves that we are capable of reaching beyond the known. 

Constructive introspection of the self includes an unbiased appraisal of one's strengths and flaws. To understand if you are playing to your strengths, you have to analyse when your results have improved, stagnated or worsened. Sooo just blindly running on the fuel of supposedly disappointing yourself and simply brushing your wins as “no big deal” is not doing you any good. Now, I'm not saying that we should become icons for narcissism and inspire youth all over the world, but merely that having pride in the work you put out is not a monstrous act but something that is essential to mature as a person. 

So the next time you emerge victorious, buy yourself that gift, tell the people you love and sing yourself a song of praises, because you deserve it in every way possible. 

(Images taken from iStock)

Until next time,

Keep growing, Keep loving

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1 Comment

Its an interesting & clinical analysis of how the mind processes success before & after the achievement.

Kudos 👍 for such a nice articulation of complex process. Lots of take aways for introspection reading through this blog

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