7 Repercussions of Success
This past Sunday, I was able to connect with men that have achieved the goals that they set out for themselves. It was one of the most stimulating conversations I have had in a long time with some truly genuine and remarkable individuals. They have, in my eyes, have found their path for true success and happiness.
In that same vein, they have also expressed some of the less appealing repercussions that they had to face when they finally reached their end goals.
These are some of the less talked about things that most people often come into contact with when they do achieve their goals. The unfortunate reality is that it has become more and more prevalent in today’s society.
It is the very reason why stars become victims to their success. Without a healthy set of coping mechanisms and a trusting support system, they turn to things like drugs to numb the pain and loneliness.
Here are just 7 repercussions that you may encounter once your hard work begins to pay off.
#1 You are envied
Consider this. You have worked hard all your life to master your skill in a sport. You have put countless hours in training, obsessing on every aspect of the game in order to become the best. You sacrificed time, money, and a whole lot of potential partying in order to achieve success because you have genuine passion for the craft.
Chances are that if you did all this over 10 years you have become an expert. That no matter which team you are drafted in you bring the magic that is you to it. It is the magic that you slowly gathered through hard work and dedication.
Now imagine that people hate you for it.
This is what happens to those people who achieve this level of success. The funky thing about this envy that you have gained is that people do not like to recognize their envy. They say things like “I don’t like him because he whines,” or “I don’t know why he got so upset, what’s wrong with him.”
Envy is one of those feelings that we all like to think we don’t have. It’s the reason why you get negative feelings when your friend gets the promotion over you. Or the thing that you swallow when you see the progress that a new business has had during a pandemic while yours struggle.
Understand that if you achieve true success and are genuinely happy, chances are that envy will follow you and there is nothing that you can do to detour it.
The sources will come from the most unlikely places. Family, friends, co- workers, etc. This is the very reason why a lot of people have a large thick wall built around them.
Overcoming envy: In order to overcome envy, you should gain friendships and connections prior to your success. Although this may increase the likelihood of jealousy, this also does give you some leverage. There is strength in numbers.
When a situation arises where envy is present, shed the brightest possible light that you can to it. Make it known that there was nothing in particular that you have done to cross the person. The worst thing you can do to an envious human is to bring attention to their unruly behavior and patterns. Their routine will get old very quickly.
#2 You are targeted/discredited
I had a” friend” who I went painting with. While painting, I told her personal details about my entry into nursing. A year later, we both applied for a promotion to which I got. Our relationship was never the same.
More recently, she integrated some details of my struggles in nursing into her own, making it her own. I would never suspect this individual of stooping to this level, but nevertheless she did.
How did I take it? At the time I didn’t give it too much thought and proceeded with the meeting as usual. Later, I allowed myself to get angry, and upset.
People who have worked hard fear their work will be discredited or downsized due to individuals who do not put the effort to achieving the heights that they have. Some people actually feel that others who just jump into the field that they have been in and have natural gifts should not receive an iota of credit for their natural gifts when they have worked so hard to become mediocre.
Overcoming: Understand that this happens to all of us. Take comfort in knowing that these types of problems have been faced and conquered by others before you. Find a support system to keep you in line.
Do not allow your anger to spill over and become evident. This is the reaction that they want to draw out of you. So when you become emotional or passionate, they can make you out to be the problem. Get angry, cry, and scream in private.
Being targeted because of your success is something that will always be there. It should not discourage you from your present course. Stay on the path and you will gain more allies if you are in fact as good as you think you are.
#3 You are cast out
If you work in an environment that promotes competition, and are nowhere near having this be of value to you, then chances are that you will be cast out. You will be subjected to isolation by your peers because you don’t go with the cultural norm and are considered a misfit.
Although there may be some relief in this, it is indeed a very dangerous thing to be isolated from the crowd.
First, by isolating yourself or allowing yourself to be isolated, you easily become a target. This opens you up to a lot of passive aggressive behavior from others.
Second, you have a decreased chance of making highly important allies. You should consider this greatly. Gaining allies is a remarkable resource. They help back you when your moral character is under attack, and are able to bail you out of sticky situations at a moments notice. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
Third and finally, isolation can be detrimental to your mental health. 2020 has shown us a lot about human nature. One of them is that there is a deep rooted need inside everyone of us to feel connected to others.
Overcoming: In order to protect your allies, create them in private away from the public eye. There should never be a paper trail or even a hint of who you are aligned with. Allies are one of the greatest resources you have. There should never be a reason so great that their identity be unfolded.
Gain their counsel in private and maintain their relationship. Make sure to continue to foster it as you would when nurturing a child.
#4 You begin to suspect everyone of ulterior motives
This may be the very reason why in 2018, I decided to make a blog. It also maybe the reason why I choose wine over dealing with people at times as well. One is a healthy outlet, the other- not so much.
If you are suspicious by nature, you are tenfold more apt to severely suspect others of ulterior motives. This is due to your past history of working with envious individuals that come from out of seemingly nowhere.
This could also be manifested from your own personal relationships, where you have been betrayed by someone you loved and cherished. The fact that the relationship was toxic hurt more because you were unknowingly compliant with it.
Consider this, more and more people who have become famous or successful manage family members who have their hands out for their hard earned income. They see their success, and feel they are owed a portion of it for either raising them or because they are blood related.
Without a check and balance system, you will begin to isolate yourself. And we all know what happens when you do.
Overcoming: In order to prevent suspecting everyone of everything, you need to set up a board of people that will keep you aligned to your goals. You can be honest or open with them, or you can use people who you feel can help you keep your ego in check.
Just as people who align themselves against you think they are hurting you, they are actually benefiting you too. There is one quote that comes to mind as I write this. “Use your enemies more so than you would your friends,” or something like that.
Those who are envious of you can temper your ego and keep you in top shape for the next attack. Whether it be from them or a new source.
If you are more of the bootstrapping type, you can use their behavioral patterns to further gauge whether they are indeed a friend or foe. Don’t ignore the facial expressions they give when you are sharing good news. Don’t ignore that nagging feeling that you get if they continuously correct you and call it critiquing.
Trust your gut, unless you ate a bad burrito from a bodega.
#5 You become discouraged
I mean, who wouldn’t be discouraged when you have to deal with these situations everyday?!
Not only are you dealing with exterior forces saying that you aren’t good enough to have the success that you have, you are also dealing with your own self doubt.
There is not one person in this universe who does not deal with self doubt. The thing is that some do not succumb to it.
Overcoming: Having a support system is the best way to overcome melancholy moods and feelings of discouragement. Your support system should be a group of people that you can trust, preferably removed from the situation that you are currently in.
You should also take up a distraction away from work. For me, the most therapeutic thing I can do when I become discouraged from any situation at work is to write. Not only am I helping you all overcome these situations, but I am giving myself my own advice in the process.
Look for healthy distractions that are beneficial to you and your well being. When I was younger, if I became discouraged at work I would work at another job. I literally had 2 jobs for 80% of my adult life. Seeing the benefits from my labor was more therapeutic to me than sitting around and stewing on things that I could not change.
#6 You don’t know who to trust
Not knowing who to trust could be such a grave step to your success. It could back slide you to failure if you are not careful.
With so many people coming at you from every direction, it is natural for anyone in this position to not know who to trust.
This usually comes hand in hand with suspecting everyone of ulterior motives. While this can also lead to isolation, you can also use this to your benefit.
Overcoming: Earlier I mentioned this quote, “Use your enemies more so than you would your friends.” Using this perspective could definitely benefit your actions here.
Understand that without people or circumstances that are difficult, there would never be character development in stories. There will never be strength in folks that never had to lift a finger, and there will never be the brightest minds in our country without challenges to overcome.Difficult circumstances require some form of creative thinking.
Not knowing who to trust keeps you aware of your surroundings. And just like the animal who lets their guard down is an easy prey to a carnivore, you will fall victim to an attack.
#7 Your circle becomes smaller
More and more I have seen this become a positive attribute to have on social media. We have become a culture of having a few choice friends and canceling out the rest of individuals who do not fall in line with our view of what a friend should be.
And who is mad at that?
Who can blame a highly successful individual who is not living check to check for protecting their investment in themselves? Why not have only 3 selected individuals to serve as your main councel you can discuss ideas with, respectfully disagree with, and have a great time with?
As you can tell, I’m pro this particular repercussion of success, but there are downsides that we all should be aware of.
The first is that we end up getting too comfy with people that are around us and are therefore prone to times where we could potentially be disrespected. When this happens, some of us who deal with individuals who are envious daily will take the slight as a high form of injury to our ego because it’s coming from a friend that we trusted.
Second, your smaller circle is not immune to envious feelings. If they feel small or insignificant to your success as you achieve every milestone, then chances are that they are harboring some form of envy that will increase in size as it goes along.
Overcoming: Do not close yourself off to having meaningful relationships with people. In our basic human form, we all need to feel connected and included. There is more to life than fighting the good fight every day. You will exhaust yourself if you solely do this.
Being aware and in the moment when you are with these folks is key to not falling victim of some form of backstabbing. Understand that relationships change daily. What someone thought was a joke today, might think it’s offensive tomorrow.
The purpose of this article is not to detour you from your success. It’s actually quite the opposite. I want to see us all succeed in what we put our mind to. This article is meant for you to be aware that with success, there comes a set of unforeseen set of problems that most people don’t know about or chose to ignore.
It’s time that we all put our big boots on, get to work, and achieve that success that we all want. And now you can do so with more awareness.
For a really long time, I did not understand what drove people to ignore their job responsibilities. I did not understand why any individual deliberately chose not to follow a manager’s directive or be so bold as to go the opposite direction then previously instructed.
Then, I gained perspective when I entered a corporate setting.
It’s not to say that I agree or even promote folks to do this. That’s not what I mean at all.
What I do mean is that I now fully understand how people who have been managed inappropriately fell and why they would completely shut down.
This article serves to give insight to those who wish to create a culture that is driven by a set standard while allowing the employee to hold themselves accountable for their behavior. I find this information very useful to anyone who is in leadership positions while working in a corporation, and to those who are looking to start their own business.
Let’s get into it.
#1 Set the Example
Anyone who has previously worked with a boss who asked more than they themselves were willing to give knows exactly how this feels.
Not only do you want to deliberately ignore everything they say, but you also want to quit.
I remember the time one of my kids and I were discussing individuals that bark orders. I couldn’t help but smile and say “If you have ever noticed, I never ask more of you than what I myself am willing to do. I wouldn’t ask you to wash dishes if I wasn’t willing to do so myself.” There was a small pause after that as the youngster soaked it in.
For some reason, someone down the line forgot to add this to the curriculum in leadership training. However it is vital if you wish to be successful when managing a team.
Now that’s not to say that you need to know how to do every aspect of the jobs that you require performed. That would be completely nuts. You do need to have some initiative and be willing to jump into a role if a member of your team requires assistance. You should know your key people well enough to bring their specific skill set to optimal use at the time of need.
Your team is always watching how you lead. If you hold yourself accountable for your own actions, they will as well. If you hold yourself responsible for the team’s success or failures, they will acknowledge that. And slowly you will see a shift in culture towards a more disciplined approach.
#2 Allow Others to Question
It is kind of funny that this section of this article should bring about so many memories of my in office experiences.
The first that comes to mind would be the label that a colleague placed on me as “The Troublemaker.” This would probably be because of the amount of questions I ask as to why.
“Why are we moving in this direction instead of the other?”
“Why are we doing this and what is the end goal we hope to accomplish?”
If you just want silence and obedience from your team, then you will not be a successful leader, manager, or whatever.
Shutting down questions will lead to 2 things: 1. A stop in creative problem solving 2. A start of passive aggressive behavior.
Flash ahead to present day, post my promotion. The current team I am with almost always stops me dead in my tracks and questions things if they make zero sense.
To anyone who is not used to having courageous team members, this may be frustrating. Hell, I find this frustrating from time to time. But the individual may indeed have a point. And most do.
After the initial reaction, come back to the subject with a fresh set of eyes. Turn your initial reactive response into a proactive one by opening yourself to their view. You may find that you may need to shift your direction and directive.
#3 Do Not Fear Failure
I think one of the biggest fears of managers or entrepreneurs is the fear of failure. They fear that they may not be able to recover financially or from the embarrassment of losing.
To those who do, I challenge you to take a look at your past failures. What did you learn from them? Have you grown stronger from the past failure?
Here’s the thing about mistakes and being afraid to fail- If you become a stronger individual from your past, if you have learned something in any shape or form, then those mistakes were never really mistakes.
Understand that anything you decide to do in life has the possibility of failing. That does not mean that you shouldn’t try it.
If you continue to live in fear of failure, you lose the chance to experience life itself.
If you continue to live in fear of looking stupid because of a mistake you might possibly make, then you lose the chance to laugh at yourself and grow stronger from it.
You literally stunt your own growth living in fear.
Acknowledge that you are human and you can make mistakes. Then choose to make them anyway so that your character can grow and your team will follow.
#4 Hold Yourself Accountable
I know of a few people that do the following and think it’s tied to being an accountable individual.
If you fall in this category then my friend you are highly mistaken.
Accountability in its raw form is holding yourself responsible for the direction of your actions and your team’s. Whether your team fails or succeeds, you should hold yourself accountable and act as such.
Remember in the first step of this article we discussed setting the example? Now is the time to hold yourself to that set standard.
No one will ever be inspired by a person whose actions are in complete contrast of what they preach. So if you wish to be taken seriously, then there is no way around this.
An example of this would be: If you divide your troops too far, you should acknowledge that they might lose sight of what they are working towards. If you take the responsibility to keep them aligned to one common purpose then you can minimize the risk for failure.
Understand that a big contributor to success or failure is the ability to make yourself accountable for you and your team’s actions.
#5 Brace for the Unexpected
Although you should never fear failure, you should always prepare for the unexpected. This is why stifling your team’s voices is a stab at your vision for success.
No matter how much you plan or try to minimize risk, there will inevitably be something that you did not see coming. Therefore, preparation is just as important for failure as it is for success.
Ask yourself, what is the worst case scenario should this go awry, and how can I change that for the better.
Engage your team in planning for the unexpected as they might allow for a better set of ideas that could minimize the risk that you are taking, and prepare for the unexpected. They may come up with another scenario that you may have not even thought of.
Remember, you should be able to switch gears should the circumstance call for it. Be ready for it and do not fear it.
#6 Allow Creative Problem Solving
One thing that I love about people in general is their individuality.
I love to engage with a person and be able to understand a totally different perspective then my own. I love how others think and value that over any other thing that they can give me.
However, not everyone shares the same feelings as I do toward individuality and diversity.
Again, this sucks.
Creative problem solving starts by being accepting of the individuality of your team, and what they bring to your work environment. Create an accepting environment by making yourself available to your team and having the time to listen to new fresh ideas and perspectives.
Challenge yourself not to speak when someone else is talking. Listen to understand, not to engage after their idea has been expressed. Engage with the speaker in your conversation by connecting with what they are saying. Allow yourself to feel their thoughts and words.
Doing so allows for rapport to be built within the group. The exchange of ideas will multiply tenfold if you consider honest, open communication.
#7 Allow for Flexibility
If 2020 has taught us anything, it has to be that at any given time, things can change. Look at our new normal. Think about how quickly we as a human race quickly adapted in only 1 year to overcome and survive as a species.
If you think that flexibility has nothing to do with it, you are highly mistaken.
Flexibility and the ability to evolve has been the cornerstone of resiliency in absolutely every company that has been successful. In the work culture you are trying to create, it should then hold a high place in the overall structure.
Things go wrong more times than many of us are willing to admit. It helps to remember that we were built for this. We were made to overcome the most extreme circumstances.
So give it all you got. Should the time come to change course, don’t gripe. Accept it and change direction. Then give it all you got again.
If all 7 of these characteristics have been implemented into the work culture of your team, then you are well on your way to creating a disciplined staff.
Creating an atmosphere of inclusion allows for your team members to express themselves freely. The results will be gradual at first, but soon enough will be astounding.
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Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.