People are always talking about supporting one another and celebrating other people’s success, but let’s be real. I’m not always happy and excited to see another person succeeding. I don’t want to celebrate their accomplishment because it’s not mine. There, I said it.
Truthfully, seeing another writer get a publishing deal or have something go viral makes me jealous and resentful. I instantly start comparing myself and my writing to her and her writing. I can’t help it. I wonder why she is having such great success and I’m not. I sometimes start to criticize her work and come up with reasons why I think mine is better and more deserving. I know it’s ugly, but it’s the truth.
While this isn’t something I’m proud of, I can’t help but wonder if other people feel the same way. Whenever I see someone posting about their accomplishments, I see tons of people congratulating them and telling them how proud they are. I wonder if they mean it. Or, are they just faking it so they don’t seem like a jealous, spiteful asshole like I do? Either way, I wish I could be more like that. I wish I could truly feel happy for another person’s success without it leading to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.
Why does someone else having success in their life or their career make me feel like I’ll never have success in mine? Why does it have to be a competition? Well, it doesn’t. I’m the one making it a competition. How can I stop doing that? How can I be happy for someone else’s success without allowing it to diminish my own?
Recently, I was listening to a podcast with retired professional runner Ryan Hall, who was talking about this very subject. He actually admitted that he’s not always happy for someone who broke his record or ran a faster time than he did. He admitted that it can be hard to celebrate the success of other runners because it makes him question his own success. I’m so glad that he was honest because I probably wouldn’t have believed him if he said otherwise. Who would be happy to hear that someone broke their world record?
He went on to say that sometimes you just have to start by faking it. Tell someone you’re happy for them and proud of them, even if you don’t really mean it. Start praising that person to other people and bragging about their success. Eventually, you will start to believe it. You’ll start to feel genuinely happy for someone else’s success. Fake it ‘til you make it, I guess.
If you instantly start to curse someone else’s accomplishment and wonder why it wasn’t you, then you’re not alone. I’m sure a lot of people feel this way, but won’t admit it because it makes them look bad. I’m just glad the person whose success I’m cursing can’t hear my thoughts. I’m sure a lot of people would hate me.
For now, I’m going to try faking my happiness for others. Who knows, it might eventually turn into real, genuine happiness. I hope so because being jealous and resentful is much more exhausting than being happy. I’m also going to remind myself that another person’s success does not take the place of my own. As they say, there’s room for everyone.