How to Handle Other’s Reactions to Your Success
The fact that success is subjective and holds unique meaning to each individual is a double edged blade. It is wonderful on one hand, as it allows each of us the ability to define our own success and therefore makes it possible for all of us to achieve our own personal successes without having to adhere to others’ standards or regulations and is therefore boundless. On the other hand, it also means that other people will have their own ideas and perceptions of what success is and therefore not recognize our success as such.
Everyone is Unique in Their Approach to Success
It is important to remember at all times that everyone is different and because of this everyone will have a completely different opinion and definition of what success is. Sometimes, though it may seem unfair to you, others will judge your success according to their personal, subjective definitions and it is unlikely that yours will adequately measure up in their minds. This can be difficult as we seek to earn the admiration and approval of others with regard to our accomplishments and when our peers judge us harshly, it is possible for us to feel invalidated less sure of whether or not we have truly achieved significant success.
Understanding the Gap in Perceptions
Although it is also possible for us to fulfill some universal criteria for success, like wealth, family and being loved and well-liked, in most cases others will not see our successes as significantly as we will. This is simply because they are not a part of our journey to success and do not have the same perceptions regarding all that encompasses success. Our personal experiences and journeys are what build our personal definition of success and because each person is unique, they will have each had their own experiences and journeys in life that will cause their definition to differ from yours. Remembering this information will help you to understand the gap between your perceptions and that of others, which will hopefully help you not to give too much weight to their judgments of your success.
Success is a Culmination of a Personal Process
To illustrate, think of someone who wins a race. This person has been judged by those who see the situation to be successful. But what of the person who didn’t place in the race? What if that person lost a lot of weight and managed to get into a good enough physical condition to actually run in a race of this caliber? No one watching is aware of this person’s personal journey, and all the work that it took for them to arrive at a particular point. No one sees the hours they spent getting fit or the eating plans they had to follow or the dedication and hard work it took for them to reach their personal goal of just being able to compete. But this does not in any way take away from the actual success this person has achieved, and it shouldn’t.
Remembering that Only You Define Your Success
It is for this reason that although you can respect other people’s perceptions of success, the only perception that you should give any real value to is your own. Use positive reinforcement to remind yourself of the journey you undertook to arrive at where you are and just how hard you worked and pushed yourself to rise to your own challenges and expectations. In this way you can make sure your success stays sacred to you and cherish it as such.