Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress;
working together is success. – Henry Ford
When we were kids, it was girls rule, boys drool. We ran around with our girlfriends, made jokes, and helped each other when we needed it. While kids can definitely be cruel, most of the time it’s the result of honesty combined with a lack of filter.
We were all brought up being taught how to share, and how to treat others how we want to be treated, so how did we all manage to forget these simple golden rules as we got older?
I don’t know about your experience, but I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown up, the girls rule, boys drool mentality was quickly thrown aside in favour of a harsher, “every man for himself” attitude.
Over time, we’ve all adopted this idea that if someone else has something, they’re taking away what we could have. While in some cases this can be true, there is usually more than enough good to go around. Instead of realising this, people try to shut down other people’s happiness and even try to stop progress towards their goals.
It can come in many different forms: questioning someone’s passions, mocking certain achievements, or even simply offering a cupcake to someone who you know is struggling on their diet.
Our desire to hoard all of the goodness for ourselves really has adverse effects though. While it may seem that we’re gaining, we’re actually losing by doing this.
When you sabotage someone else’s success, does it make you more successful?
Think about it. When you sabotage someone else’s success, does it make you more successful? No, it really doesn’t. So why do we do it?
A lot of times, by inhibiting someone else’s progress, we are trying to make ourselves feel less insecure. Instead of striving for better for ourselves, we would rather insist on worse for others, adopting an idea of “if I can’t have it, then no one else can”.
The cause of this mentality is jealousy. We’re jealous of the things that person was able to accomplish and it makes us feel like we’re lacking something.
Jealousy… is a mental cancer. – B.C. Forbes
While feeling jealous and insecure is never a fun experience, once you recognize it for what it is it can be more easily controlled. When you get these feelings, ask yourself what makes you insecure about the situation. Maybe a coworker got a promotion that you had been hoping for or your best friend just lost twenty pounds leaving you feeling self conscious about your own weight?
Think of possible solutions…
Once you target the exact issue, think of possible solutions.
Even if there isn’t a way to obtain exactly what it is that you want, most likely there are smaller steps that you can take towards improving your feelings in the situation. For example, you could show more initiative at work to get yourself further noticed by the boss, or you could make a conscious effort to eat healthier meals.
After you’re able to get past your insecurities, ask for help. Instead of trying to bring down the person who achieved their goals, ask them how they got there. People usually enjoy spending time with like-minded people with similar goals, so if you share a common purpose, communicating with that person can help you achieve progress faster.
When we were kids, we recognised a very powerful resource that we were born into: the strength that comes from sticking together. If we continued to use this to our advantage, we could accomplish so much.
Instead of bringing people down to try to make a small gain, think of how many huge strides we could make if we worked towards our goals together.