Celebrating Success of others
A couple weeks ago I was watching a video. One of those videos of “30 things I have learned in 30 years”. I thought it would be cheesy, but to my surprise that video touched on an interesting topic that made me reflect. One of the things this YouTuber talked about was women and success. She pointed out that other women’s success in any area of their lives does not take away from your own, that the fact that you celebrate other women’s success and beauty doesn’t make yours diminish.
I believe that this applies to everybody, not just women and that it applies to so much more than just success and beauty. I think this relates to how we view life, and I believe that we are socialized into thinking about life as a race, a constant competition. We are constantly being told that we are better or worse than someone. I remember being in school and feeling bad when someone did better on an exam, paper or assignment than me, and better when I had a higher mark. It is wrong to think that just because your classmates got an A, that takes away from your chances of getting a good grade too.
I think we take this mentality to other areas of our lives, I believe that one big one for me is in relation to my (nonexistent) love life. And I realize that this a very trivial example, however, I believe that it’s an aspect of our lives that as a society we have given it a lot of importance. I think that this comment in the video made me think of my love life because from all other aspects of my life, this one is the one where I’m “loosing” the most. Not that I’m crying every night for a partner or that I’m turning a saint on their head to ask for a partner (a Mexican belief), but in the eyes of some of my friends and family I’m still “loosing”. (I know I shouldn’t be too worried about what other people think of MY life, but I can’t help feeling pressured to “do better” in this aspect of my life.)
So, how can we celebrate other people’s success, beauty, intelligence, creativity, talent, and kindness? Well, I’ve trained myself to think about things differently. This training is a work in progress, which means that it’s something that I’m still working on and that it takes a lot of hard work. And how have I been rethinking things? Well, I have been thinking of the people that surround me as the smart, beautiful, successful and kind people that they are. In the moments when I feel I’m not happy for their success because I feel it’s taking away from mine, I make myself remember all the good quality these people have.
An example of this regarding the trivial topic of my love life, I noticed that whenever I went to a bar, club or any instance where my friends started to talk to a potential partner or they started talking to my friends, I would immediately feel some kind of jealousy. Because in my mind, for some strange reason, I felt like that took away from my chances of talking to a potential partner, not because I particularly felt any kind of attraction for my friend’s potential partner. And now that I write about it, it sounds ridiculous but that’s how I felt. Since I’ve recognized why I felt like this and what it was doing to me and my friendships and I’ve tried reshaping the way I think about these circumstances. First, I realized that not just because one or all my friends have a partner it means that I can’t have one, it in no way affect my love life. Second, I started to think how great all my friends are (I mean they are my friends for a reason, right?). Yeah, all my friends are amazing, so why wouldn’t I want them to be happy and let other people meet them and realize how amazing they are just like I had? It doesn’t make sense except when you think about what the Youtuber said before, for some reason I can’t explain I was attributing my dating success on whether my friends talk or didn’t talk to potential partner anywhere, and that doesn’t make sense.
I know that talking about my love life might seem somewhat stupid so some people, but I know that it was a starting point for me to develop in other areas of my life. I eventually was able to apply this rethinking technique to different areas of my life, like academic success. This has not only helped my relationships, but it has made me happier in general. I no longer feel that I need to constantly “compete” for things. I now understand that regardless of what people around me are doing, I’m in my own lane where nothing they are doing can make me trip, fall and lose the race.