You Shine, I Shine*
We all have ambition and want to see our dreams turn into reality. But how do you feel when you see people around you reach their goals before you do? What does your inner dialogue say? Do you feel jealous? Or are you happy for them?
It’s easy to feel threatened or resentful when we see other people succeed, because we want to be in their place – the one getting the praise, or the promotion or winning the award. Their success might even sprout feelings of inadequacy or insecurity with our own ability. But this green-eyed monster needs to be squashed! We need to recognize that celebrating the wins of others can actually inspire us, and even help us to climb and reach our own desired destinations faster.
The issue is that people often have a limited view of success. It’s common to think that there simply isn’t enough room for everyone to win. I call this a “scarcity attitude”: the mindset that there isn’t enough to go around, the fear that we won’t get our shot, so we don’t want to share the space of success in order to keep that coveted spot for ourselves.
However, by adopting this negative mindset, you miss out on the benefits that come with embracing an attitude of abundance, which will allow you to thrive, develop and grow as a person. In focusing on abundance in how you view the distribution of success, you’ll see that there’s room for all of us to win and that celebrating the wins of others will help you to leverage their success as motivation to drive your own accomplishments.
For example, when I saw Lilly Singh and Rupi Kaur on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, it brought me so much joy that it actually energized me. I remember feeling inspired because I see myself in them. As a fellow brown girl, seeing other brown girls shine makes me feel like I am represented in society – like I am part of their team. A team that I am so proud to belong to.
While watching other people bask in their success may remind you of your shortcomings and the work you still have to do, replacing those feelings of uncertainty with mantras and affirmations, like, “I got this, I can do it,” is much more constructive and conducive to your own personal growth and development. It’s also important to acknowledge that people have worked hard to receive their accolades. We hear many stories of accomplished people who start out as underdogs. They might have not grown up with power or privilege, but have shown the eff up and put in their best efforts in order to achieve their triumphs.
Mindfully embracing this positive attitude towards others can elevate you and contribute significantly to your own ability to succeed. There is extensive research suggesting that an optimistic, supportive outlook has a direct correlation to a healthy mind and body. And as I’ve said before, what really matters is how we deal with struggles. By focusing on the negative, you are cutting off your own potential for growth and learning.
So the next time you see someone win, don’t feed your self-doubt by tearing them down. Celebrate them! If they can do it, you can too. There is enough room in the universe for all of us to shine.
*I read these lovely words a few years ago in an article and they’ve stuck with me. I don’t recall which article now, so I unfortunately can’t attribute the wording, but I’m grateful for learning this.