The writer Gore Vidal once said “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.” That pretty much sums up the default reaction many of us have when someone from our peer group achieves something that separates them from the pack. While jealously is a normal and common reaction, learning to stifle it can open up more doors than you could ever imagine. Take, for examples, these 10 things that happen when you learn to enjoy other people’s success:
1. You will feel happier
Emotions are contagious and self-replicating. Negativity breeds more negativity and positivity breeds positivity. When you enjoy the success of others, you start a positive feedback loop of positive thinking in your own mind. It works even if you have to fake your enthusiasm at first.
2. You will be liked
When you learn to celebrate other people’s accomplishments in a sincere way, you will stand out from the pack of people who only superficially support them. They will be able to tell when you really mean it and they will feel like you are a real ally. And it never hurts to have successful friends.
3. You will learn new things
When you stop feeling jealous and actually start celebrating other people’s victories, you will start to recognize patterns of behavior that lead to success. By internalizing what different people do to achieve their goals and remembering which strategies work and which don’t, you will gain a better understanding of what is required to move yourself forward.
4. You will be exposed to opportunities
Successful people are smart enough to remember the people who legitimately supported them on their way up. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others you imbed yourself in the mind of a person who might be able to help you out later on.
5. You will surround yourself with success
If you choose to attend the party celebrating your co-worker’s new promotion instead of hiding in a dark corner plotting your revenge, you might just find yourself in a perfect networking opportunity. Just like emotions, success itself is contagious. When you immerse yourself in the culture of success, you increase the chance that some of it will rub off on you.
6. You will become a more confident person
When you incorporate positive thinking into your default response to events that happen around you, the world will start to seem like a brighter, more friendly place. You will recognize and remember opportunities and you will begin to internalize that trait that have helped other people achieve success. The upshot is a more confident and self-assured you.
7. You will stop comparing yourself to others
When you start celebrating other people you will take energy away from actively comparing yourself to them. Nothing will make you feel more free than letting go of the feeling that you always have to measure up to those around you. Step into the role of a student and see what knowledge you can gain from the successful people you know.
8. You will be inspired
Following the life stories of people who have accomplished what you are working towards can inspire you. They will show you that success is possible and present you with ways of achieving it you may not have considered. Use that motivation to work towards your own success.
9. You will inspire others
When people see you supporting a coworker in their recent success, they may reconsider their own negative reactions. By setting aside petty jealousy you can set a good example for the people around you and teach them to celebrate the positive things in life, even if they may not directly effect you.
10. You will increase the likelihood of your own success
As we have seen, celebrating the success of other people will help you expand your social network, learn new things, feel better, and identify alternate paths to achieving your own goals. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others, you increase the likelihood of your own success. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
Featured photo credit: David Morris via flickr.com