Why Your Friend's Success Shouldn't Deter You From Your Own
Millennials are in a weird space. Some of your friends are figuring it out at brunch while your other friends are celebrating their new six figure salary. You're hitting a place where the dreams of others are unfolding...but you can't seem to understand why you're not "successful" as your friends. Then boom, you begin to wallow in self-pity and you talk yourself out of achieving your goals. "It's too late for me." "I'll never be as successful as so and so. I may as well quit." Womp. If this is you, you're a hater. I know that's harsh but it's time to stop being polite and start getting real (lol). Well, maybe you're not a hater, but it's time that we have this discussion of why your friend's success shouldn't deter you from your own.
Let's talk timelines. I hate the phrase "everyone has the same 24 hours a day". Okay, sure. I get what you're saying but what we don't acknowledge is when someone started vs where they are now. Example, when Beyonce first became Beyonce at age 15, we knew her from Destiny's Child. What we didn't see is Girls Tyme (not until her self-titled album). She spent yeaarsss behind the scenes perfecting her craft, taking vocal lessons, working on choreography, building relationships, etc. Success is not overnight in most cases. So when you look at your friend and how successful they are now at whatever it is, take some time to consider or even ask them when they started. You may have started working towards your dreams a few weeks ago, while they have been working towards theirs for years.
While we're on the subject of timelines, this generation needs to learn a lot about delayed gratification. For those who don't know, delayed gratification is resisting the temptation of an immediate reward for a later one. Layman's terms, it's exercising some patience. We are an instant generation by nature. Our parents had to send letters in the mail, go to the bank to cash a check, and go to the grocery store to get food. Now, because of technology we can send a quick text or email, take a picture of your check to deposit it in your account and order your groceries online and have them delivered to your house.
What does this have to do with timelines? Well, if you cannot manage your time, you need to manage your expectations. You can't expect to be a super star tomorrow, if you don't invest any time into it now. For example, I want a new camera to film ReparTay. The camera I want is $1,800. I also want to redo my wardrobe. There are times in between pay periods when I have a little extra change. While I want clothes now, I know saving for my camera to buy later is a smarter investment. Still not making sense? ReparTay is a YouTube show. If my camera is boo boo, it won't matter how good my outfit looks because you won't be able to see it since the quality of the video isn't up to par. Get it? Learn to say no now, so you can say yes later (thanks for the mantra mama <3).
2. Success is not black and white
My mom often tells me I have no "grey area" and she's right lol. Basically, I see things as wrong or right, up or down, always or never and successful or failure. I'm a work in progress but I know it's ridiculous. For a long time, I thought success was making it. You've arrived, your name is in lights, you're making crazy money, etc. The problem with that is, I was missing the small victories along the way. Again, let's use me as an example.
I use to have waves of disappointment with ReparTay. I felt like I should've been further along. I should have more subscribers. Blah, blah, womp, womp. My closest friends and supports were luckily there to help me recognize other successes worth celebrating like creating my website, buying my domain, setting up my studio, and filming my first episode. Because my definition of success was so "this or that", I failed to acknowledge that progress made, is a success!
I said all of that to say, you need to create your definition of what's successful to you and recognize that your definition is more than likely different than your friend's definition. Example, success to you can look like waking up, going to work and having a productive day. Your friend's definition of success could be not ending up on the pole today lol. An extreme example, I know but effective nevertheless. You don't compete (in accomplishments) where you don't compare (in definitions).
3. You need to evaluate the type of friend you're being
If you are blessed enough to witness a friend accomplish a goal, no matter how big or small, and your immediate response is "why not me?", it's time for some self-reflection. If you cannot be happy for other people, you may want to reflect on why that's the case. Are you happy with yourself? Are you disappointed that you're not further along than you should be? Are you jealous?
A jealous friend is a toxic friend. Here's why I say that: energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed or changed into one form to another. Layman's terms: jealousy is negative energy. Your negative energy will (unintentionally) seep out into your friends happy moments. Then, you've turned a celebration sour with your negative energy. No one wants a friend who makes them feel like they can't celebrate their success because of how their reaction will dampen the mood.
Also, when the time comes to celebrate your accomplishments, you don't want your friend to have a meltdown of "why me?" moments. You want people around you who are genuinely proud of your success. So why wouldn't you give that energy to your friend? I am a firm believer of "you reap what you sow". So if you don't want to reap an unfruitful harvest (friend), you better start sowing better seeds.
Lastly, you are not in competition with your friends. Your friends should uplift you and motivate you. They are partners in crime and in life. They are not your foe. They are not your enemy. So if you're feeling a little jelly belly of your friend's accomplishments, you may need to evaluate the type of friend you're being.
4. You're not successful because you're too concerned with someone else's
Life is all about balance. I firmly believe you should make time to celebrate your friend's success and accomplishments. By no means, should you evaluate the success of your friend so much, that is distracts you from you own. You have to make time for your dreams as well.
Sometimes, we get so in our feelings about what this person has done and what we have not, that you get lost in the sauce and lose focus not the objective: accomplishing your goals. You can't allow your thoughts to run rampant. You need to control your thoughts by disciplining them.
Here's what I mean. When you see a friend do something great and your thoughts are "Man, he accomplished that much faster than I did. It must not be meant for me", discipline your thought to be "Wow, look at my friend go! We should talk about strategies he used to see if I can implement some of those practices for my own goals!"
Another point to ponder is are you and your friend even in the same field?? You might be comparing apples and oranges. Think about it: it makes no sense to be jealous that your friend started a tech company and you're trying to become a professional singer. Those paths are completely different lol.
All in all, be happy for your friend. Your time is coming. Just wait on the Lord, keep perfecting your craft and be genuinely happy when others accomplish their goals. If no one else is rooting for you, I am!