Why Nobody Wants You to Be Successful
You’re fed up with living an ordinary 9-to-5 life? You’ve finally decided to escape the rat race, conquer the world, and fulfill your destiny?
That’s great, but be prepared to face loneliness on your journey to success.
Because once you published that book, built that successful business or found your perfect life partner, one of the following things might happen:
- People from your social circle won’t contact you anymore
- Friends and family will say you’ve changed
- You will get invited to fewer parties
When people react to your success in such a way, don’t take it personally but rather as a compliment. If people distance themselves from you because you’re taking your life to the next level, then rest assured that you’ve done everything correctly.
A Dirty Little Secret
Here’s the sad truth most of us won’t like to admit; once you’ve achieved a high degree of success, people might say that they are happy for you, but deep down, most of them aren’t.
Neither do I want to disappoint you, nor do I want to bash your family, friends, and acquaintances. But the fact is, once you’ll go after your goals, you’ll radiate an unusual amount of positive energy. And trust me, a lot of people will react allergically to that kind of aura — your social circle included.
My Painful Experience
I’m no millionaire or anything like that, but I went through my own small success story.
Until I was 23 years old, I was a shy and insecure boy from a small village. I had drive but lacked the self-confidence to make things happen.
Around my 24th birthday, however, I decided to transform myself. I started to take action and stretched my comfort zone almost every single day.
I threw myself in uncomfortable social situations, spoke my mind more often, and forced myself to talk to strangers. For the first time in my life, I was happy with myself, and I felt successful.
Initially, I thought that my surroundings would be thrilled with my personal breakthrough. But, to my disappointment, quite the opposite was the case.
As people started to notice a change in my behavior, they became skeptical of my new positive attitude. And if that wasn’t enough, I made the crucial mistake to ask my friends to join me in my adventure of self-improvement. After that suggestion, some of my friends stopped contacting me.
Be it a new career, waking up earlier, or changing nutrition, human beings don’t like to change. According to the famous saying: ”Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”
Sure, we like to flirt with the idea of change. We love tweeting inspirational quotes or watching motivational YouTube videos, but when it’s time to take real action, we procrastinate the heck out of it.
We all know the metaphor of the caterpillar who’s becoming a beautiful butterfly. Yes, the butterfly is beautiful to look at, but we neglect the painful transformation inside the cocoon — we ignore the darkness and loneliness which is necessary to achieve this kind of positive result.
Props to Sir Isaac Newton
How come we resist change so badly?
In school, you might have learned about the law of inertia. It basically says that the tendency of a body in motion (or at rest) is to stay in motion (or at rest). By doing that, the body is saving its energy.
In contrast, accelerating and decelerating a body takes much more energy. You need to exert a great force to change the state of a moving (or resting) object.
Practically speaking, it’s much easier to keep a stone rolling than to get it rolling.
Now, inertia doesn’t only apply to physical objects, but to people and societies as well. That’s why we
- stick to our boring job instead of working towards our dream career.
- eat unhealthy although we know the importance of good nutrition.
- keep our parent’s religion without actually practicing it.
That kind of behavior isn’t surprising. According to the law of inertia, we need external conditions that force us to change. In the words of Sir Isaac Newton:
”An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force” — Isaac Newton
For most of us, this “outside force” is acting quite randomly, and tends to happen in the form of a personal, mental, or economical crisis. We wait until chaos eventually knocks on our door.
ut as long this doesn’t happen, we are maintaining our inertia as best as we can. That’s why we tend to follow a herd mentality and stay in our comfort zone.
Success Makes You Scary
If you’re the kind of person that pursues their dreams, you won’t accept the status quo of the world. You won’t wait until an external force changes your life. Instead, you will go out and make things happen.
And as soon as you do that, you’ll become a danger to other people because you’re threatening their state of inertia. You’ll confront them with the fact that their life situation is not set in stone but improvable— that’s a big hit for their egos.
Every time they see you, they automatically encounter the chaos they’re trying to avoid at any cost. People will start to think about how your success might threaten their status quo:
- Your friends will question if you‘ll continue to show up at your favorite bar to have drinks with them.
- Your partner might fear that you‘ll become too attractive and “level up”.
- Your mother will be worried if you still have enough time to call her every Sunday at 12:00 pm.
In other words, the people around you will ask themselves how your transformation will affect them personally. And if they decide that they aren’t ready for these upcoming changes, they might distance themselves from you.
Haters Gonna Hate
If you’re lucky, you’ll have people in your life who will accompany you all the way. In case you should be blessed with such a group of people, do not ever disappoint them. They are the ones who will never leave you— in good and bad times.
That being said, keep in mind that success always involves a significant degree of loneliness and isolation. And if you’re really unfortunate, you might become an outsider.
Fighting against the inertia of life requires a ridiculously high amount of energy and perseverance. You need immense mental stability to challenge the status quo of the world.
You need to be ok with the fact that people might distance themselves from you. If you’re not ready for that type of reaction, you should think twice about your big goals in life.
It’s on you – does success make or break you?