Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

It’s very common for people to feel pride on account of their family or friend’s accomplishments. It it is even more common for people to tell you- albeit indirectly on social media- that you must be happy for your friends, that jealous is inherently evil and if you can’t be happy for your peers, you’re a hater. And whilst many of you may read this to be true and totally not up for debate, I feel there needs to be a space to talk about these three pathways (inspiration, appreciation and envy), that can occur in the moment our best friend tells us they got an amazing promotion or an A* graded assignment.

The fact of the matter is, surrounding yourself with high-flying, driven, ambitious go-getters, is easier said than done. Knowing you belong there is even harder to maintain- particularly when you are just finding your feet. The fact of the matter is, thinking super positively or even praying really hard is not going to automatically rid you of your deadbeat friends and replace them with billionaires. Even when you do find your circle changing and the calibre of your peers does improve, staying motivated and not being intimidated by success that is so immediate can be hard to accept and this notion is widely underrepresented.

It makes it that much more brutal when confronting your own mistakes. It can cripple your self-esteem and rupture that ‘growth mindset’ that took so much energy and multiple mantras to attain.

This post is not to say that I am someone who wishes bad on people, definitely not, but when there is so much emphasis on the eventual fruits of failure, how the journey to success is not linear and that it comes with a lot of hardship, isn’t it a natural reaction to feel less than when those around you are going from strength to strength and you seem to be going nowhere?

If you’re like me and can relate to my rhetoric, you’ll know that sometimes it’s an active decision to be inspired, to appreciate someone’s abilities and differentiate them from your own, to know that their capabilities are not the absence of your own. The road to success is oftentimes debilitating and can break you more than it makes you. It takes so much strength to overcome these ruminations telling you ‘you’re not good enough’. In such unprecedented times, as amazing as all these initiatives are in terms of the webinars, live streams, workshops and virtual events being hosted, it is more important than ever to take a moment’s rest, assess your progress, and be your biggest cheerleader as well as your harshest critic.

Londoner, student of society