Don't Steal Another Man's Shine

 Stephan Hoeck

 Stephan Hoeck

It is easy to see your own shortcomings in others’ achievements, but that jealousy can be used as a tool in the creation of your own success. Targeting the qualities that others have mastered enough to deserve praise can be difficult to cope with, but it's also the first step. Finding what skills you aren’t as proficient in and understanding the road ahead may not be so easy is, in itself, not easy. But harboring envious feelings towards those who are successful in their endeavors harms your own chances at success. The problem lies in the comparison of accolades, rather than celebration, and leading down a road of loath. Instead, use others success as a device, finding what you believe to be the most admirable qualities of those who succeed. Take these qualities and ask why they inspire you, how these differ from you, how you can learn to embody them and what you can do to take it a step further.

The ability to handle the success of others, especially when times are tough, is a sign of maturity and self-belief. Additionally, here is how celebrating another’s success benefits you:


Stress Reduction: When you see another person success as your loss, a path of deterrence sets in. Insteadpermit other’s success to kindle new hope for the success. This will remove a good amount of time stressing and worrying about whether or not you are able to compare tothat person. Overall, your life will hold a higher quality on a day-to-day basis.

Improve your relationships with others: Relationships involve the input of both good and bad times. People are more likely to respond positively to you if they understand that you’re happy for them in their moment of success.


Good karma:  “You reap what you sow.” Give unselfishly and everyone wins. Maybe next time you may be the one enjoying a successful situation and someone placed in the same situation will mimic your actions.

These feelings of jealousy likely stem from the accomplishment of someone closest to you and the task is something you want and/or worry that you can’t. This belief that you are unable comes from a low self-confidence and must be addressed internally. Once that low confidence is where it needs to be, the ease in congratulating someone will come naturally, as you will no longer envy what they are able to do and knowing full well you have the capability to do the same. This relies on the aspect that others’ success has nothing to do with us, although cultural stigmas convince us otherwise. Your only competitor is yourself. What is the deeper message? When we are threatened by others’ achievements, there is usually a deeper meaning conveyed through that experience, causing us to make excuses for the successful or the unsuccessful. He has more money, but spends little time with his children. She knows the boss more intimately. He works the system better through unfair facets. Excuses like these may get you into trouble, not only with the person you are saying them about (if they find out), but with yourself. Digging a ditch of excuses gives you a reason to be unsuccessful and therefore giving you an out. If the only way to go is up, then that is where you will go.

Psychologists have something else to say; its evolution. They believe we experience envy because it allows us to evaluate our current position in competition for, what was then, scarce resources. It allowed us for adjustment on our previous actions and how to improve to become more successful in our ability to hunt and gather. The most envious feelings stem from those close to us, which explains the stronger feeling of envy towards our friends. Clear reactions include submission, destruction or ambition. Submission is the understanding of the dominance of your peer and steering clear. Destruction usually takes the form of slander of the successful party’s bad qualities and usually results in (self) destruction. Ambition, the best choice of the three, takes what you know of the success of another and utilizes those skills, along with your own, to create a better outcome for yourself.

These theories translated into current terms, is archaic, but still holds weight in the socioeconomic system. Replace scarce resources with recognition and better methods with the application of skills and you’ll have a spot on representation of the office place atmosphere of a young professional. So, when you are challenged by the success of another, be it professional or personal, how will you react?