Why do so many people struggle to be happy for the success of others?
Many of you who know me will be aware that in the past I’ve worked in big corporate offices. I’ve been part of many “teams” of employees over the years, and this is a question that has been nagging at me for some time.
Now I don’t mean the little successes here, like winning employee of the month, or top salesman of the week, I mean the big life-changing successes that take you to new places. The ones you work and slave over, spend hours planning and that make you a bigger and shinier, more authentic version of you.
I’ve experienced this disconcerting truth first hand, when others were unable to celebrate with me, and I spent many long hours pondering what I’d done wrong. Was it was sheer jealousy? But I concluded that no it couldn’t be, because they didn’t want the job I got anyway. Perhaps it was just envy at my greater ambition and my honed skills? But that didn’t seem to sit right either.
I’ve worked some pretty challenging jobs, and the teams I’ve been in were usually supportive and jolly with a deep sense of camaraderie and loyalty. “We’re all in this together” was the theme. We’d spend hours working together, socialising together, complaining about how crummy our jobs were, what an asshat the boss was or bitching about that one miserable client who made our lives a misery.
But when I decided it was time to leave and run my own business something strange happened that I really wasn’t expecting. I thought my loyal colleagues would be happy for me, would want me to succeed, but they didn’t.
I remember feeling quite despondent and wondering why people I thought were my friends and loyal comrades would react in such a manner. Surely they would be happy for my ambition and success as a budding business person, reaching towards my dreams and financial independence?
But why? It confused and upset me until one of my own spiritual teachers pointed out that there was a very real, but hidden, metaphysical reason for it.
I was daring to leave The Tribe. A crime worthy of terrible punishment!
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the expression birds of a feather flock together, and that’s very true. We tend to be like the people we associate with or spend most time with, and our energy seems to be in sync with these people too. We feel naturally comfortable with them, we share a resonance, a frequency if you will.
My team at the office had become an energetic tribe, who worked together and vibrated together in union. Until I decided I wanted more.
When I started to try and pull myself up, to make a better future and sought the freedom and financial level I really wanted, I disrupted the energy of that very same tribe. And they were NOT happy about it.
On an energetic level, I had actually become an example to them. They were being shown that they could be better, do more, achieve higher goals, but their earthly egos, for the most part at least, weren’t very happy about it.
At first, before it seemed real, they were encouraging, supportive even. It was just a pipe-dream, not tangible, and they didn’t REALLY believe it was going to happen. They laughed at crazy Helen and her millionaire ideas. However, as soon as it started to become “real” and I started to make the changes and follow through on my plans, the support waned and was replaced with contempt, and I noticed several members of the team starting to act really rather frostily with me. I could feel the energy had shifted against me, but I was mystified and bewildered as to why. It just didn’t seem to make logical sense.
I felt isolated, vulnerable, even bullied. I tried to rack my brains for how I could have upset them so much but I drew a blank.
The truth was it wasn’t about my conduct or behaviour. The solution was much simpler but also invisible to the onlooker.
Energetically, I had changed. I no longer meshed with them. So the energetic tribe had three choices to maintain the energetic balance necessary for our equlibrium:
1. To rise to my level with me
2. To knock me back down again
3. To ex-communicate me
Now this may sound rather drastic and dramatic, but it’s a simple energetic truth of the wonderful world of subtle energies that we live in.
How many of you have made positive changes in your lives only to find to your dismay that friends or family members don’t support you, or try to “take you down a peg?”
When we don’t fit in with the tribe anynmore, we are punished, beaten down or cast out. It’s sadly very rare that others rise with us, although not beyond the realms of possibility.
The tribe will usually choose option 2, and if that fails, option 3. Ex-communication. You are cast out, shunned.
How many celebrities and successful business people have lost friends, colleagues, partners and family along the way? And no, it’s not because they were selfish a$$holes (although you obviously can’t rule that out entirely), it’s because their energy no longer meshed with that particular “tribe” of friends, family or co-workers. They had to leave them behind in order to grow and be authentic.
So next time you find yourself in a similar situation, try to take heart even if it feels bad. If people are stepping back from you, failing to congratulate you on acheivements or seem strangely negative about your positive results, it’s not that you’ve done anything wrong. You’ve probably just levelled up energetically, and thrown them out of balance.
On a soul level, you have become a mirror to them, you are showing them what they could achieve, who they could become and the joy and success that awaits if they step out of their cosy comfort zones, make some brave choices and step up to the plate. And that scares the hell out of most people. The ego mind is terrified of change, and chooses instead to attack this new enemy to the status quo, this menace to the safe, secure, mediocrity that has become the norm.
You may feel sad, wistful or grieve for the people you have lost, and that is natural. But nature abhors a vacuum, so I can assure you that you won’t be left alone for long.
Soon enough, you will magnetise new friends, new colleagues who match your frequency and will be only too happy to love and support you. People on the same wavelength as the one you find yourself upon. They may not stay with you forever, but that’s ok. Relationships aren’t supposed to be forever, despite the lies Hollywood would have us swallow.
Just a note – don’t try to force relationships that no longer work for you. Staying around people whose energy isn’t as bright and sparkling as yours will only serve to slow you down, bring you down or mar your progress. You are a beautiful swan, not a lame duck, so seek out other swans, and take pride in who you’ve become.
Who knows, perhaps one day, some of the old tribe may be inspired by your example, but in my experience, that’s usually not the case.
I am exceptionally proud to see people that I have inspired to take steps out of their comfort zones, to live much more fulfilled and exciting lives than the old ones that they were previously stuck in. I showed them that the cage door was open and they flew!
So please don’t hide your light under a bushel. Continue to shine, and continue to inspire. That is after all, your soul’s highest calling, so create your own new energetic tribe, own your success and live it!