-from Marianne Williamson, as quoted in Coach Carter
In this world, it’s quite hard to find people who are secure about who they are and what they do. Often, you will be surprised to find that even the most skilled person will try to squish the efforts of younger people to build their careers out of insecurity. This insecurity does not choose its prey; it occurs across all socio-economic classes and tends to ruin whatever chance a person has of developing good personal relationships with other people. When I was young and back when my mind was scattered across different directions, I dealt with my personal issues of self-worth. After years of work, I have finally succeeded in gaining my solid footing and I have learned the valuable lesson that we are all running our own race.
Once or twice, I feel like the world is unfair but I try my best to snap out of that line of thinking as soon as I can. It’s absolutely useless to compare our paths with that of other people. In fact, I have done some massive “purging” this year and pursued more quality than quantity in building relationships. It has served me well to collaborate with people who are capable of synergy and teamwork than those who are always trying to put me down.
People who are miserable and always trying to compare themselves to me are now in my “do not contact” list; they can get quite toxic, and they do not need to be nurtured into putting competitive airs at the expense of other valuable things like friendship, loyalty, and making some meaningful difference in another person’s life. People who think that another person’s success is a threat to their own success are better off riding life solo because they are stubbornly not making any room for other people to be their very best.
As the days passed, I became more interested in people for who they are and how they stand up for things that they believe in, not because they own a large TV with a flat screen or because they are media darlings or because they are popular or because they are achievers. I have learned that it’s more important to look at what’s underneath a person. Titles and places are pretty to look at, but it does not accurately define a person’s worth. I have found more solace and real value out of my relationships with people who many will consider weird, unorthodox, or “unaccomplished”.
Sadly, whether at work or in personal life, you will actually find people who will attack you when you are doing well because it threatens them. You can find that other people cannot stand the idea of you succeeding or standing out. No matter how much you like them, you need to shrink yourself so that they can co-exist with you in peace.
Whenever I get this kind of flak from a very insecure person, I remind myself of the quote from Coach Carter which was in the image I pasted above. Sometimes, if I value the person a lot, I try my best to give way to the person because he or she badly needs to be the star of the show. But recently, I put a limit to that manner of giving way. I give a maximum or ultimatum and if things do not improve over time, I cut my ties and refuse to be victimized any further.
I realized that while it’s awesome and kind to give way to others who badly need attention or a feeling of superiority, you cannot always shrink yourself and not achieve in your life or reach your fullest potential just to make someone else feel good about himself or herself. While it helps address the other person’s quick emotional need, you are not helping the insecure person to overcome his or her insecurities with this tolerant stance in the long term.
Fortunately, there is still a good bunch of people who are awesome with what they do, share what they know generously, and are not threatened by other people. It’s a blessing and a guiding light to be around them. While we cannot eliminate the needlessly competitive vermins of society, we try to find pockets full of sunshine in hidden paradises built by awesome, synergistic people. In the midst of the loud sounds of this planet, you can actually find silent nooks where peace and true cooperation exists if you know where to look and who to hang out with.