When people are asked what they want in life they will often say success. And while this can be the case, it doesn’t mean that everyone has the same meaning of what that actually means.
There are going to be other people who are already successful and they are probably going to say that they want more. But just because someone wants something, it doesn’t mean they will be able to enjoy it when they get it.
If one hasn’t experienced the kind of success they won’t yet, they might not be able to relate to this. But for the people who have, it might be something they have experienced. And one thing that can stop someone from being comfortable with success is guilt.
So while one person could achieve success and be unable to enjoy what they have worked so hard for, another person could stop themselves from achieving success altogether. The primary difference could be that one person experiences guilty and the other person doesn’t allow themselves to even get this far.
On the surface then, these two people could come across as being completely different. And in terms of how much they have achieved, it is clear that they are different. However, guilt is a problem for both of them.
When someone is in a position where their guilt completely sabotages their success, there is the chance they won’t understand why they can’t move forward in life and progress. This could cause them to blame external sources and to feel like a victim.
And when someone is able to achieve success and then starts to feel guilty because if it, they might also have trouble understanding why they feel as they do. In this case, one might end up blaming themselves and wonder what is wrong with them.
Guilt is something that one experiences when they have done something wrong. And what one person classes as wrong is not necessarily going to the case for someone else. It will all depend on what is going on within them and this will be the result of the experiences they have had and the meaning they have given those experiences.
For some people, success will be something they are not only able to achieve; it will be something they are able to enjoy. They won’t feel uncomfortable or question why they are experiencing it; it will simply be embraced for what it is.
But while guilt is the emotion that someone will experience when they are successful, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If one was to go beyond the guilt, they would find that it relates to being accepted by others.
To be successful then means that other people will reject and abandon them. Intellectually one might wonder why they believe this and this could also be backed up by the friends they have who are supportive of their success.
One might look back and see that some people have left their life, but as soon as that did happen, they attracted other people into their life. There is also the chance that one does have people around them who are not supportive of their growth and success.
And in order for one to keep these relationships alive, they have to dumb themselves down. So while it is not possible for them to shine and to be the best version of themselves, it does stop them from being rejected.
The media likes to focus on what is going wrong in the world and on people who are suffering. Rarely does it look into what is going well and towards the people who are doing well. If it does focus on people who are doing well, it is often done in a way that creates division.
And because so many people are suffering or going without in life, the people who are not suffering or going without can end up feeling guilty. They can then come to believe that they don’t deserve to have what they have or to have achieved what they have achieved.
Another important influence is going to be the kind of childhood that one had. To be accepted as a child is a matter of life and death, and so anything that could lead to being rejected would most likely have been avoided.
So if ones caregivers were suffering in one area of their life or their whole life was a struggle, it would have caused them to create certain associations around success. One may have learnt that in order to be accepted by their caregivers, they would have to stay at their level.
To go any higher would have caused them to be rejected and abandoned. This could have been something they actually experienced, or it could have been an outlook that they created in their mind. This would then be classed as familiar and therefore safe by their ego mind.
Time Goes By
Many years will have passed since these early years and yet, these associations will still exist. Intellectually one may have continued to develop, but the same can’t be said about their emotional development.
So as one lets go of these associations, they will be able to feel comfortable with success. These associations can be kept alive when the emotional experiences of one’s past have remained in their body. As these emotions are released, they will be able to integrate what happened and to move on.
This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer who will allow one to get in touch with their trapped emotions and gradually release them.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.