“Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.” – Marilyn Monroe
Have you felt that? I will be the first to admit that I have felt jealous of others success; I am only human after all. I have also been on the receiving end of envy, and I know how much it hurts! Have you ever just wanted to shout from a rooftop, “Hey, look at this amazing thing I finally did!” but your fear that others might not receive it well stops you dead in your tracks?
It doesn’t have to be this way. I know that for a fact and have two brilliant, supportive friends to thank for teaching me so much about success and support in the last few months. These friends are folks who could have potentially remained only “competitors” with me forever, but instead, by helping each other we have each increased our own independent success. Meet my dream team: Brendon Kozack, owner of CrossFit Villains and Creator of Projekt Possible the podcast, and Lou-anne Stefankiw entrepreneur in the personal development industry and CrossFit coach. I wish to share with you some of their views as they support me and spur me on towards my own definition of success every damn day.
Jealousy or “the scarcity mindset” – that in order for you to win I must lose – seems to be embedded into the core of our beings. Maybe this stems from childhood track and field meets where everyone wanted the red ribbon – as for the purple “participant” ribbon? The teacher might as well hold onto those. Or perhaps it comes from high school graduation when only one person can be selected as valedictorian. Wherever this belief begins, we must admit it limits us and find a way to eradicate it, because I have heard far too many people echoing Marilyn: wouldn’t it be wonderful to enjoy success and to feel others surround you with support and encouragement rather than judgment or jealousy?
What does it really come down to? These two things:
1) Stomp out jealousy; it doesn’t serve you. Realize that your competitor could be your best friend and you don’t even know it yet. My friendship with Lou-anne has been a prime example.
2) Reshape your vision of success – you need to feel 110% confident in your definition of that word (because everyone else is always going to have a different one), and make sure it encompasses more than money and status.
Lessons with Lou – Stomp Out Jealousy; It Doesn’t Serve You. Your Fiercest Competitor Could Be Your Finest Friend
“Anyone who is committed and successful in what they do always seems to inspire me to want to keep going myself. I have learned that the greatest benefit is to support people in a very strong way in what they are doing. There can’t be any benefit from being jealous or threatened, and there is great power for both people when there is support.” – Lou-anne Stefankiw
The seemingly ironic thing? Lou admits she was jealous of me when we first met! “I had to take a step back and think about it. Whenever I get that feeling I ask myself, ‘What’s really going on here?’ I try to look at what is happening underneath that feeling; I dig to find the deeper meaning. I know that when I feel jealous or competitive it usually means there is something about that person that I want to have myself.”
“With you, it was something about your energy!” she said. Lou-anne and I first met when we were competing against each other at a CrossFit Villains RX competition (funny enough – two people who would have such a profound impact on my life in less than a year were in the same room and I was clueless). We ended up chatting and were dumfounded with the similarities in our lives! Lou-anne had previously been a schoolteacher and so had I. Both of us found a passion for health and fitness and cared so much about the deeper things in life; we did not feel satisfied teaching the regular curriculum and ended up leaving the school system to coach CrossFit to adults and kids.
Months later, I posted that I was then leaving to start my own business, and guess what? Lou-anne was doing the same, and both of our new entities were in the personal development industry! She commented, “We are on such a similar journey, girl; it’s so funny!”
Now we are each building our businesses and are 110% confident that our unique gifts and talents have lead us to create unique (but similar) programs; we know, just as we are different, so are our ideal clients.
Nearly every night Lou and I chat on the phone and debrief the struggles and triumphs of the day. We laugh together and we share about the feelings that made us (OK, maybe me, lol) cry. Lou-anne’s success doesn’t threaten me; I know that when she wins, if I follow a similar model it is only a matter of time until I am also victorious. She really does support me in a big way.
“I do not like that man, I must get to know him better.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Every single person in the world has something different to offer and has the ability to be successful. The sad part is, that we also live in a world where people do what they think they ‘should’ be doing, instead of what they love to do… I often wonder what our world would be like if everyone just did what they felt was right and believed that there was so much the world had to offer versus having a lack mentality.” – Lou-anne Stefankiw
Brainstorming with Brendon: Rework your Definition of Success
Brendon Kozack came into my life like a lightning bolt of energy and vision. “Brittney, I have this idea for this Podcast called Projekt Possible and it is all about sharing the stories of great people and finding out what makes them tick so that ordinary people like you or me can realize anything is possible.” He didn’t have to say much more than that and I was in. Brendon’s purpose aligned perfectly with my desire to help others “unearth and invent their true capacities” and I was beyond grateful that he asked me to be a part of this project. This business owner had also seen something in my spirit and when I thanked him for thinking of me he said, “It seemed like the obvious choice.” I am still beyond grateful for this opportunity and for the resulting fantastic friendship.
Through getting to know Brendon I am able to see him live into the definition of success he has formed:
“I definitely used to feel threatened by other peoples success and wondered why they were doing so well while I sat in the shadows. It wasn’t until I opened myself up to other people and not only offered my help any way I could, but also received help as well that I finally came up with my own definition for ‘success.’ Real success in my eyes is putting 100% effort into anything and everything you do, and helping as many people as you can along the way.”
I see these words ring true in every action Brendon takes and this is one reason I admire him so much! Although beyond busy, he has spent hours with me behind the scenes of the podcast helping me find systems and strategies to improve my business. He does this selflessly without asking for anything in return. In his business he is constantly working to develop programs and services to help transform the lives of his clients, and as evidenced by the podcast, he wants to expand his reach to help the most people possible.
To me, Brendon embodies these words by the greats, and I think it isn’t long until this visionary is featured in quotations next to names like theirs:
“The best way to make a billion dollars is to help a billion people.” – Tony Robbins
“To make millions help millions.” – Robin Sharma
We all have flickers of jealousy and envy (myself included) when we see someone succeed, and like Brendon and Lou, we must take a step back to reevaluate and resist this natural inclination because it doesn’t serve us. Sometimes this might mean employing the “act the way you want to feel” strategy, and cheering for someone’s success just because you know it is the right thing to do. It could be as simple as “liking” a competitor’s Facebook post, or it may be more complex like asking your enemy to partner on something. Like Lou-anne and I, you just might find the most supportive friendship that you’ve ever experienced and with the cheerleading of the other, your independent success will flourish.
At the end of the day, the only definition of success that really matters is your own. What does it mean to you to be successful?
“If you asked 30 different people for the definition of success you’ll get 30 different answers. There is no hard and fast definition for success, and at the end of the day you’re the one who decides if what you’re doing or if you as a person are successful.” – Brendon Kozack
“Success to me is abundance in all areas of life, attitude, relationships, health, money, etc. and abundance for all people.” – Lou-Anne Stefankiw
We really can all win, and I leave you with an activity that I like to use (personally and with my clients) to assess our individual level of success. It is a modified version of a task developed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. Create a life pie to examine how successful you really are:
- Draw a circle and split it into 6 pieces.
- Label each piece outside the circle as: Spiritual, Health/Fitness, Finances, Career, Friends and Family, Adventure/Romance (Kind of like the one below).
- Place a dot in each slice indicating to what degree you feel fulfilled in this area (outer rim indicates great fulfillment, inner is not so great).
- Connect the dots. This will show you where you are lopsided.
What do I believe is the best measure of success? The amount of satisfaction you feel when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day. Expand your definition of success to include the status of your physical health, your feelings of being grounded or whole, your fulfillment in your career, your satisfaction in your personal life, and the amount of experience and enjoyment you are squeezing out of your entire life. When you look at winning like this, suddenly success takes on a deeper more personal meaning and the comparisons with others go out the window.
Get to know the people you feel jealous of; chances are these same people are the ones who could help you unlock your potential and get that very thing that makes you feel envious of them in the first place.
Isn’t it weird that all these people you classify as “successful” are also labeled as “down to earth” and people who “love helping”? – Brendon Kozack
Change your definition of success to one that is more powerful than a comparison with others lives. Look beyond envy and find the deeper meaning, and then get to know the person at the other end. Your best friends just might be hidden within those you now believe are your strongest competitors. Together, if we support each other in working towards our unique idea of success, even more is possible. There is no need for us to echo the words of Marilyn; instead, I invite you to say along with Brendon, Lou, and I, “It really is wonderful to enjoy success with the support of those around you.” Stop your scarcity mindset and find success alongside your own dream team.
Finally, if you are reading this, you are probably a part of my dream team. Thank you.
Wish there was a program that helped you feel more satisfied and squeeze more success out of life? There is! Projekt Possible: An 8-Week Blueprint for Building your Biggest Life, Cultivating your Confidence, and Smashing your Goals
Lou-anne offers a 6-week Ignite course for those looking to fill their lives with more passion and purpose. If you are interested, PM her on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find Brendon, just go to his second home CrossFit Villains, or check out his site.
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