Now a popular YouTube video:
I’m aware of my online reputation, mainly through my posts on DREWspective, of being “negative” and somewhat destructive, neither of which is not what I’m really about. On occasion I’ve voiced opinions, all coming from experience, which on the surface sound like bullshit – and sometimes they turn out to be wrong. But If there’s anything you guys learn from me, if there’s a single thing you take away from my experiences, it’s hopefully this one “absolute” truth:
Some people don’t want you to succeed.
I mention this because, as someone who used to be engrossed in the whole self-help/motivational/”positive thinking” thing, there’s been a lot of talk about how people are solely responsible for their own successes and failures, and the idea that everybody else is completely innocent and 100% whiter-than-white. Although that circuit is thankfully dying out, they’ve succeeded in installing that mindset into the mainstream – meaning almost everybody you know is talking about “positive thinking” and people “being so negative”, while quite frankly being hypocrites.
While it is ultimately up to each person to produce and aim for success, whatever success means for them, I know for a fact this over-simplified, sloganised doctrine isn’t true. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a believer in fate, and the idea that people shape other people’s lives.
But even leaving aside personal beliefs: other people definitely play a role in where someone ultimately ends up, whether good or bad. It’s other people who decide whether someone gets a record deal, or whether a painting gets bought, a book gets published, a loan gets approved, or anything else of significance. It’s other people who decide to make friends or make fun of a particular person, gang up with or against a person, and say good or bad things about a person behind their backs. And whether anyone agrees with me or not, what other people do may or may not have anything to do with the person they’re affecting. They do, however, make a choice.
People who don’t want you (personally) to succeed fall into two categories, both of which I mentioned in a (unfortunately deleted) post:
Those who insist you change.
These people formed an image of how they expect you to be, and they try everything in the book to get you to fit that image – usually by assassinating and criticising the person you are right now.
Why can’t you be like everybody else/your brother/your sister/him/her?
You “need” to be more positive/confident/outgoing/loud!
If you don’t [do this or that] nobody will come near you!
As is typical, they hide behind “tough love” and “speaking their mind”, sometimes ganging up on you with other people, in the name of “trying to help”.
But the irony is, whether or not you do try to fit this vague image of what these people expect you to be, they still won’t like you. They’ve already made up their mind that you’re not in with their crowd; they just want to destroy any confidence you have in yourself. And if you want proof that this is the case: note how these people act in “packs”, involving and/or poisoning other people against you.
Those who insist you don’t change.
While the aforementioned people are very vocal, these people are very, very stealthy. What they do is try to convince you that you’re “fine as you are”, and that you shouldn’t have to change for anybody. Sounds innocent enough, right?
Well let’s think about this for a second. There’s a saying in the self-help circles:
If you’re green, you’re growing. If you’re ripe, you’re rotting.
If a person isn’t changing or adapting to different circumstances, they’re essentially not growing: they’re staying in exactly the same position as they were yesterday; three weeks ago; three years go. This means they’re staying exactly the same person as they were before, which means they become predictable.
These people who don’t want you to change want you to stay the same, not because they like you, but because they like what they can get from you. They see you like most employers, recruitment people and anybody who doesn’t value people see you: as a resource.
A very questionable manager once said to me about freelancers (while on the job):
I’ll use them and use them and use them, until they’re no longer available.
Both kinds of people have one thing in common:
They BOTH have a vested interest in you staying the same.
This is because if something about you changed, things around you would also have to change – including other people, and them.
These people trying to fit or keep you inside a mould are comfortable: they like things exactly as they are, because they get what they want as long as things are the way they are. These people often hide behind the mantra “that’s just the way it is” or “that’s life” as an endorsement of how things are right now, because it benefits them.
Being exposed to change of any kind would disrupt their world as it is, and that scares them because they don’t like the idea of losing what they have. If someone else became successful, it would put them in an awkward position of “why am I not successful too?”
Even the first group, who say they want you to change into someone else – usually instantly – are really just trying to put you down and convince you you’re no good, so that you’ll withdraw and won’t want to (or be able to) change anyway.
Of course if you do become successful, both kinds of people will be happy to act like nothing’s happened. All of a sudden they’ve had your back all along, lying in wait to see what more they can get from you.
You probably knew all this already, and maybe you wanted someone to say it out loud or publicly. You might at one point in your life have been surrounded by people whom you knew didn’t want you to succeed, and did everything in their power to make sure you suffered and would never recover. Maybe you’ve been around people who’ve liked nothing more than to kill your unborn dreams – then criticise you for being unmotivated.
This is my core message
Be very careful who you have in your team. And I’m not talking about mainstream, populist shit like “positive” and “negative” people. Be careful whom you confide in; whom you trust; whom you’d expect to have your back when things get rough; who represents you. I’m dead serious when I suggest that the wrong people in your life can and will kill you – if not literally then from within.
People who want you to succeed are people who accept you for who you are, right now, including your shortcomings. They’re not out for what they can get from you. They don’t insist that you change to suit them, and they don’t insist you not change because it suits them; instead they encourage you to be the best person you can be. That’s the kind of person you want on your team if you want to achieve your goals and dreams. Sadly, in this selfish society, I don’t think there’s many of them around.
I want to hear your opinions, and perhaps your experiences, on this subject. If you have something to say please please please post a comment. And good luck in whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.