What do you do when you achieve without trying?
April 22, 2012 1:38 AM Subscribe
How do people deal with 'success' they never sought, and with what we call 'talent' and 'intelligence'?
posted by inkypinky to human relations (19 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I don't seek and am not interested in 'success,' or status, or accolades, or having others look up to me. I don't think like that. What I do want is to be myself. My issue is that when I do let myself be myself, I am doing things which make me stand out. That might be doing a number of things well and extending them beyond how they've been done before. In my experience this can happen without much application on my part, and people can hate you for this, doubt themselves in comparison to you, try to pull you down, look up to you, avoid dealing with you because they think you're doing alright as it is, and any number of other reactions. What I mean is it's like becoming slightly less of a person and more of an 'other.' It's less about who you are and more about people's perceptions and inner issues.
This puts me in a position I don't want to be in. I'm not a heirarchical person - I don't follow and I don't want to lead, so I don't like it when I become a figurehead, or conversely when people want to tear me down.
But it's got to the point where I've denied myself for so long that I'm becoming quite miserable and not as nice to be around as I could be. I'm working in terribly low paid and menial jobs. I don't want to end up a bitter old eccentric woman living in a trailer park! I have to deal with this, and that's going to mean dealing with achievement.
I suppose it's relevant that my family is pretty unsupportive, I somehow ended up being different to them in terms of intelligence, I'm from a fairly working class background, I'm introverted, I never had a good education, I've always slipped through the cracks because I looked like I had it together, I have always disliked educational institutions and structured learning, and my mind is kind of...freeform! I feel like one of those children who was raised by wolves and has come in from the forest. I don't know how to deal with myself!
I'm interested in what philosophies people have developed around dealing with standing out due to some externally deemed 'achievement' they never asked for, how they frame the reasons for their ability, and how they maintain a strong sense of self within this. This isn't about 'feel the fear and do it anyway,' or 'you deserve success.' Popular psychology has no answers to the questions I'm asking.
If anyone has any suggestions I will feel so heartened as this is something I've been spending my whole life trying to figure out. And please don't be mean - I'm actually incredibly underconfident.
Thanks in advance. : )