I have only walked this earth for 25 years but I have learned a lot from my experiences as well as those around me. With that I’ve decided to chronicle this journey and call it The “S” Experience. The “S” Experience by my definition is the way in which family and friends treat and perceive you on your journey to success. I share with you my experiences and hope many of you can relate or learn from it.
It took me a long time to realize that my success thus far has and will bring out mixed feelings and perceptions, showing the best and worst in many people with whom I associate myself with. As I started my walk through The “S” Experience, I had a “Kum Ba Ya” vision of everything happy and positive; and thus not prepared at all for the negativity that ensued. It started at a very early stage in my life, as far back as elementary school, I remember slouching down in my seat at honor roll ceremonies so people wouldn’t treat me differently afterwards. I also remember crying to my mom about a year ago about quitting everything I was doing because I would rather be normal, appreciated, and liked. Even though I had good intentions with things I got Involved in, I found that some people around me always found a way to turn the good moments into something negative. It’s was always something about my way of doing business, my personality, my branding, or my busy lifestyle. It seemed like a never ending battle with negativity.
Many may be judging me at this point, and probably stating “she shouldn’t even care”, but we must remember it is a part of human nature that we sometimes want the approval and acceptance of others. I would feel bad or guilty when I found out that my friends and loved ones harbored feelings of resentment towards me. Making the achievements that came along with all the hard work I put in no longer seem pleasant. I basically hated everything that I had accomplished because it brought about despair.
I had to learn that sometimes the judgments of others say more about the person judging me than about me. In the book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz expressed this idea simply and elegantly: “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. It simply reflects their own life experiences and the training they received when they were children.” According to Creative Path to Growth founder Sherry Collier, “Other peoples’ jealousy and resentment towards you is simply a reflection of their own insecurities and lack of self-esteem; perhaps, most fundamentally, it is a reflection of their fear.”
People were used to thinking of me as “one of their own” or “on their level” and now that I was doing things that they might have liked to do or overcoming fears they might have wanted to overcome, it caused resentment and negative emotions. From sharing similar experiences with others I realized that people inadvertently come to resent the success of friends/loved ones because they use that friend/loved one as a benchmark, and when that benchmark is way above their current state, they feel inadequate.
While I have been very critical of others, I have been just as much if not more critical of myself. I ask myself all the time, What am I doing to elicit these types of feelings and reactions from others? Am I flaunting my success, to try to “prove” something to myself or someone else? Am I coming from a place of self-love and love for others? Am I coming from a place of fear? Or am I simply taking advantage of the opportunities that come my way? For instance, I find that typically with social media which now has a huge influence in our lives, there is a fine line between flaunting your success and sharing your happy moments. But without a doubt whichever it is, there is a possibility one’s friends and loved ones could feel alienated. Hence, I had to learn that just because you have huge ambitions, it doesn’t mean your friends or family will. As a result it’s easier for them to see you for who you were and not who you are becoming.
Essentially, The “S” Experience will have its ups and downs but in the end you will have learned so much about those around you and most importantly yourself. The goal is to never lose sight of yourself, be forgiving, and keep it moving in the right direction. Check in tomorrow for Part 2 on great tips on how to overcome The “S” Experience.
In the meantime view what Jay Z and Nicki Minaj had to say on the topic in recent songs and share your thoughts below!
When you succeed, prepare to be crucified
Media meddles, niggas sue you, you settle
Every step you take, they remind you you ghetto
Most kings get their heads cut off
Keep on climbing ’till you reach the top
Keep on coming if they ready or not
But real kings don’t die
They become martyrs, let’s toast to ’em
Long live the king
No, the reign won’t stop
They want my head on the chopping block
I won’t die, nah
Ayo they could never make me hate you
Even though what you was doing wasn’t tasteful
Even though you out here looking so ungrateful
I’m a keep it moving, be classy and graceful
I told ’em it’s no friends in the game
You ain’t learned that yet
All the bridges you came over, don’t burn that yet
Niggas want respect, but niggas ain’t earned that yet
Self-righteous, and entitled
But they swearing on the Bible that they love you
When really they’re no different from all your rivals
But I still don’t wish death on them, I just reflect on them
Yo, people will love you and support you when it’s beneficial
I’m a forgive, I won’t forget, but I’m a dead the issue
Soon as you out the nigga’s lives is when they start to miss you