By Mike Robbins
How do you feel when things go well for you? If you’re anything like me you may have some mixed feelings about it, as odd as that seems. While I do love it when things go well and when I’m feeling good, I also notice that sometimes it poses certain challenges for me as well.
For the past few months, things have been going quite well in my life and with my work. And, more important, I’ve been feeling happier, more peaceful, more grounded, and more vital than I have in quite a long time.
All of these things are wonderful, yet I find myself feeling uneasy and uncomfortable with this at some level. Even though I wrote a book called Focus on the Good Stuff and many of the themes that I speak about and write about center around being grateful, appreciative, and fulfilled in life, it can be a little tricky for me to fully embrace and experience my life when it’s going well. Maybe you can relate to this?
What is this about? For me and those of us who may struggle with authentic “good stuff”?
For me, there are a few main things that come up and get in my way when things start to go really well.
First of all, I hear this voice in my head that says, “It’s too good to be true, it won’t last, or you’ll mess it up.”
Second of all, I worry that people won’t like me, will judge me, or will get jealous of my success or my happiness, and thus pull away from me or withhold their love, appreciation, and approval. Connected to this feeling of separation, I also find myself worrying that if things go too well I won’t be able to relate to, connect with, or be accepted by some of the most important people and groups in my world.
Third of all, much of my learning, growth, and evolution in life has come through my own pain and suffering (i.e. “the hard way”). Even though I’ve heard a number of teachers and mentors in my life say that we can grow more effectively and elegantly through joy, peace, and love, I find myself worrying that if things get too good, I’ll get lazy, stop actively learning, or somehow abandon my journey of personal growth, which is one of the most important things in my life.
Finally, I tend to feel guilty for my success, well being, or good fortune – especially given that so many people I know (and even more people in the world) are suffering, in pain, or dealing with both small and big challenges. That same voice in my head says to me, “It’s not fair that things are going well for you, look at all those people who are having a hard time.”