They’ll Support You, Until…

They want to see you succeed, but they never want to see you do better than them.

We’ve all heard that phrase before and, until now, I’ve never given it much weight. I took it with a grain of salt and moved on. How could my good friend not want me to succeed? The thought always baffled me. Until about an hour ago when I got a taste of it for myself.

It’s funny when I make jokes about failing. It’s okay when I fail alongside her. But apparently it’s not okay when I pick myself up, succeed, and then succeed better than her. Incredibly, she actually gets pissed at ME. Somehow, my success is my fault and her failure is my fault.

But if she were succeeding alongside me of course there would be no problem at all.

Instead, she’s wasting her time being hostile and harboring resentment at me for a success that has nothing to do with her. I was the one who found 10,000 ways to do it wrong. I was the one who finally found the 1 way to do it right. I busted my ass for all 10,001 ways.

I chose not to get pissed at the people who succeeded before me. Instead I learned from them.

I chose not to harbor negative energy because, ultimately, the only person it would affect would be me and my performance. Instead I focused my time and energy into perfecting my work and fixing my mistakes.

They want to see you succeed, but some people just don’t want to see you succeed better than them.

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What If

There’s this person in my head. She is brilliant, capable. She can do chest tubes and craniums. She can run a code without freaking out. She’s a really good surgeon, maybe even a great surgeon. She’s me, only so much better and I’m afraid I’ll never become this person because something keeps getting in the way.

-Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy, S4E14

Another Grey’s Anatomy reference, but this one is so unbelievably true I had to post it. It took the words right out of my mouth. Because it’s one of my greatest fears every day.

Part of me feels good and on top of the game and invincible, but there is an equally large part of myself that dares to wonder ‘what if’. What if I don’t make it? What if I’m not the best? What if everything was actually for nothing? What if my best still isn’t good enough? What if I’m left with nothing?

Some days, fear propels me to succeed just as much as my love of medicine does.