The paradox of success: caged omnipotence


blue bird cageAdmiration
It starts with others to admire you. The other side of that admiration is influence. They look up to you and it’s easy for you to influence them. People will not only admire you for your art, talents or knowledge. The media will start to ask you questions about all and everything, even if it’s something you have no idea about. Your influence is becoming bigger.

Omnipotence
Often the result is a feeling of omnipotence. It starts as soon as you automatically assume, that others will bring you your coffee or tea, like a Dutch pop star once said. Your needs become more important than the needs of the people around you, you think. And you are convinced that you can best explore your talents to an optimal level, if others take care of everything you don’t want to take care off. As soon as others jump to fulfill your needs, without any reciprocity, the process of omnipotence and alienation starts.
Look at Lance Armstrong. After conquering cancer he thought that he was invulnerable, unbeatable, invincible. Like he said in the interview with Oprah Winfrey: “I thought I could do whatever I want whenever I want.”

Expectations
All admiration comes with expectations. You can fall as deep as you have risen. Everyone will expect you to be successful, to repeat your success formula, time after time again. And there will be a time that the formula will not work anymore. That’s the point when you start falling.
Also you friends and family have expectations. They expect to share in your success. Everyone wants your attention. And in the end you don’t have time for yourself anymore. You are trapped in cage, like a bird.

Reflection
The best way to solve this, is to keep taking time for self reflection. It’s the only remedy against the alienation and omnipotence, the only way to break the bars of the cage. Your environment can help you with that. Allow your family and your friends to help you to see your self and your career in perspective, to keep both feet on the ground. Yoga or meditation can help too, and the conviction that the needs of others are just as important as yours.

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