Friday, September 30, 2011

The Success Sequence

I analyze everything. And because I'm narcissistic, I especially analyze myself and my reactions to stuff. This week I got some good news (which I will share as soon as the ink is dry...) and I realized I've developed a pattern of reactions to good news and success and whatnot. It's rather boring to be so emotionally predictable, but there it is. And now I share with you, because I can... and because I'm interested if other people have a similar sequence they go through when they get good news.

Reaction the First: Elation. Yep, not surprisingly I am euphoric when something happy-making happens, but what may surprise you is how long this lasts... or doesn't last. For me, it's usually only about twenty minutes to an hour or so. After that, I stop smiling for no reason, randomly bouncing in my chair with glee, and calling folks to share my gushy enthusiasm.

Reaction the Second: Guilt. I know I work hard for the good things that come my way. It's not that I don't think I deserve them. It's not that I don't want them. But I feel bad for getting them - like by being successful I am purposefully screwing over all the other people who want what I have who don't have it yet. I don't feel like this all the time (thank god, because how would you function?), but for about an hour immediately after my elation phase, I feel like a horrible terrible no-good bad dreadful person for getting exactly what I worked for.

What gets me out of this mode?

Reaction the Third: Planning. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, right? So when the best happens, you have to shuffle your plans to accommodate. When is my good thing coming, how will it impact my plans, what do I need to do to prepare, what comes next? I make lists on every available writing surface. I call my parents to tell them about my "New Plan!" I dig into my goals spreadsheet and plug in new data. And then...

Action: Moving On. It's a few hours after I got my news and I'm past it. Focused on implementing my new plan, moving on toward the new shiny goal. I've never been good at wallowing in success, which I think is probably a good thing. If you spend too much time focused on what you did, it can clutter up the path to what you are going to do.

So what about you? How do you react to good news?


Brenda Hyde said...

I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, and I react emotionally to EVERYTHING. Not a good thing. I'm much better at not just reacting willy nilly than I used to be, but I still need to work on it.

Good News gets a mixture of emotions from me-- elation as you mentioned, then disbelief, and finally I think I often wonder when the bad news is coming. LOL Yeah, it's warped I know:)

Vivi Andrews said...

It's not warped, Brenda. I feel like that waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop feeling is totally natural. We all get to freak out in our own special ways. ;)