Caution! There be danger ahead! — Photo by Nadjib BR on Unsplash

Success has its Pitfalls

Understanding what Success Traps are helps me avoid Sisyphean efforts.

I’ve written before about ways I self sabotage myself. In this, the latest edition of Self Sabotage Quarterly I turn my gaze to Success Traps. First, what is a Success Trap?

A Success Trap is something that contributes to your success, but isn’t obvious until you change it. They also occur when you dissociate positive outcomes from the solutions you implemented to yield those positive outcomes.

A classic example of a success trap is allergy medication. I take allergy medication every day because I have allergies. Every once in a while I stop taking my allergy medication because I feel like I don’t need it because I don’t have allergies anymore, only to find that I still do and it was the allergy medication that was helping me. This is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of a success trap.

Other Success Traps that I’ve discovered tend to pop up when I deviate from the habits that were instilled in me as I grew up. I often feel low energy. It’s probably from a combination of going to bed too late, not drinking enough water or not working with enough light. However, I like to think that I’m Superman and assume that it couldn’t be any of those things, but rather it’s some nebulous concept like “today was a more emotionally taxing day.” (That’s not to say there aren’t emotionally taxing days, but for me they’re all about the same and they’re generally not that bad).

Don’t be like me. I missed the elephant that was standing right in front of me because I was distracted with the flourishes of the room. Beware of Success Traps.

Thanks for reading,

-Michael

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