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How 'tall poppy syndrome' can hinder career development

There are many factors why you may never fulfill your career potential and find work you love. One such factor could be the tall poppy syndrome. This is when people of high status are resented, envied and criticised for being successful. Perhaps this is something to do with our modern culture where success, however you define it, has negative connotations. The celebration of success is seen as being arrogant and self-indulgent. Therefore we want to bring successful people back down to earth, even if it's in our mind.

So how does this impact your own career journey? 

Well, if you yourself are given the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, you may balk at the idea because you don't want to be perceived as being the aforementioned poppy. The thought of fostering the envy of your peers may be enough to keep you in the comfort zone of mediocrity and this is the reason why many people fear success.

Now if this sounds like you, it's not for me to slap you on the wrist and tell you to change your ways. However, I would like to ask you the following questions:

1. Do you recognise tall poppy syndrome in yourself?

2. Where do you think this tendency or cultural belief came from?

3. How old is the evidence of this tendency?

4. If it came from an individual, where did they get it from?

5. If you banished the tall poppy syndrome from your psyche, what is the worst thing that would happen?

6. What are the odds of this worst thing happening?

7. How much is the adherence to this belief impacting you on a daily basis?

8. If the belief is limiting you in some way, what new belief will help you move forward rather than hinder you?

The more unique, empowering and evidence-based your new belief is, the more effective it will be. But changing long-held beliefs takes time and constant recitation. Eventually, your thoughts and beliefs will be reflected in your actions. And who knows where that may take your career?

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Mark Anderson, Award Winning Career Coach

Mark Anderson is a career coach who works with adults and young people to help them identify their purpose and decide on the right career path for them.… Read more

Written by Mark Anderson, Award Winning Career Coach

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