Sometimes I stumble across a quote that resonates with me so deeply that I find the words drifting to my mind months later. It’s almost as if under the surface the words became my unconscious life mantra or constant words to live by. A particularly relevant quote I’ve found myself gravitating back to in recent weeks is the idea that “the best revenge comes from success.” The word revenge is cringe worthy in my mind and conjures up flashbacks of Regina George circa 2004 or Taylor Swift in her post-breakup days. But the concept that success has the ability to “return the favor” to those who hurt you in the most graceful way possible has stuck with me.
Through my years away at university and inklings towards a career, I’ve learned more than ever that there are always people who will attempt to belittle you and your capabilities. They’ll tell you you’re not intelligent enough, not worth their time or that your aspirations are impossible. It seems there is a monster around every corner waiting to instill you with fear and become an egging reminder that maybe we truly aren’t capable. A dichotomy forms where what we believe about ourselves and what they believe battle in a tug-of-war with potential for the latter to win. And sometimes their distorted opinion of us becomes so engrained in our heads that it begins to override our own….
But it’s crucial to understand that we can’t value ourselves based on the opinions of others. I’ve learned the most productive way to handle others’ apathy is to channel their discouragement as a means to slingshot yourself forward. Take the words, actions and doubts that made you feel insignificant and use them as a catalyst for your own personal success. Don’t set out to pursue a personal vendetta or hold grudges because plotted revenge is simply a reflection of insecurity and immaturity. Getting even or being spiteful to those who break your heart is overrated- be successful instead. Take this as an opportunity to transform yourself into the optimal version in all the ways they said you couldn’t.
Whether it’s the employer that chose someone else, the boy who changed his mind, the friend who stopped calling or the professor who failed you- prove them wrong. Just know that the farther they push you down, the more spring you have to reach the stars. Let your success shine so brightly that it’s undeniably palpable that the only ones missing out are those who deemed you unworthy. You have a purpose to fulfill and will leave a mark on this world regardless of their faulty opinions.
Without a doubt, there is nothing more rewarding than the day you look back at how far you’ve come despite all the monsters. Make those who didn’t believe in you look in retrospect at your success and regretfully admit, “Man, was I ever wrong about her.”