How do we each fit into this world?
Are we defined by whether we have a good job? A good marriage?
Do we feel that we constantly have to measure up to our friends’success?
Do we feel that we have to have the latest gadget, a new car or a big house?
Do we feel like a complete failure if we haven’t secured a stable job?
And what about relationships & family? When someone is single past the age of 40, everyone has an opinion about why that person is still single. If someone is jobless, everyone has an opinion on why that is.
STATUS ANXIETY is a constant worry about whether we are good enough in the world we live in. It is an insecurity about whether our life is a failure or whether it is a success.
Status anxiety is a term I came across after watching a video by Alain de Botton.
Status anxiety happens because we allow our environment to affect our inner world. Status anxiety happens when we allow other people to criticize us or the way we choose to live. It is only natural to become anxious, when we start comparing ourselves to others.
One of the most uncomfortable situations which may trigger status anxiety, is at a social event where you don’t know any of the guests. In such events, such as a party, you can only get to know someone initially by making small talk. You may be approached with questions such as ”What do you do? Where do you live?”. These questions may make you feel uncomfortable or inferior, because you don’t think your job is anything special and you don’t currently like the area you live in. In these situations you worry what the person asking the questions might think of you.
Status anxiety is rooted in judgements or how we think others will judge our choices, beliefs, skills and way of life. Nobody really has any control over the thoughts or judgements of others but everybody has control over how they react to others’ judgements.
If we really don’t care what other people think, then we probably won’t have status anxiety.
Status anxiety also frequently causes envy.We tend to envy in others, what we haven’t quite managed to achieve for ourselves. We may secretly envy the person who seems to have the perfect relationship when we are feeling lonely. We may envy the person who is always going on holidays because we can barely pay the bills with our low-wage job. Envy, can give us insight into a part of our lives we may need to work on.
What is the most important thing to consider when suffering with status anxiety?
Is it more important to worry because we haven’t managed to develop a good career for ourselves? Is success only measured by having a high salary, a perfect marriage and celebrity status?
What is MORE important, is the meaning WE give to our life. If we are happy with all we have achieved (despite all the difficulties or judgements by others), then that is all that matters.
Our judgement of our own life is the most important.
Not everyone is born equally lucky, supported, intelligent, confident or motivated.
The people who are highly successful in business and are making the big bucks, are usually lacking in many other areas in their life. They may lack emotional intelligence and empathy.
If you had a choice in your life, what would it be?
In my personal opinion, success is being a kind & empathetic person.
Success is being able to self-reflect and being able to help others do the same.
Success is being remembered as a good person.
I believe that success shouldn’t be measured by whether you work, have a relationship or have kids.
Success should be measured by the type of person that you are..
When I die in the future, I would much rather be remembered as a good human rather than a successful businesswoman or celebrity. I would much rather be remembered as empathetic, giving, respectful, generous & lovable. I would much rather be remembered as someone who meant something to someone or as someone who inspired others.
If you find that you suffer with status anxiety, make sure that you define your own life in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
At the end of the day, all that really matters is the opinion you have of yourself and the respect and kindness yougive to others.
Love Athina ♥♥
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