If you want to be a tall poppy, don’t chop yourself down
We should all aspire to be the best we can be, to get the most out of ourselves and hopefully feel the achievement and joy of being that person.
If being the best we can be makes us stand out, then sadly sometimes this attracts the tall poppy cutters; but we have to make sure we don’t become our own saboteur at the same time.
I expect we have all experienced it throughout childhood, school and in our careers or in relationships. Those feelings and behaviours of jealousy, undermining behaviour, negativity, and even attacks that try and halt our success.
I think the culture in Australia is geared toward support of the battler and fair-go for everyone and towards praise for sporting achievement and the like. There historically exists a tendency toward tall poppy syndrome.
Perhaps in certain peer groups, like business, there may be more positive support for those achieving success and status.
In medicine, I think there is a culture of competition and combined with widespread inequalities between different specialties this doesn’t lend well to positive praise and support for peers being successful.
So, because it is engrained in our culture and often in our career field, it can be well embedded in our own heads to have this negative attitude towards our own success.
I believe we should often reflect in our own minds that we are not creating any barriers for ourselves or hindering our own greater development, especially when external influence is strong.
It takes courage, strength and self determination to stand up to those who try and bring you down.
It’s happened to me many times and continues to happen.