Laura Gassner Otting
Instead of success bringing you happiness, it hands you an increased hunger to achieve something even bigger. And with that desire also comes uncertainty, self-doubt, anxiety and stress.
Success, in other words, is kinda wonderful...but it’s also kinda hell. Welcome to Wonderhell.
Wonderhell is that space in your psyche where the burden of your newly discovered potential plops down, unpacks its backpack, and asks: Hey, you! Whatcha got for me?
Living in an ambitious, results-oriented society, we often mischaracterize the turbulent emotions that surround success, deeming them a “necessary evil”―a byproduct of one’s rise to the top. We tend to think that we just need to survive these difficult moments, to hang on by our fingernails and somehow get through these stressful, unwanted side effects of our success. We torture ourselves with a never-ending internal dialogue: I can handle this. Can I handle this?
But we are wrong.
Learning to live in this newfound potential can be exciting rather than exhausting. Emotions like fear, anxiety, and heartbreak are not collateral damage, slings and arrows to be absorbed and swallowed down, silenced and pushed aside. Rather, each emotion is a portal that shows us what more we can do, if instead we recognize that on the other side of this wonderful hell that we so badly wanted is another and another and another...but only if we choose to accept it.