When Success Isolates You

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Written by: Tamiko Cuellar

As humans, we are designed to connect and relate to one another. Relationships are a part of our innate desire to share our authentic selves, experience other perspectives and to be accepted, which is why many people who are successful struggle with the isolation in which they find themselves. There is a correlation between success and isolation. In part, this correlation exists because of the intense focused nature of successful people (which leaves less time for connecting), but there are also other factors that contribute to being isolated from others.

1. Successful people often have higher than average standards. If they didn't, then they could have never achieved success. Having such high standards by default eliminates the commonalities with the masses.

2. Those who are successful often have a spirit of excellence. Being great is not optional to them, so they avoid mediocrity and those associated with it. Excellence is a distinguishing characteristic that not everyone values, so once again, it often means having less in common with those around you.

3. Unsuccessful people often cannot relate to the lifestyle of the successful, and vice versa. The sacrifices made, the drive and ambition to accomplish and be the best, the lack of time to socialize, and the relentless need and commitment to live up to one's potential can be foreign to many people. Having to constantly explain yourself in an attempt to be understood can become quite exhausting. So a more favorable alternative is to withdraw.

4. The need to be sharpened and grow is a high priority for successful people. The intentional lifestyle of self-improvement and the insatiable appetite for knowledge and wisdom are necessary to become what they were born to do.

5. Successful people often have healthy boundaries. There's a level of confidence that serves as the foundation for successful people which results in not settling for less than what they know they deserve. This is akin to #1. So being selective in what they allow is paramount to continuing success and eliminating distractions.

6. The successful are very clear on their worth and value, so their close associates and friends must have similar value to add to their lives, or the relationship is not worth the effort or time and becomes a one-sided drain rather than a fountain. They look for relationships where there can be mutual value exchanged. That is one way that successful people grow, learn and become sharper. As the Bible says, "iron sharpens iron."

7. Most successful people are also leaders who are called to do something extraordinary in this world. Leaders cannot be like the people they are called to lead. This distinction of leaders is what separates them from the pack by default.

8. Flocking to other successful people can happen, but they often share the same focus and lack of time.

Isolation is not always a negative thing. In moments of isolation, you learn tons about yourself, it is easier to focus due to the absence of distractions and contentment with oneself is developed. Although the price that success demands you pay for it can seem costly, the fulfillment of what's achieved outweighs it all. For many including myself, attaining success is not a selfish ambition, but it is about leaving a generational legacy and leaving this world a better place once I have finished my course here on earth. It's about leaving something behind that I can pass the torch to someone else to continue the work that I started. It's about putting to maximum use the gifts and talents that God has so graciously and abundantly given me.

The solution?

Never apologize for your success. How others perceive you and your success is none of your business. Stay focused. Understand that your success can cause the insecure to feel inadequate. That's not your problem, nor is it your burden to carry. Consider your isolation as the environment that's necessary and conducive to bring out your absolute best self. Know when to reallocate your time to balance your pursuit of your goals and the right relationships with mutual benefits. Continue to be selective of your inner circle. Use your isolation to serve you.

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Photo credit: Flickr

Dynamite in a small package, fearless and inspiring are just a few words to describe Tamiko Cuellar, speaker, Small Business Strategist, and the CEO & Founder of Pursue Your Purpose. She has been invited to speak at corporations such as Microsoft and First Bank, the City of St. Louis, conferences, churches, and on several radio and TV programs on matters related to small business, economic development, and personal and business growth strategies.

Tamiko has been recognized as A Woman on The Move in the Business Journals, serves as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management at City Vision University and is the author of "101 Tools to Take Your Solopreneur or Startup to the Next Level!" (on Amazon). In 2016, she founded the Pursue Your Purpose Business Network for Christian women entrepreneurs.

She has reached thousands globally through her virtual and live speaking platform and has coached women entrepreneurs with inspiration and personal and business strategies for success. She was recently selected as a Mentor to entrepreneurs in pan-Africa through The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.