If you work really hard for what you earn in life, you might be cursed with winner’s guilt. And this will happen because if you are a hard worker, then you likely came up around other hard workers, and you know how much your peers are still struggling, still suffering, and still working themselves to the bone to have what you got. You know and love those people, so having what they want inevitably comes with mixed emotions. It’s only natural to feel some winners guilt when you really make it, and those that you love still haven’t.
Making it is a strange experience. When something really hits for you, and you start making money and earning attention at a level drastically higher than you ever have before, the entire thing can feel foreign. You want to pinch yourself because you believe you are dreaming. Your lifestyle and external surroundings change so much more rapidly than your inner feelings. It doesn’t quite add up. Meanwhile, the people you still very much emotionally relate to, are around you, working so hard. They are tired. They are losing hope. And you may struggle to enjoy your success because you have winner’s guilt.
It’s okay, and it won’t last forever. In fact, it’s more than okay—it’s perfectly normal. You know what the odds were that you got this: slim to none. You know because, for so many years, you were the one passed over. You know because you used to be in the trenches with the…hundreds?…thousands?…who wanted this, too. So you get what a big deal this is, and you get what everyone who got passed over for the opportunity feels like. You used to be them. So you still, in a way, question whether or not it should have been you, at all. It’s only normal that an emotional being would have odd feelings around sudden success. Here are signs that you have winner’s guilt.
You want to share too much
You have become so generous with your friends that it is almost uncomfortable. You are buying them gifts and treating them to experiences like dinners and trips that it almost feels inappropriate. But you feel bad keeping these resources to yourself so you are giving them away at a rapid rate.