The Stress of Success

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Success!Ezine For You



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2014

Be careful what you wish for: As you become more successful your stress load typically increases – not decreases. You may have dreamed for the day you’d have a prestigious job and make lots of money. But, you’re probably not reading this from the beach while enjoying the ocean breezes. You’re more likely at your desk still working hard after everyone else is gone — getting that “must-have” report out on deadline. It’s best to prepare for this reality before you get in the role, but it’s never too late — so fortify your resilience to avoid future headaches.

  • Accept that You’re a “Celebrity” Now

Sure, you’ve been well-known in your field all along, but now you’re a “celebrity.” That makes a difference. When you’re promoted to a prominent position or otherwise attain a high level of success, people really sit up and take notice. Now you’re the “Go To” person – the person to know – one whose insight and opinion matters on topics both in, as well as outside of your field. You have to be “on your game” all the time and need to keep up with the important issues of the day. People will ask you to appear here and there. This takes more time and mental and physical energy than before, but is all simply part of the “success regimen”. Get used to it.

  • Expect Your Workload to Increase

Rather than lessening, expect your workload to increase. Everyone is contacting you about something and for something, so the number of calls you need to return – emails and texts to answer – and social media messages you need to check – will increase exponentially. Forget anonymity. Your public wants to connect with you and it’s an expected part of your “brand.” Most days it will seem as if there isn’t enough time in the day – and probably there isn’t’ – so just resign yourself to the fact that this is the way it’s going to be. It’s usually impossible truly to get “caught up,” so handle the critical items and get to the rest as best you can. Though you will feel the pressure of our 24/7 response climate, establish priorities. Every item doesn’t require your immediate action. And some of lesser significance can be major distractions and time drains, so let them go until the important tasks are completed and you have that kind of time to devote to them.

  • Forget About “Work-Life Balance”

Given your new reality, don’t look for work-life balance – It’s not gonna happen! You’re going to be working more than you’re doing anything else. And your “public” is going to have more of your attention than anyone. That’s the way it is. Now, you may resent this and it’s typical for folks to object. But, they are the folks who don’t survive in the limelight for very long. The public isn’t interested in how you feel you deserve to do what you want in your life and to be “real” in your dealings with them. They’re only interested in enjoying your “brand” as you have built it up and promoted it to them all these years. Expect to be “on stage” more than “off.” This means less time and space to “do your own thing,” and both you, your family, and close associates have to mind your manners at all times. This is highly stressful, but is just the way it is. Find ways to unplug and escape to anonymity when you can. Those times will be few, so use the time to rest and rejuvenate so you can get back “on stage” with renewed strength and enthusiasm.

Success is wonderful and you deserve to enjoy it. But prepare for increased stress so you can deal with it effectively. There may be some who are chillin’ and coastin’ as they climb the ladder of success, but don’t expect to be one of them. Prepare for the fact that more demands will be placed on you and be ready to deal with your new success stress!

Enjoy These Other Success Articles

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Living in the Fishbowl

Prepare For the Impact of Success On Your Personal Life

Success Management For Kids


About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

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