The Secret to Being Happy for Others’ Success

Photo by Obie Fernandez from Unsplash

Forcing yourself to avoid feeling a certain emotion is as hard enough as it sounds. It’s not easy to convince yourself to be happy for another person’s success when deep inside, you feel otherwise. As a human, you’re allowed to feel unhappiness or insecurity. It’s normal to feel jealous of someone’s success especially when you’re going through a rough time yourself. Let’s admit that it can be frustrating when someone gets to have the big break you’ve been working so hard for. It’s hard to face a person (especially whom you personally dislike) and congratulate him for a success you think is supposedly yours. It can be challenging to exert a smile on somebody when the past couple of days have been stressful and unproductive. 

When you feel bitter, you lean towards hearing the voices of your inner critic. You become vulnerable to the chains that it used to bind you so that you can’t get away easily. It feeds you with doubt in your existing goals and skills and instills fear in your head. This is why it’s imperative to be aware and smart in managing your emotions. You need to be a master over them so they don’t get ahold of you. 

Furthermore, always remember to live in gratitude. Count your blessings. You can extend happiness to others’ successes when you’re reassured to look back in your life and know that you have a lot to thank for. You realize being happy for others’ successes in life won’t make you bitter if you learn to appreciate yourself for how you carried your back through all the hurdles that led you to this point. Don’t put your achievements in a bad light because your jealousy overshadowed the happiness you once felt for your past successes. 

Use envy as a tool for self-improvement. Let it help you identify certain areas of your life that need improvement. Get to the bottom of why it is you are feeling bitter or insecure about someone else’s success that shouldn’t affect you directly. Have clear, precise methods about how you want to attain your goals, so you don’t feel threatened by others. Shift your negativity towards self-reflection and discipline to execute your ideas. The next time you feel jealous, take it as a sign to leverage on your strengths. 





It’s vital to acknowledge that all of us are capable of feeling envious, insecure, or unhappy for any reason. We are all but humans with innate needs and emotions. The level of emotion heightens when it deals with your chances of success or fulfilling the goals you have in mind. Envy is a natural human emotion, like any other, as it is a common experience to do something unpleasing as a consequence of not being able to control it.

Usually, we may be hesitant in admitting it because we don’t want to be seen as small, emotional, or selfish by others. We don’t want to be branded as someone exhibiting unaccepted social behavior, leaning closer towards being rude or impolite. To admit that we are experiencing jealousy can be hard since we are forced to acknowledge our weaknesses, insecurities, and past traumas. Usually, the first sign we are letting our envy get the better of us is when we display negative behavior towards another person. It’s when we uncomfortably feel irrational feelings of antagonistic and hostile motives.

Regardless, we have to try to be emotionally mature by using this feeling of envy to transform ourselves into becoming better people. Whenever we feel envious of another person’s accomplishments, let envy empower genuine self-growth. Allow your jealousy to serve as a driving force urging you to improve certain areas of your life or develop the quality of your relationships. Keep in mind that feeling envy doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. However, allowing it to turn you into someone you’re not is the opposite of what you want.


Although competition is inevitable in the attainment of success, whether personal or collective, success doesn’t only happen to one person. It’s important you realize that there’s a lot of room for everyone to succeed, just as long as you do the work. The sky is the limit when it comes to attaining success as long as you have what it takes to get there. Bringing someone down will not increase your chances of success in any way, shape, or form. When you do this, it may feel like you’re getting away with it but I assure you, in the long run, you won’t.

Instead of feeling good about yourself, you will feel an overwhelming amount of guilt and hatred for yourself. In the same way, compromising your health and peace of mind to fit your definition of successful does relatively equal damage. Do your best not to feel threatened when someone is getting ahead of you towards their goals while you’re not anywhere closer to yours.

Instead, try to visualize how hard someone is working hard to accomplish this goal. One way to do this is to congratulate others in their season of winning. Make them feel seen and appreciated for their hard work even when you are not directly part of their success. Make them feel like you support them. Cheer and clap for them until it’s your time.


Remember that hard work and grit are indispensable to success. Despite some people’s unfair advantages in the playing field, they couldn’t leverage their wealth, skills, and even connections if they don’t put in the work necessary to accomplish their goals. It involves years of self-analysis on your passion and goal-setting strategies. The next time you feel jealousy about someone’s accomplishments, ask yourself if you have a good enough reason to feel such especially if he has worked on that goal for most of his life.

There’s no need to act bitter over his success if you know that someone deserves all the success he gets. You should start to keep it real and be fair with your perception of someone who appears to attract all the happiness he receives. It’s only fair to cheer, clap, or be happy for him because he worked hard. It’s only upright to acknowledge his determination, patience, skill, and work ethic by not hating on the person because he did it himself. Try to see the objective side of the situation without accounting for your side of them alone.

It’s important to acknowledge and analyze your emotions by determining where it’s coming from. If it comes from a place where you feel like unfairness or a corrupt system is favoring him, tell yourself it’s out of your control (no matter how awful and upsetting that is). If it comes from an excessive need to fix or change something that you can’t change like traumatic events in childhood, certain health conditions, and disabilities, or your biology, don’t allow the envy to consume you. Don’t resort to self-blame because you can’t attain something logically impossible.

If it comes from a place of pure bitterness where you simply feel miserable with other people’s success without an apparent reason, then that’s something you should work on too by being honest with yourself. You need to get out of your jealousy and start being real with yourself instead of hating. If your colleague got the promotion at work, don’t automatically resort to negative thoughts. Give him the benefit of the doubt and be happy for him. It’s not fair to blame him for receiving the reward you’ve been wanting for quite a while because you didn’t act as you wanted it as much as you thought.


When your life is the opposite of what you think it’s supposed to look like at a certain age, we’re quick to turn your perspective on success into a competition. An unhealthy, toxic, one-sided competition at that. It’s tempting to magnify your envy by putting your pride on a high pedestal. When you’re jealous about someone’s latest purchase, we soothe ourselves by saying baseless, ridiculous things like someone had given it to him (so his success wasn’t valid because he didn’t buy it with his own money).

We make ourselves feel better, so we spit lies and even tell a few people about it. It’s a negative and very rude behavior to have especially if a simple gossip slowly escalates into worse situations like being sued for defamation or libel, all because you were jealous. There are so many ways to boost your confidence after feeling a little jealous about another person’s achievement without being negative. Remember that mixing envy with a bruised ego is a very bad combination and it won’t get you far.

Even you do achieve that same level of success, there will come a time when another person will go to better places or work in a more prestigious company than you. As long as you don’t feel content and happy on the inside, you will feel like you’re not improving and growing because you’re always comparing your blessings to others. It’s crucial you understand that you only know so much about another person’s life. Your outlook on his life depends on what he allows you to see.

When you act out of impulse, you feel like you know everything there is to know about his life. You judge based on partial information and shallow understanding of his goals, priorities, and fears in life. You may not take into account the number of hurdles and obstacles that someone had to go through to enjoy the triumphs in his life. It’s unfair to invalidate his eagerness and hard work to get to that peak of success just because you judged too quickly.


One way of thinking to avoid feeling bitter about others’ success is to genuinely learn from them. Ask questions about what they did and how they overcame the many challenges. Humble yourself for acknowledging that you don’t know everything and having their input can help you improve. Show interest in what took for them to get to where they are and see if you can do the same. Take their advice to heart and apply them to your life religiously.

Be grateful for the fact that some people had the guts and endurance to go through adversities to get where they are in life right now, so you don’t have to do it yourself. Their success stories will help you not be stubborn with your choices and possibly avoid making the same mistakes they did. The path to success is long, bumpy, and most of all, different for each one of us. Nevertheless, surrounding yourself with strong, excellent, fearless individuals will motivate you to go in that direction.


How you talk to yourself amidst wins and losses affects your disposition in life. The way you treat yourself can be the biggest obstacle to achieving success. Speak to yourself more kindly and compassionately and you will see growth. The voice in your mind must not be the self-destructing, confidence-crushing self-critic you repress now and then. Rather, it must be a voice of gentleness, inspiration, and bravery. The world is already a harsh enough place to get attacked with doubt and fear.

Shield yourself from these negative thoughts by filling your mind with optimism and motivation. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Instead of seeing another person’s success as competition, see it as motivation for you to aim high and excel at what you’re good at. Don’t compare your definition of success to his and punish yourself for not meeting someone else’s expectations.


The secret to being happy for others’ success is to have the confidence that you will have your season of success at the right time. It’s accepting the reality that everyone has different timelines in life. It is understanding that clapping for others’ achievements while waiting for yours to happen doesn’t make you small. It is focusing on improving your skills and attitude while going through a series of challenges towards your goals.

The whole secret to being open-minded and supportive of your peers’ successes is by discerning that their wins do not take away your chances of succeeding. Just because they’re enjoying the result of their hard work first doesn’t mean you won’t have your time to shine. Remember that patience is a fundamental virtue and is the very foundation of your dreams that takes you places. 


“Envy is the coward side of Hate, and all her ways are bleak and desolate.”

Henry Abbey

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

8 thoughts on “The Secret to Being Happy for Others’ Success

  1. These are some really helpful tips to help you be happy for other’s success. I like to use other people’s success as motivation to work smarter and harder to be more successful myself. Thank you for sharing these tips.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl


  2. Awesome tips and insights here Monique. Envy is natural but it’s how you let it run your life that can lead to unhappiness and misery. Using envy as motivation for growth is a great way to make the best of the situation.


  3. these are wonderful reminders. i think it’s always better to support others. i’ve learned we all can succeed in this life and to never really see anyone as competition. it does you no good in the end. the blogging community for instance seems very supportive which is a huge part of why i love blogging so much!


  4. I don’t think I’ve ever forced myself to Fe a certain emotion, is that even possible? People can fake being happy, but can they actually force themselves to be happy?

    I think I’ve been envious a few times of some people’s success, largely because nothing seems to go my way and now even my health is holding me back. However, the pangs of envy I’ve had doesn’t last long and doesn’t stop me being happy for others


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