It’s Okay for Things to Go Well

Mike Robbins
4 min readJun 20, 2024

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When things go well for you, do you tend to have mixed feelings about it? Do you find yourself feeling uneasy or uncomfortable?

While I do love it when things go well, I also tend to have some mixed emotions about it. It can be a little tricky for me to fully embrace and experience things going well, especially these days given everything we have all been through in recent years.

Why do we do this?

Why We Struggle to Embrace When Things Go Well

1. We think it’s too good to be true.

Have you heard that voice in your head before? The one that says, “It’s too good to be true, it won’t last, or you’ll mess it up.”

Many of us experience this thought when things go well. And while it’s common for us to think this, it’s simply not true. We all deserve things to go well for us.

2. We worry that people will judge us

When things go well, many of us worry that people won’t like us, that they’ll judge us, or that they will get jealous, thus pulling away or withholding their love, appreciation, and approval. We might also find ourselves worrying that if things go too well, we won’t be able to relate to, connect with, or be accepted by some of the most important people and groups in our world.

3. Much of our learning, growth, and evolution in life has come through our own pain and suffering

Even though it’s true that we can grow more effectively and elegantly through joy, peace, and love — we may find ourselves worrying that if things get too good, we’ll get lazy, stop actively learning, or somehow abandon our journey of personal growth and commitment.

4. We tend to feel guilty for our success

We sometimes have feelings of guilt for our success or good fortune — especially given that so many people in the world are suffering, in pain, or dealing with both small and big challenges. That same voice in our head can say to us, “It’s not fair that things are going well for you, look at all those people who are having a hard time.”

These and other limiting thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs can get in our way. They can keep us in struggle and limit our experiences of joy and fulfillment. It’s almost as if sometimes we’re more comfortable suffering than thriving.

Your version of this may look a little different than mine, but lots of people I know and work with, even those who have created a lot of outward success in their lives, seem to struggle to one degree or another allowing things to go really well and doing so with real peace, gratitude, and joy.

How to Practice and Expand Your Capacity for Things Going Well

What if we did allow things to go well and did so more graciously, intentionally, and consciously? Of course life has its inevitable ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and expansions and contractions — but what if we stopped sabotaging ourselves, our success, and our fulfillment just as we began to experience it or because it got too good for us to handle?

Here are some things to focus on, think about, and practice to expand your capacity for things going well in your life:

Remember that it’s okay to shine.

The more permission we give to ourselves (and those around us) to shine our light, the more we realize that it’s safe. As Marianne Williamson says in her famous quote from her book A Return to Love, “…there’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

Remind yourself that life’s not a competition.

This is a big one for me — as a former pro baseball player, I have a tendency to look at everything in life as a competition, even though it rarely is.

Competition is about our negative ego (thinking we are either “better than” or “less than”). When we remember that life is not a competition, we can focus on our own unique experience and do so in a way that is real, not simply in reference to those around us — positively or negatively.

Take care of yourself.

I’ve heard it said so many times that happiness is an inside job, which is true. Often, things become cliche because they are overused, but they are overused because of their universal truth.

The more effectively we care for ourselves and recognize that our fulfillment in life hinges on how we feel about and relate to ourselves — rather than on others’ opinions or our external achievements — the more likely we are to experience genuine joy and success.

Whether we face challenging circumstances or positive situations, allowing ourselves to embrace and enjoy when things go well is a bold and beautiful step. This not only enhances our own quality of life but also positively impacts everyone we interact with.

How do you feel about things going well in your life? What can you do to remind yourself and others that it’s okay for things to go well and for you to be happy? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more in the comments below.

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Mike Robbins

Mike Robbins is the author of five books including his latest, We’re All in This Together, which released April 2020. He’s an expert in teamwork and leadership.