Have you ever stood in a field of wild flowers?
Did you notice how most flowers of the same genus grow to approximately the same height? They are all beautiful and mostly all the same. No one flower stands out amongst the others.
Take a poppy field for instance, like the one in the Wizard of Oz. Those flowers that Dorothy succumbed to were mostly all the same. But, once in awhile a beautiful flower out grows its peers. It stands out, it’s taller than the rest. The sun and the rain reach it first. It flourishes up where there is room to breathe. Sometimes the smaller flowers try to choke the taller flower out, they try to bring it down to their level. But the blossom, more often than not, continues to flourish long after the others blooms have faded.
In Australia, they have a phrase for flowers and people who stand out amongst the others. They call it “The Tall Poppy Syndrome”. Some folks in Australia don’t like for people to stand out from the crowd, and while we don’t refer to it like that in the U.S. it still happens each and every day. Maybe you’ve experienced it….
You finally lose the weight (and you look amazing) or you worked hard and you got the promotion or you’re engaged to the partner of your dreams or you got a publisher for that book you wrote, or the business you’ve been working 24/7 on is finally getting noticed and ya,..you know, Oprah just called….
Whatever it is , you are on your way up. Life is good and then someone who you thought was a friend says something snarky behind your back: “She’s changed.... She’s really not as good as she thinks she is”. Or some social media troll says that you’re a fraud or your family says you were nicer when you were fat. Huh…. That change back attack must be resisted
If you are a victim of The Tall Poppy Syndrome, you can’t control the haters but you can control how you respond or don’t.
Here’s an idea: how about you welcome the haters, welcome The Tall Poppy Syndrome. Look for it, dare I say work for it. Haters mean you are making a difference, impacting the world. Be that. The bigger your impact, the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you will encounter. Sad, but so true.
Don’t make yourself smaller for other people.
Be the tall poppy. xo
ROBIN MCALLISTER ZAAS IS A LIFE COACH IN COLUMBUS, OHIO.
She focuses on weight loss in a new way that breaks the typical "dieting" mold. With products like Not Your Sister's Diet, Robin can help you discover a healthy relationship with food and most importantly—with yourself. To kickstart your (re)self-discovery journey, try Robin's free Coach In My Pocket for daily inspiration that will encourage you to be born brave again. (Hint: You were always born brave.)