Big heads ruin as many careers as being lazy. In fact, a lot of laziness is the result of big-headedness. Success is what we all are gunning for yet it can also be the thing that kills you.
Success tends to bring more people around you who want to bask in your success with you. It gives you the opportunity to only be around people who think you are great, but you never get to hear from people who believe that you are an idiot.
You start to believe that the world revolves around you and then before you know it success disappears, and so does everyone else and all the prestige you thought you had.
Being big headed comes down to believing in your hype. It means you love the newspaper headline more than the truth. The headline praises you, but the fact is much less flattering.
The newspaper wants to make you feel good; the truth wants to get you better. You need to know how to use truth to stop yourself from becoming big headed. A big head will now allow you to think and operate properly
Train Like Number 2
When you train like number 1, it is hard to get better when you see yourself as the best. It is why most people saying becoming the best is not nearly as hard as staying there. When you’re gunning to be the best you are grinding and working for a goal. You can already picture yourself in the new position. When you are the best though, you make a mistake in thinking you have arrived and are safe.
There is no such thing as safety in sports. The top sport is reserved for the best. The position does not care who it is, and it cares that someone fills the spot.
Training like number 2 means that no matter how good you get, you always know that you can get better and there is someone on your heals trying to take your spot. The feeling of no longer being the best has to make you sick to your stomach. The idea of being passed by someone should start such a fire that no one can stop you from getting better.
Your big-headedness blinds you to the fact that you are becoming number 1, just made someone else hungry to take you down. The same drive that you once had got passed to another person the second you became the best. What you want to ensure is that even though they should want it more than you, in reality, they are not even close.
Keep Grounded People Around You
The second key to avoiding falling to your big head is to stay around people who keep you grounded. There is nothing worse for success then constantly being around people who think that you are fantastic. The reason for this is that they make your blind spots even larger. If people gas up your ego, the chances are they are not telling you the truth.
Smart people avoid this fate by staying close to people not scared to tell them the truth no matter how much success you have. You often hear billionaires talk about the power of this. They easily can be fooled into thinking they are always right because people want to impress them. The truth is that someone will know they are wrong but just not tell them out of fear.
Real friends celebrate with you but they never just buy into all of the hype. They shoot straight with you all of the time. Sometimes this can be your parents, but for some, their parents are the problem.
These truth seekers you keep around help you always to put reality into perspective. Success can make you lose perspective and completely lose touch with reality at times. The people around you that you can trust and that tell you the truth will make sure that they keep you in contact with the world.
Reminder Yourself You Are Touchable
In the movie 300, the Persian man/god was taken by the god complex. He believed he was untouchable. At the end of the film when he was hit by the spear, and it made him bleed, it was the first time in his life he was reminded he could be harmed.
I strongly suggest you don’t wait as long as him to find this out. It is just not a great way to live. The best thing you can do for yourself is reminding yourself that you are not God. If you can do this on your own, others will not have to do it for you.
Steve Jobs once said that reminding himself that he was going to die one day was the best way for him to live his life to the fullest. When you think you are untouchable, you can’t live life to the fullest because you think you have all the time and power in the world.
As an athlete, this means that you remind yourself that any day your coach could bench you. You could have a career-ending injury; you could lose your prestige at any moment. All a sudden you have no reason to have a big head, and all of your confidence get shattered. You can be touched, and reminding yourself of that during success is essential.
When you feel your head getting a bit big understand that there is a difference between being cocky vs. being confident. Confidence is the right amount of belief, and it is justified, being cocky is having too much of it an setting up your downfall.
The best way to combat this is my first training like you are number 2. Keep that hunger that made you cocky in the first place. Then you want to keep excellent people around that you trust to tell you the truth. Lastly, you need to remind yourself that no matter how good you are you can still die one day. Doing these three things will keep you on track to the path of more success.