In Australia there is a concept called “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. It basically refers to the culture where Australians cut down people who are seen as being too successful and prominent. We cut tall poppies down to size. We don’t like people to “big-note” themselves either. That means don’t blow your own trumpet, don’t do too well and don’t be too smart. The result is, we not only cut other people down to size but also ourselves.
I remember being a primary school student being quizzed by the librarian. I had plagiarised a blurb on the back of a book (god forbid) and she was asking if I even knew the meaning of a particular word that I had used. “Writhing”. I remember shuffling around, not having the confidence to tell her I did, and then saying “no”. Only to be further chastised for not taking the initiative to find out the word’s meaning. But I also remember being more concerned with people thinking that I was a smarty pants, because I knew the word’s definition. I didn’t want to look too smart.
Fast forward 30 odd years and I sit here contemplating the effect that the “Tall poppy Syndrome” is having on all the individuals who choose to let it affect the way they live. Whether it is by conscious choice or not, the result is the majority of the population are afraid to do too well and afraid stand out.
This belief system is preventing us from being our best selves… we may as well be punching ourselves in the face because that would be equally as useful.
I’m making a conscious decision to defy the tall poppy syndrome. To encourage myself and each of you to strive for your absolute best. I am going to aim to stand out in the world! I am going to work on a belief system that I am awesome and you are awesome too. Spread the word, I’m not cutting down tall poppies, I’m blowing that shit up! Fuck it, we are all MAGNOLIAS now!
Image by Annie Spratt, Unsplash
I want to hear how awesome you are! Tell me in the comments section below.