Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

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Find your own path

Q: Is the success of a sibling a blessing or a curse? Last week Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo acknowledged that it hasn't been easy to be the half brother of President Barack Obama. How difficult is it to live with the success of a brother or a sister, even if they aren't famous?

Inherent in the relationship between siblings is a natural competition: "Mom loves you more than she loves me," or "Dad always sides with you," or worse, "Why don't you be more like your brother?"

Amy explains how she fought neck and neck to keep up with the scholastic success of her brother. Then, one day, she woke up and said, "Okay, I give up. You win." Once she gave up, she says, she freed herself to find her own path. Her brother went on to Harvard and the life of a professor, and she went on to be a sculptor and painter -- a success matching her own skills and passion.

If you step out of the shadow and find your own way, a successful sibling is merely someone on another path, someone to celebrate in his/her own right, but not someone in competition with you. We each must be true to our own definition of success and celebrate ourselves.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  November 9, 2009; 1:46 PM ET  | Category:  shadow of success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Climb your own mountain | Next: Competition starts early

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