The world we live in can be competitive. It’s like a big race, with everyone scrambling to get to their destination first, no matter the cost. It can all be very overwhelming, and it’s easy to get swept up in that mindset. Spending energy proving yourself to others becomes a drain on your psyche.
This mindset often involves acts designed to impress others. As you compare yourself to your peers and strive to do well in the eyes of your superiors, you may feel as though you must prove yourself worthy to the people around you.
But your worth isn’t dictated by how well you play the part of “being proven.” If anything, it’s quite the opposite. Your value is something you inherently have and that you build upon, regardless of what everyone says about you.
Still, resisting the pull of society’s self-worth traps can be difficult. If you need more convincing, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six reasons why you should stop proving yourself to others.
6 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Others
1. Societal Norms Don’t Have To Dictate Your Life
Societal norms rule the world, just as their name suggests. They’re the norms that we accept as standard, even when they shouldn’t be. Some criteria may be helpful, but many of them are restrictive, and when we’re expected to prove ourselves, we often follow those patterns. Here’s why that’s unhelpful:
· A Lot Of Ideas Of Worth Are Materialistic
Typical indicators of success can be quite materialistic. People may attempt to measure your worth based on your possessions or wealth. However, the facts are simple – these items matter very little when it comes to your worth!
· People Will Think They’re Above You No Matter Where You Go
No matter where you wind up in the world, there will be people who act like they are above you. Spending your life trying to prove yourself to people is essentially setting yourself up for failure from the get-go. Why give in to their flawed ideas when you can make your way?
· You Can’t Please Everyone
It is impossible to please all people, and it is even more impossible to please society. Society asks different things every day and multiple contradictory ideas at the same time. It is simply not possible to please the world, so learn when it’s best to walk away and stop wasting your time.
2. Failure And Falling Behind Are Part Of Success
People often say that failure is a stepping stone to success, but few realize the full extent of how true that is. Until you learn what doesn’t work, and until you’ve learned from experiences, your chances of having anything more than fleeting success are slim. Failure can have a substantial positive effect on your future trajectory for success, provided that you learn from it!
On top of that, let’s not forget that human beings are, in general, ever-changing. This transformation means that you’ll go through all sorts of different situations in your life in your journey, and during some of them, you will be wrong, and you will find yourself struggling.
That’s all just part of the overall process. Striving for constant perfection is unrealistic and unhealthy. Plus, it can cause you to be so afraid of failure that you stop taking risks and give up on trying. Learning to embrace failure and accept that it’s going to have to be a part of your life allows you to find silver livings and positive thinking, even in less-than-ideal times.
3. Your Life Is About You
Your life is yours and yours alone. It’s for you to decide all its intricacies, and while you can listen to the advice and input of others, they should not have the ability to dictate the result. It’s fine to keep in mind outside assistance as long as it doesn’t control your entire life – because your life only belongs to you! Consider these points:
· You Get To Define Yourself
No one has the right to judge you or decide what you are. It’s your privilege and responsibility to define yourself. Consider your values, your opinions, and your goals, and think about who you want to be. No one can take that from you.
· You Have To Deal With The End Result Of Your Actions
Let’s say someone is being especially tedious about trying to make you do what they want. Before you give in, stop and think about it. This person’s life is separate from yours. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to deal with the end result of what you do in most cases. If this doesn’t affect them, why should you listen to them first over your thoughts?
· It’s Really No One’s Business
Plenty of people like to poke their noses in the business of other people. If someone’s doing that to you, remember that they aren’t entitled to that privilege. They can think what they want, but so can you. It’s your life, and therefore you get to decide who influences it.
4. Everyone Is Different And Complex
People are unique. They come from all walks of life. As such, it’s impossible to keep proving yourself as each person you meet will have a different set of experiences, beliefs, and opinions. The complexity of humankind is such that proving yourself to them is a futile task. Here’s why:
· What Works For Others May Not Work For You
Sometimes, you may feel tempted to prove yourself by showing someone that you can do what they do. The issue is that you may get a completely different result than them, even if you imitate them completely! Things that work for other people may simply fail to cut it for you because of how different each individual can be.
· Others Can Project Onto You
People who you want to prove yourself to may just be projecting their thoughts and insecurities onto you. It’s not that they genuinely, with their entire being, believe you should be better – it’s that they can’t stop themselves from using you as their reflection or canvas. Proving yourself to anyone like that would be pointless!
· You Don’t Know What Others Are Thinking Or Doing
Caring so much what other people think is a risky game because you can never tell for sure what’s going on in their heads. Do they have ulterior motives? Are they manipulating you? Are they trying to change you? If you don’t know their motives, it’s tough to follow through.
· People Change, Often
People constantly grow, change, and evolve. Plenty of philosophers have even stated that the world and our selves are constantly changing in a “flux” of sorts. This means people’s thoughts and opinions of you and what you do will change over time, so why bother proving yourself when they’ll likely want something different soon? This also speaks of something to fill you with positive thinking: even if you aren’t happy with yourself now, you can transform yourself naturally, however you wish.
5. The People Who Matter Don’t Need You To Prove Yourself
The people in your life who are worth proving yourself to are often, ironically, the people who don’t want you to prove yourself to them. They care for you, trust you, and even love you for who you are, and they would never want or need you to change or act differently just to “pass” in their eyes.
These people would never expect you to change who you are, but they would also never stifle your growth. You would be able to quickly improve and develop over time, and these people will always stick by you – though they will call you out for wrong or harmful actions, of course!
Besides, after you realize all of that, you’ll likely realize something else – most people aren’t as concerned with your shortcomings as you think. So put on that positive thinking! People are often too worried about their selves to focus so much on the people around them.
6. Only You Have The Power
The power to control your life is 100% in your hands. No one can take that from you. This ability comes with its fair share of urgency, and that can be scary, but it’s also a powerful and beautiful thing. Here are some things to consider:
· You Are Responsible For Your Life
All the situations you have ever been in have one thing in common: you. You have the responsibility to realize your urgency and ability to control your behavior, actions, how you react, and what you do next. No matter what, you have the power to do something about the situation you’re in. Why should you spend your time proving yourself when you have all that ability within you?
· You Know The Path You Want To Walk
You are the only person in the whole world who really, truly knows what path you want to walk. The people who you want to impress have no idea what your true desires are, so why waste the effort trying to show off to them? Take steps that make sense with your goals instead.