What do you have to prove? Most importantly, who are you trying to prove it to? Many of us get caught in that trap where we are trying to ‘show’ those who don’t believe in us that we really do have what it takes. We want to ‘prove’ to the naysayers that they were wrong about us. We need to defend our choices and show them that we know what we are doing.
But, why do they matter so much?
Validation and acknowledgement are powerful forces. We all need positive reinforcement and it’s wonderful when we get it. However, if we get too wrapped up in showing and proving and defending ourselves, we lose sight of what really matters. We sacrifice our independence as we grow more and more dependent on what others think about us. We lose sight of our vision as we try to show and prove ourselves worthy of their admiration.
A few posts ago, I talked about making a u-turn, what happens when we realize that, for whatever reason, we are on the wrong track and we need to readjust. Sometimes we need to make a u-turn or get on another highway all together.
One of the things that can stop us from making that needed change is placing too much weight on what other people think or say. We don’t want to look as if we were wrong about our own path. “What will they think,” we wonder. Will they think us flighty, foolish or maybe even failures? So we stay on the wrong path, knowing that it’s the wrong path and all the while hoping that somehow going in the wrong direction will somehow become right.
We let others dictate our actions, which dictate our direction which dictates our destiny. Who’s in control now?
Letting go of the need to prove or show something to others is a vital part of achieving success on your own terms. You can’t change anyone’s outlooks or thoughts. You can’t make anyone see anything they don’t want to see. And good luck getting anyone to admit they were wrong.
Yours is a race with just one runner. You. Show yourself how good you are and what you are capable of. Prove to yourself that you do have what it takes. Will they come around? Maybe and maybe not? But stay true to yourself and the right people will eventually come around to give you the validation you crave.
Living life on your own terms means realizing that those terms are yours and not theirs.
Who are they anyway!?!