“ If you’re constantly trying to prove your worth to someone you have already forgotten your value” – Unknown
Honestly, it’s easy to get stressed out by trying to do everything to prove that you are good at what you do. Whether it be at work, where you want to be the best employee. Or at home, proving to yourself to a parent. Your parent may always compare you to your more successful sibling or cousin. It’s easy to overextend yourself in these situations. And sometimes we look down on ourselves because we don’t measure up. There can be tremendous pressure to meet others expectations. This can become second nature when it’s turns into your daily goal.
I’ve gathered some expert advice to help you overcome the need to prove yourself. So you can be stress-free and a lot happier with how you decide to live your life.
It’s a process
Trying to be a pro at everything from the beginning is unrealistic. It’s key to remember that you’re a work in progress.
“ Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing, not while you’re sitting at the top.” Life coach Marc Chernoff from Marc and Angels Hacks explains.
When we step back and become at peace with the process we can, “Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. Don’t rush through your life and miss it. Forget where everyone else is in relation to you. This isn’t a race. You get there a little at a time, not all at once.” says Chernoff.
Believe in yourself
Remember what you want matters. What you think matters.
“Have a point of view. Don’t use minimizing phrases like ‘I was just thinking …’ or ‘I could be wrong, but …’ Make statements rather than asking questions. Cut all of that self-deprecating language out of your vocabulary and simply say what you want to say – and do it with confidence,” says Laurie Zaucha, Vice President of human resources and organizational development for Paychex (in an interview with Bustle over email).
Do it for you
“If you’re sure of your own talents, abilities, and accomplishments others’ opinions won’t matter to you much but if you’re secretly unsure of your talents, abilities, and accomplishments these opinions will matter to you very much indeed” says Michael Schreiner – the owner of Evolution Counseling, who has a masters degree from Seattle University in community mental health counseling
Also, your personal life will benefit when you’re true to who you are. “The strong felt need for the approval of others can therefore serve as a vital clue that you probably have some work to do. Your time and energy would be much better spent focusing on your own development than on proving yourself to others. Once you get to a certain point of development you’ll no longer care about that approval anyway so you might as well stop caring about it now and decide instead to go about proving yourself to yourself.” Schreiner says.
“By understanding that there is abundant room for growth, improvement, and success, you can wean yourself from the constant need for validation,” says Melody Wilding, LMSW who is a licensed social worker, Master Coach, and teaches Human Behavior at The City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College
Shifting our attention puts the focus inward instead of outward. “By working to free yourself from approval-seeking behaviors at work, you’re honoring yourself and your needs and setting yourself up for long-term happiness,” Wilding says.
Be the best you
Anxiety, without a doubt, can be a familiar feeling when we try to prove ourselves to others. “According to the Social Anxiety Institute, around 7% of the US population are suffering from Social Anxiety at any one time. One of the key aspects of this is a fear of being judged negatively” says Vanessa-Jane Chapman, works at a university and has a Master’s Degree in Education
“A big part of confidence is being comfortable with yourself. It’s pretty hard to feel comfortable with yourself if you let the opinions of others define you.” Chapman says. “It is somewhat ironic, but when you stop seeking approval, you are more likely to receive it. Being confident and comfortable with yourself is an attractive quality. By becoming self-assured, rather than self-obsessed, you will more likely gain the approval that you no longer crave.”
The challenges you face are part of your growth and story. You got this.
Which expert advice are you going to use?