What Are We Trying to Prove?
A topic which has come up a lot from the ladies I am working with is that feeling of having to prove yourself all the time. This is very often linked with a number of other factors :
- Wanting to show that we deserve to have what we have or be where we are.
- The feeling of trying to conform or fit in with others perceptions of how life should be lived and how we should behave in certain situations.
- The need for that external confirmation or approval.
With all of these confidence in self has been a trending factor. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.
Do I Deserve What I Have ? - Imposter Syndrome.
In this we get something good - a promotion or a nice house or partner and we worked hard for it but then we seem to want to play it down. Feelings of worry that we have blagged our way here come to mind. In fact we are focusing what others are thinking about us. Are they judging us ? Will they see through us and see that we shouldn’t be in this lifestyle? Will they think that we are showing off?
All of these thoughts can change how we approach the situation and are unhelpful in being our best and make us feel miserable in the long run. Rather than worry about the views of others start to focus on how you got there.
You worked hard. You deserve it. You have gratitude for what you have. Those that support you and matter will also have these positive thoughts for you. If others do judge you then why are they doing this? - most likely they are feeling insecure and have their own issues. These are for them to work through.
Conforming - it is natural to want to fit into a group - we are a tribal species but for some the feeling of trying to show they fit into a group or social structure causes a lot of anxiety. We start to hide our true personality and try and mask it by taking on the traits and behaviours of others. We know that when you try to mask those true behaviours of your own over a period of time it will be exhausting .. and generally you will not be good at it and can be seen as dis-genuine.
Ask yourself - Why do I want to change my behaviour? What is it that I am trying to achieve by doing this? What am I worried about if I be myself and do things my way?
Tell Yourself - These are the great qualities I have ( list them out here). This is what I can offer others. Now imagine dealing with a situation in way that you believe is right and see how it feels - it should feel comfortable and natural - people will see you are being yourself and again those that matter will support and respect you for it.
Seeking Approval - In a similar vein we look to others to say we are doing the right thing. Often this is due to lacking confidence in our own abilities and can stem back to many factors in our previous life experiences. Being focused on external praise limits us in exploring new adventures and enjoying our own being. Of course it’s great to get a compliment or a thank you but it doesn’t have to drive you.
Spend some time thinking about why you are wanting this type of approval and what would happen if you didn’t get it ? - Would it change the situation ? - Would you do any worse? Would you have enjoyed it less?
Focus on looking at your own efforts and being able to give yourself praise and approval. Tell yourself what you did well.
At the end of the day it’s not a bad thing to want to prove yourself - but do it initially for yourself and not for others.
Do it in a way that is true to you and not how you think others think you should do it and overall enjoy being you. #findyourroar.