Are you always, in some way, trying to prove yourself? Are you over preparing, showing up intent on proving your expertise or how much value you can add?
Do you arrive at a meeting with an agenda to prove how much you know and how indispensable you are?
Do you arm yourself with facts and figures and other supporting evidence to prove that you’ve done your research?
Do you tend to assert unequivocally that your way is the best way or the only way, that you know the answers, that you’re the unqualified expert?
Are you exhausted yet?
Perhaps you were raised in an environment where you learned that you needed to prove yourself to get ahead. You played a game for where the aim was to climb an invisible ladder that led to the next place. You learned what to do to excel in school, to get into the next school, to get the next job, the promotion, to fit in with a specific group.
You knew what you needed to do to get ahead, and you did it.
You’re still doing it, because it’s become a habit. You don’t know how to not try to prove yourself, to prove you’re worthy of a seat a the table, the corner office, the big bonus.
In our desire to prove ourselves, we also nurture a belief that eventually we will reach a point where this is no longer necessary. But this point no longer comes because the more we prove ourselves the more we feel like we must prove ourselves to main our status.
And then we carry a double burden: trying to prove ourselves while also trying to avoid revealing the shakiness of our foundation.
The irony of always trying to prove yourself is that it never takes you to the feeling of empowerment and mastery you seek. In fact, it leaves you feeling disempowered and like you’ll never measure up.
And you won’t.
Because, as long as you’re trying to prove yourself, to prove your worth, you’re submitting to a metric and a standard created by someone else.
That standard can change without notice, and this is what leads to the chronic feeling of uncertainty and anxiety that shuts down the nervous system and keeps you in a state of paralysis, procrastination, and perfectionism.
It’s exhausting. Not only for you, but for everyone around you.
You’ve been to the meeting where someone else is trying to prove themselves. What’s it like on the receiving end?
The person trying to prove themselves sucks all the oxygen out of the room; they don’t allow any space for anyone else. Their energy is grasping and needy. Eventually, people stop paying attention because it’s exhausting.
You’ll never prove yourself, so stop trying.
Here’s where to focus your energy instead:
Connect with Yourself
Get to know who you are without all the expectations around who you need to be. Learn to identify your driving needs. Find your sources of motivation other than meeting someone else’s expectations.
You know what it feels like to be around someone who embodies deep self-acceptance. They show up fully present and attentive to all in the room because they are not in their head in their agenda for how to prove themselves. As they walk into a room they carry an energy that magnetizes people toward them.
Look at the people you most admire and you might find that one of the qualities you admire about them is their clear-headed decision-making. They don’t waver. They don’t ask 10 people for opinions to gain consensus. They don’t crowdsource their persona life decisions on Twitter.
When you trust yourself, you stop searching for the mythical “best practice” or “right way” because you recognize the only way that matters for you is your way.
When you connect with yourself, accept yourself, and trust yourself you will find your sovereignty: your sacred power that can never be taken from you.
Stop proving yourself
Find power in acceptance
Self-trust is sovereign