Choice consciousness Emotional Negative Emotions Personality Relationship

Proving, Pride, People-Pleasing and Projecting and The True Cost

I hope you enjoyed the Health Tips over the last couple of weeks.

This week I want to explore a topic that comes up very often with the coaching clients I work with, and which I also observe with friends and family.

It is a whole mix of “P” words.

I have talked at length about how PRIDE holds us back from the full expression of our true potential and its relationship to our ability to raise of our level of consciousness. So although Pride is in the mix of the P’s I won’t detail it again in this article.

The other day I was with a client and we really started to explore why they are doing what they are doing.

And whether it was what they really wanted to do, or were they motivated by other reasons (a few of those “P’s” for example) and what was the cost.

So that is the catalyst for where we are heading today.

The PROVING thing

So here is the thing – which I find is quite common.

People (fully-fledged adults) who are trying to PROVE – without even being fully aware or conscious of it – to their parents (whether they are still alive or not) that they are worthy of their parent/s love and acceptance, by doing something or achieving something, which they think their parent/s would approve of, or be proud of.

I have 40+ year old clients who are still trying to prove to their parents (or a single parent) they are worthy.

Most often without their conscious awareness.

And in the majority of cases, doing something they are not really interested in doing.

Don’t you find that a little odd, or a whole bunch of crazy?

Making choices, and doing things to prove to mum or dad or that sh#tty teacher you had in 5th grade or a mean-spirited aunt, that you are worthy of love and acceptance, when you are an adult.

If you are honest with yourself, right now, and realise you are still making choices and taking actions in order to meet with the approval of your parents, it time to STOP doing that right now!

It’s time to live your own life.

Make your own choices.

Do what lights your own soul up.

Take your own path.

Stop making choices or choosing jobs or career paths because you want to prove to your parents (or the likes) that you are good enough.

This proving stuff might be okay (and not so surprising) when you are in your late teens or early 20’s, but if you are getting to the end of your 20’s and beyond, it is now time to step fully, boldly and un-apologetically into ‘adulthood’.

You don’t need to prove anything to someone else.

If you want to prove anything to anyone, prove to yourself that you can be greater than you were yesterday, last week, last month and last year.

And my final point…trying to prove something to someone else (who may not even notice or care), by doing something that does not light you up is frankly a HUGE WASTE OF ENERGY AND LIFE FORCE.


Unfortunately, I see this a lot.

Most often it is a subconscious protective mechanism (learned at a young age as a survival strategy), which has turned into a habit, and essentially says in the back of your mind: “If I make these other people happy, I will be loved, appreciated and feel more worthy about myself.”

The act itself can be a noble thing, but it’s often motivated by the wrong driver.

It is a beautiful thing to perform acts of kindness for other people.

BUT if it is done to get something in return (acceptance, approval, connection, love), it is a less than optimal strategy.

The reasons it is sub-optimal can be:

  • You can’t guarantee you will get in return what you feel you need or want.
  • You are more likely to get taken advantage of by the unscrupulous.
  • You are out of alignment with authenticity and genuine kindness (you are doing it because you want something back) and therefore are unlikely to feel fulfilment at a deeper level.
  • You are depending on things outside of yourself to make you feel a certain way, which you have no control over.
  • Often the energy ROI is LOW (i.e. lots of energy wasted, for very little feel good factor).

If you are someone who does the people-pleasing thing, here is a new strategy you might adopt:

  1. Search for the root cause of why you feel you need external approval (and do the inner work to resolve or reduce that).
  2. Choose to do things for people because you ACTUALLY WANT TO.
  3. Try small acts of kindness without any expectations of something in return (to see how this feels).
  4. Try saying ‘no’ more often and see what happens.
  5. Do something very self-pleasing and see how that feels (e.g. take a day off and head down the beach, have a spa day, take yourself out for a relaxing meal, etc.)


Here is my theory.

If we are trying to prove, people-please or worry too much about what others think of us, we create a persona of ourselves, which we think is acceptable to others (parents, partners, family, friends, workplace, society, etc.).

I call this a PROJECTION.

It requires a constant energy input to maintain this projection, and unlike the real thing, it is not tangible, so it lacks substance, and therefore real power.

This constant energy feed drains you of life force to play the game of life (think 25% less energy to get through your day).

The opposite of a projection, which requires no additional energy to maintain, is being YOU.

You don’t need to use extra energy to be YOU.

Yes, you will need energy to be YOU doing awesome stuff in the world.

But you are not wasting your energy (e.g. 25% plus), attention and life force, by projecting an image of yourself, which is not the real YOU.

Own YOU.

Own your imperfections (which often are the things which make you unique or special).

Own your successes and failures.

Own your results.

And KNOW the less energy you waste on creating and maintaining a PROJECTION to please other people, the more LIFE FORCE you have to express your inner greatness, and be of true service to the world.

A Summary and Parting words

Are you in the habit of proving, people-pleasing or projecting?

Step 1 is to become self-aware.

Step 2 is to do something about it.

Use my suggestions, or reach out for a helping hand, as this stuff is costing you wasted energy.

Energy you could be putting into more creative pursuits.

That is my greatest desire for you – that you shine like a supernova from the inside out.

And you do the best version of YOU ever!

Have a beautiful day and a YOU-pleasing week.

Take care,


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