Have you ever been guilty of doing something to PROVE something to someone else; as opposed to doing it because you really wanted to?
I have no doubts we have all been down that path.
Today I want to take you on an exploratory journey down this proving path to see what it might be costing you in your life, and in relationship to your FULFILLMENT, HAPPINESS, and EVOLUTION.
Are you ready for this wee inner journey?
Then, let the lesson begin.
Let’s start with the BENEFITS
I was actually inspired to write on this topic because it came up in a recent coaching session, with a beautiful client of mine, who is very interested in making a major professional transition. And before we got into the specifics of the transition, I wanted to understand why they made certain choices, which had them sticking with a job they mostly disliked, for as long as they had.
This is where the NEEDING TO PROVE subject came up.
In our exploration, I decided I wanted to establish the actual pluses and minuses of the choice (or habit) where you have to PROVE YOURSELF.
The main positive I came up with was that it is good fuel to launch yourself out of inertia, and create some momentum.
For example; I can remember when my uncle told me I was stupid to resign from the Australian Army (I was a Major at the time) as he said it was so hard to make the equivalent money, and have the equivalent work benefits in the public marketplace. My thoughts were: “Don’t tell me what I am capable of, and just wait – I will prove to you, that you are completely wrong!“
So the proving and the fuel generated (mostly from pride), supported me in taking the plunge and resigning from the Army after 14-years service. Which eventually lead to me working on Olympic Games around the world, making a lot more money than in the Army, and having a much more colourful experience. All while not getting shot at – which I thought was a huge plus to the Army gig.
So…sometimes PROVING something to someone can provide you will the fuel you need to overcome obstacles or doubts.
However it is a low-grade fuel source, best used for take-off, but not for maintenance, as it requires you to stay at a lower level of consciousness: Pride. Which holds you back from your evolutionary potential (and more joy, love and peace).
Now the down-sides
I already mentioned about it being a low-grade fuel source.
This means that you need to keep feeding the beast. You have to push yourself (building up your indignation that someone would doubt your abilities), rather than being PULLED along by something that you have chosen, out of your love for it, and which is inspiring your heart into action.
Whenever we are trying to PROVE something to someone outside of ourselves we also have some inner work to do.
If you go inwards and backwards in time, you usually get to a core limiting belief along the lines of: “I need to prove I am worthy of love, respect and appreciation, by doing XYZ”.
Obviously this belief is not true and does not serve you.
When we have a belief, which compels us to do something (or be something), which can only be validated by something or someone OUTSIDE of ourselves, who we have no control over; we are giving away our autonomy, and the keys to our happiness to someone else.
Your evolutionary path is having the courage to be and do what you most desire, REGARDLESS of what other people think. You are not trying to prove anything to anyone. That is the Ego speaking and below you.
It turns out that Pride, Ego and Proving Yourself love hanging out together, and are more likely to be found at the superficial cool kids party on a Friday night; rather than being of service at the soup kitchen.
Another down-side of ‘proving yourself’ might mean you follow someone else’s path. You might be so focused on proving something to someone, that you miss the turn-off to the special path that life created just for you.
What about ‘proving just to yourself’?
This distinction came up in the conversation with my client, and I am glad it did.
Because it’s a great point.
What if I am just trying to prove to myself I can do something.
I say – awesome!
But…with a footnote.
What part of yourself are you trying to prove something to?
Is it your ego?
Or is it the part of you that loves to learn, to grow, to be playful and is exceptionally curious?
This is where we need to be 100% honest with ourselves.
As soon as the proving to self shows signs of friction, self-judgement, justification, dishonesty, or any physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual harm to self, then it is time to call off the game, as you have most likely slipped back into proving your self-worth to your ego.
The game of proving to yourself is not about showing your worth. You already have that.
It is about showing to yourself what you are truly capable of, when you stretch into your full potential.
It can be great to do the proving to yourself to help keep you growing, stretching and evolving, but stay conscious in the process as to who your master is. You want it to be your heart and higher mind, and not your pride or ego.
My parting thoughts
It is a great question to ask yourself when you are doing anything that is challenging, or time consuming, or energy consuming.
Am I doing this out of LOVE or because I am trying to PROVE something to someone (even if that someone is myself)?
You might even go deeper with a question like: “WHY am I trying to prove myself in this case?”
There is so much more to uncover and therefore grow from, when we ask deeper questions.
My theory is that we are pure light and love at our core.
And the only thing stopping our inner radiance shining more, is thoughts, emotions and habits that don’t serve us.
So this inner question about your motivations is a great place to start.
The most profound changes to our lives most likely come from the inside out.
Choose to do what lights your heart up.
Have a superb day and a glorious week.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.