Humans have an innate desire to be accepted, to belong, to fit in.
We often go to great lengths to prove ourselves to others so that they see us as worthy of their time, attention, love.
But what if I told you that you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone?
What if I told you that you are already enough, just as you are?
Would you believe me?
In this article, we’ll explore 15 reasons why there is ZERO need to prove yourself to anyone.
If you’re ready to experience the liberating and fulfilling world of authenticity and self-acceptance, keep reading.
1. It’s your life, not theirs.
Only you get to choose how you live, and only you get to decide what is best for you.
Many of us place so much emphasis on living up to other people’s expectations that we forget what we want and need from life.
Life is too short to spend it focusing on what other people want you to do or expect you to do. If it doesn’t bring you joy, or if it’s at the cost of your wellbeing, it’s simply not worth it.
Your life is for you to fill however you want. The best way to be successful is to be happy—so commit to that and don’t let the pressure to conform stand in your way!
2. Success means different things to different people.
It can be hard to ignore social norms and unsubscribe from typical notions of success.
That said, your life becomes so much more enjoyable when you decide for yourself what success means to you.
You get to decide what is important to you, and you get to set the milestones and standards you want to be held accountable to.
Other people might believe that success means having a great career, being in a relationship, or having kids. If those things matter to you, by all means make them a goal. If not, move on!
Remember that there are so many versions of the “dream life,” and it’s up to you to pick the one you want the most and run toward it.
3. You can’t control how other people see you.
Ultimately, no matter how hard you try, you can’t force people to think or act in a certain way.
When you’re not feeling confident or like you have something to prove, it can seem like you’re jumping through endless hoops to impress those around you.
You go all out, stopping at nothing to show just how successful or funny or interesting you are.
Try to remember that, for some people, you will never do enough to impress them.
They’ve made up their minds and are too stubborn or jealous to shift their perspectives.
Rather than pouring your energy into trying to control other people’s perceptions of you, focus on how you feel about yourself. That’s what matters in life!
4. You don’t need external validation.
What would happen if we just… moved on from external validation?
So many of us put pressure on ourselves to seem perfect, successful, and happy. Which is understandable.
But this can turn into a bit of an obsession with getting likes on your perfectly-curated Instagram posts. And it all spirals downwards from there.
So, when we combine our self-inflicted pressure with that of those around us, it’s no wonder we become increasingly reliant on external validation to make us feel good.
Instead of focusing on how other people can make you feel, think about how you can make yourself feel good.
What makes you feel valuable? Where do you get your self-worth from?
If you love cooking, set yourself a food-related goal (like attempting a tricky recipe) and relish how good it feels to achieve it.
If you’re active, give yourself a physical challenge and take note of how validating it is to achieve that goal.
The more you can rely on yourself and your actions to feel good, the less bothered you’ll be about proving yourself to other people.
5. The people you’re comparing yourself to aren’t real.
Online personas are just that—a persona; a curation of life highlights, with a heavy filter to boot.
If you’re the kind of person who compares themselves to their friends and the people they follow online, you’re setting yourself up for misery.
You’re comparing your real life to the enhanced, not-fully-honest lives of people online.
Try to avoid using other people’s Instagrams as benchmarks for success or timelines for your own goals.
Remember that you only get to see what other people want to show you.
Next time you feel the need to prove something to those around you, remember that they’re all feeling the same way.
6. The people who matter won’t need you to prove anything.
If you feel like you’re constantly trying to impress those around you, you might not be surrounding yourself with the right people.
The people who love you and are worthy of your time and energy will already know how amazing you are, without you having to work hard to prove it.
If the friends you spend time with can’t see how incredible you are, or if you feel like there’s pressure to be seen in a certain way by them, it might be time to reevaluate your friendship.
You deserve to be surrounded by people who already see your worth and would never make you question that.
You don’t need to be on guard all the time or put on a show to prove to others how great you are.
7. Other people might be jealous.
One of the main reasons to let go of other people’s opinions of your life is that a lot of negativity or judgement is driven by jealousy.
Got a friend who judges you for travelling and never settling down? They’re probably jealous because they’ve been in a dead-end relationship for years and wish they had the freedom to get out there and enjoy the single life!
Jealousy can creep into our mindsets for lots of reasons—you’ve probably experienced it yourself.
You might have put someone down because you resent that they have something you don’t.
Equally, others will be doing this to you.
8. You’re the one who must live with your choices.
It’s all well and good to make decisions you think other people will respect you for, but what happens next?
You’re the one left dealing with the consequences, not them.
If you live your life for other people, or to prove certain things, you’re going to end up living with outcomes that you don’t necessarily want or know how to cope with.
Don’t do things to impress others unless those things impress you, too!
9. There parameters for success are always changing.
Speak to your parents or grandparents and you’ll soon realize just how much society has shifted since they were your age.
At one point in time, for example, women’s opportunities for success were centered around giving birth to male heirs. Then it was being able to vote and work. Now it’s being a working mother with the perfect figure who “has it all.”
Societal norms and expectations are constantly changing, so there’s no point in getting bogged down in trying to achieve any specific version of success.
Instead, evaluate what success means to you—that’s the most consistent, opportunity-filled, and exciting way to live life.
Do it on your terms, at your pace!
10. Materialism means nothing.
“Don’t go broke pretending to be rich.”
We could just leave it there as this is such a powerful statement… But there’s a lot to say and it’s such an important mindset shift to make.
A lot of us are trying to put out a certain image of ourselves, but what’s going on behind closed doors is very different.
Maybe you’re spending money on meals you can’t afford so that you can keep up with your friends. Maybe you’re posting about holidays that have secretly maxed out your credit card on because you want to look cool and successful.
It’s fine to choose the debt you want to be in (deciding what is worth being in debt for), but make sure you’re doing it because you want to, and not because of how it will look to other people.
11. Only you know what sets your soul on fire.
Choosing the life you want should never be about how it looks to other people; it should be about how it makes you feel.
There are so many pre-carved paths that we’re expected to take—university, married and with kids by 30, owning a house, having savings.
While these paths may work for some people, they don’t need to be the ones you choose.
The best route to success is following your heart.
Do what makes you happy and you’ll be more successful than people with millions in the bank but zero fire in their souls.
12. We all move at our own pace.
It can be hard to remember this when all you see on social media is your friends hitting “life goals” before you.
If your friendship group is full of new mums and your calendar is full of weddings, it can be a constant reminder of who’s “achieving” what, and when.
Rather than getting bogged down in expectations, accept that we all move along our own timelines at our pace.
What’s right for other people isn’t always going to be right for you.
Life is all about timing, and a big part of that is accepting that you can’t control everything all the time.
Things happen when you’re ready for them to happen, and that doesn’t look the same for everyone.
13. You know your own limitations.
Everyone struggles with something.
If there is something you find difficult and you’re worried that other people are going to judge you for it, try to remember that they also have areas they need to improve on!
It can feel isolating or discouraging when you can’t achieve a certain goal because you find part of it challenging. The truth is, everyone experiences this, just over different goals.
The people you’re worried are judging you are also people with their own difficulties and limitations.
Giving yourself a break will help you realize that this is all part of being human!
14. Life is a constant journey of self-improvement.
It can often feel like you’re failing, especially when you compare yourself to others or feel the need to prove yourself all the time.
When we’re focused on proving ourselves to other people, we can forget to process what’s actually happening.
We get hung up on these perceptions to the extent we miss the development that’s going on inside us.
Didn’t get the promotion you wanted and feel like you’re being judged? Rather than worrying about others’ opinions, focus on what that means for you, and how you can grow and develop from the experience.
Life is all about growth, and going through rough patches is what shapes us into our strongest, more courageous selves. Embrace it!
15. You can’t please everyone!
Dita Von Teese once said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
And we couldn’t agree more.
There will always be someone who doesn’t like you or what you stand for.
When you stop and think about it, who are you trying to prove yourself to? Your partner, friends, family, coworkers?
The issue with that is that they will all have different parameters for success, and they’ll all value different things.
It’s impossible to make them all happy all the time—not that it’s your responsibility to make them happy in the first place.
By trying to prove yourself to everyone all the time, you’ll end up losing sight of who you are and what you enjoy and want from life.
Nobody will see things the exact way that you do, or the exact way each other does, so you’ll literally never be able to please everyone, regardless of how hard you try.
Although it can be a steep, uncomfortable, learning curve, stepping away from societal norms and external validation is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but we promise it will be worth it!