If you knew you had nothing to prove, what would you do differently?
Have you ever felt you need to prove yourself?
I spent years either hiding I was sick because I thought I had to prove it and proving it was too much effort—I didn’t look ill. I went about my life with a burden of, I must pretend I’m not sick, or I must prove I’m as sick as I am—each an impossible task with non-medical professionals. There are even times when it’s difficult with medical professionals – for heaven’s sake, do not attend a doctor’s appointment with makeup on!
Proving Myself Sick
I have what they call an invisible illness, so publicly proving it is what it is, is challenging. After all, you can’t look into my bowel! I bet I’m not the only one who has done this: called in sick to work and faked a “sick’ voice, even though the truth is, in my case, I’ve been sat on the loo all night crying in agony or nursing my swollen joints with hot/cold packs, and none of it remotely impacts my voice.
Approaching anything in life from a space of ‘proving’ is never a healthy space. Proving leads to striving, which leads to exhaustion/overdoing it/stress/perfectionism, none of which is fun and ultimately results in illness or, in my case, more sickness.
From the youngest age, many of us have been raised to prove ourselves:
Have you been a good girl?
Are you getting good grades?
Is that enough work?
Are you sure you’re artistic?
Are you really sick—here, have a cold pack, it’ll soon go away.
Then there are the assumptions. We, humans, love to make them. We think we know what each human around us thinks. We know we’re not mind-readers and yet we have grandiose psychic expectations of one another regardless. We’re either working to prove an assumption right or to prove an assumption wrong.
They assume I’m:
- Sicker than I am, so I’ll prove to them I’m more than capable, pushing and overstretching myself to the point of complete exhaustion.
- Not as sick as I am so I’ll prove to them how sick I am by faking my voice and looking like crap.
- Going to fail as a writer. I’ll prove them right by not doing the work.
Stop Proving Yourself
What if you stopped doing things from the point of “proving”? What if you also stopped assuming you know what everyone else is thinking and simply live your life from the point of being, and of honouring and trusting that you ARE experiencing what you’re experiencing, that you are living YOUR truth.
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone, least of all yourself.
Imagine if we stop expecting others to prove things to us too. If we approach each other with love, respecting that what is shared is our truth and we’re not the narrator of their story. What if we participate in that world?
If you KNEW that you didn’t have to prove yourself, what would you do differently in your life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or via email. I love to hear from you.
With all of my love,
PS: If you’re ready to let go of proving yourself, but aren’t sure how to go about it, join me for a conversation -x-
Photo Credit: Kristin Little