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8 Reasons You Have Nothing To Prove To Anyone

8 Reasons You Have Nothing To Prove To Anyone

Today’s world is difficult enough to navigate while finding true happiness. When you add in another person’s or group’s ideals about how you should live your life or what defines success and happiness, it sometimes seems nearly impossible. The urge to measure oneself by what someone else is doing, like one’s favorite rap star, writer or football player, can be overwhelming. The problem is this is a false ideal that actually leads more often to misery than to happiness. There’s always that artificial, built-in need to prove oneself to one’s boss, spouse, family, and so on.

The good news is that you can break out of this cycle and define happiness and success according to what’s right for you. You may catch some grief for it and it may not always be a comfortable journey, but you can use these eight reasons you have nothing to prove to anyone as a sorting screen to choose how you want to live your life.

1. You should judge your success by your own standards.

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Failure and Success

    In modern society, we’ve come to a highly artificial view of what success looks like. Reality TV has only bolstered these ideals, celebrating public opinion more than who has the most technical skill or proficiency. Instead of judging your life by the mass media rubric, decide what really matters to you and go for it. Even if it doesn’t work out, you will be a success by the only standard that matters—your own.

    2. Your value is not judged by external validation.

    We’d all love to set a world record, make the New York Times bestseller list, be at the top of the Fortune 100, or become the next American (Australian, British, whatever) Idol. However, these kinds of validation are external and often flawed. The best kind of success is the kind you find on your own. If you count kindness, charity, wisdom, and justice higher than money and property in your personal value scheme and live up to those ideals as often and as best you can, then your internal value is the only one that makes a difference.

    3. You cannot expect to please everyone.

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    success2

      Abraham Lincoln once quipped, “You can please all of the people some of the time, and you can please some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.” We have a cultural horror and fear of letting anyone down, ever. As a result, we take on too many tasks and make too many commitments with the end result that some of these are going to have to go by the wayside. It is acceptable to say no on occasion, especially when you’re making time for the people who really matter the most to you at the end of the day.

      4. You are doing fine as long as you’re giving your personal best.

      We are afraid to fail. We hate the idea of coming in “second best” to an arbitrary standard. B students long for As, while baseball players who bat a .350 for the season wish they’d made a .400. It is natural to want to do better, but if you can look at a completed task or objective and honestly say you gave it everything you had, you’re living up to your own highest ideals. Be proud of that!

      5. You know what’s best for you.

      The people who care about us often batter us with well-meaning but unsolicited or incorrectly gauged advice. “You should take that job at _______, because it pays $10,000 more a year and you’ll be happier.” “You should get a bigger house in __________, because your family’s growing and you’ll be happier.” What these people really mean is, “I want to be happier for you, so you should take my advice and you will be happier for you as well.” This kind of sentiment creates an awkward position. We don’t want to be unkind, but we also want to stand our ground. Being able to say “I’m fine where I’m at” is a gentle way of saying you have nothing to prove to anyone, while still acknowledging the other party’s intentions and hopes for you.

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      6. You know better than anyone else what you are capable of.

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        People tend to judge others by statistics and files, not by individual ability. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to do more than “the norm” and hearing how it’s impossible. You are the only one who can judge your capabilities and potential effectively. After all, you know more about you than anyone else possibly can. Part of having nothing to prove is the willingness to prove it, even when the only person you’re proving it to is yourself.

        7. You have the right to define happiness on your own terms.

        Happiness means something different to everyone. I define happiness in terms of reader reviews and financial security. A plumber may define happiness in terms of how many sinks and toilets she or he unclogged today. Everyone views happiness differently, and it’s up to you to determine what happiness looks like to you. Knowing what makes you happy will in turn make you happier and better able to make others happy.

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        8. Do the things that satisfy you.

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          If you can’t make everyone happy, you should at least be able to be happy yourself. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is repeating the same action expecting a different outcome.” You should be able to look back at the end of each day, week, month, or year and say, “I did my absolute best with everything I attempted, and I can be content with that.” Of course, you should always seek to improve, but be modestly proud of your achievements and successes. Satisfaction is really just happiness when a task you take pride in is done and done well.

          Of course, none of this means you should not take into account the happiness of your spouse or the people around you. You should never be so self-absorbed in the pursuit of your personal happiness that you cause misery to others. Part of being a happy person is being able to spread the wealth. If you cannot do this, you cannot be a truly happy person.

          So, how do you define happiness? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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          Last Updated on June 19, 2019

          6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

          6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

          I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

          Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

          It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

          1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

          It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

          Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

          When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

          2. Trust the Muse

          Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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          When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

          “The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

          The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

          If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

          The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

          Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

          3. Remember to Be Authentic

          Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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          How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

          For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

          One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

          Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

          Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

          4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

          I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

          One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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          Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

          A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

          Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

          5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

          It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

          We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

          If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

          You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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          6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

          As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

          The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

          Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

          Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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