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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.

      8 Ways to Achieve Success in 2008

        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!

          More by this author

          J.S. Wayne

          J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

          13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

          13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

          For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

          “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

          “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

          Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

          You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

          Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

          1. Take a step back and evaluate

          When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

          1. What is the problem?
          2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
          3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
          4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
          5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

          Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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          2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

          If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

          At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

          Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

          3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

          Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

          4. Process your thoughts/emotions

          Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

          1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
          2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
          3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
          4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

          5. Acknowledge your thoughts

          Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

          By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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          Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

          6. Give yourself a break

          If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

          7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

          A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

          Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

          After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

          8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

          As Helen Keller once said,

          “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

          Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

          9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

          In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

          1. What’s the situation?
          2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
          3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
          4. Take action on your next steps!

          After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

          10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

          A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

          Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

          For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

          11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

          No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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          12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

          No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

          13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

          There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

          After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

          Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

          Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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