Tap Out: When Should We Stop Trying to Prove Ourselves?
Parents, partners even friends…they all tend to have their opinions and ideas of who you “should” be. They may even have something to say about what you should do or how you should do it, based on what they’ve created in their minds. We tend to try to live up to other people’s expectations and strive for their approval, but when is it time to stop trying to prove yourself to them and start proving yourself to…you?
In relationships and even in friendships, there’s always something we’d like to change someone. Don’t pretend like you’re the exception. We all do it. Whether it be something like wishing they’d get a better job or be more ambitious to something simple like the way they hold their fork or eat yogurt. There are things you’d like to see change in them and there comes a point when you begin to express your opinions for them to make the changes. Sometimes they’ll listen because they know you mean well or just know you’re right. Let’s be real here. If you’re telling someone to stop wearing Ed Hardy, it’s certainly in their best interest and they should probably take your advice. But when it comes to deeper things like being more ambitious, reading more, being (truly) faithful…anything that would likely change someone’s life…that changes the game. Whether it’s you or them that is trying to make some changes, if the other person doesn’t believe the effort is being made or fails to see it because in reality they’ve given up all hope, it might be time to stop trying. When things too far gone and broken, no amount or degree of proving will mend them back together. It has to be let go and you’ve got to move on. Your partner should want you to be the best person you can be and they should encourage you; BUT it has to be because they see the light in you, not because they want to change everything about you. Learn to recognize the difference and walk away when the situation seems a little to close to the latter.
Parents. Ahhhh parents. They all have an idealized life planned out for you in their heads. You should graduate college by this age, have a career by this age, get married by that age and have a baby (or 2) shortly thereafter-in that order. Sometimes they just want you to be doing better than they were at your age or expect that you’ll follow a certain path. You know, become a doctor or a lawyer…and be really, really successful. But…what if you don’t want to be a lawyer…or a doctor? What if your dream is to become an artist or a celebrity hairstylist? Perhaps you want to start your own gym…or maybe even run a non-profit rescue for huge, horse-like dogs? (That exists, by the way)…What if your actual dreams are more colorful and caring than grey and heartless? Those of us that are lucky have parents that support those colorful dreams no matter how far fetched they seem. They know you can do it…and even if they’re uncertain, they still support your dreams anyway. I mean hey, even lions cry out in fake pain when their cubs are biting their ankles just to encourage them. But then there’s the parents who want you to do what they want you to do and nothing else. Because naturally, if you do anything else-especially anything that doesn’t guarantee 20 hour workdays and a six-figure salary (if and after you do insanely well for 20 years)…you will be a failure. A lot of times this comes from the parents that are footing the bill for college and med/law school, etc. etc. But sometimes they’re not footing the bill, and still condemn any other careers. They scoff at the colorful ones especially. You should be the best you can be and you should get the best education you can and go as far as you can in it. Education is the only thing no one can take from you. You’ll always have it. BUT, if what you really want to do is what will make you really happy…you’ve got to stop trying to prove to your parents that you can get to where they want you to be. Because once you get there, then what? You made it but you’re miserable. They’re proud…but what about you? These are things you have to consider. In the end, they will still be proud. Maybe even more proud…because you had the balls to follow your heart, and you ended up being successful. THAT can’t be beat.
In conclusion, there comes a time when we all need to tap out and stop trying to prove ourselves. We have to recognize when a situation is affecting us negatively, when we should walk away and when we need to cut the crap and follow our hearts. It’s in all of us, but we usually ignore the signs, hope for the best and keep trying to prove something. The reality is…the only person you have anything to prove to is yourself. Set your own goals. Reach them. Set new goals. Repeat.
Until next time friends, subscribers and lovers…peace love and freedom to all!