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Who are you proving to be?

We spend our entire lives trying to prove something or the other to the world. We would like to prove that we are successful. We would like to prove that we are good people. We would like to prove that we are strong. We would like to prove that we are authentic and honest. We would like to prove that we are victims. How heavy and draining is that? What if we didn’t have to prove anything? How would your life be then?

Proving is a defence mechanism. We mostly try to prove ourselves to be right and others to be wrong or vice-versa. Proving is to establish the rightness and wrongness of a certain point of view. We create most parts of our lives in order to prove something. We create problems and then solve them to prove we have resilience. We create trauma and then survive it to prove we have endurance. We create separation in order to prove that we are independent.


Proving others to be wrong and yourself to be right

There is almost a sense of achievement in proving others to be wrong, for some people. The quintessential remark: “Didn’t I tell you this” is  symptomatic of the satisfaction one feels when being right. However, it comes at the cost of others feeling judged and even worthless. Is that empowering? No. It creates fear of judgement and underconfidence for that ‘other’ to make future choices. Proving comes with a cost, be it tangible or intangible. How much energy, emotions and resources do you have to spend to prove yourself to be right? Is it worth it for the monetary gratification you receive?

I had a client who was struggling in her relationships. She had the righteousness of a saint and a moral code of a religious leader. She judged her partner (and everyone else) from the same lens. More she judged others, the more contrasting people showed up in her life as if challenging her values. She fought. She fought hard to maintain the sanctity of her beliefs. Did it give her contentment? No. Did it exhaust her? Yes. Did it make it difficult for her to have joy in her relationships? Yes. In order to prove herself to be right, she blew up her finances, relationships, and even her health. At this point of weariness, she questioned herself whether her righteousness was more important to her than her freedom to live a more joyful life? Once she got the awareness of what it was costing her to prove herself to be right all the time, she could make a choice to be free from it all. It was relieving to say the least.

Proving yourself to be wrong and others to be right

How many times does it happen that you immediately go into self-criticism when someone judges you? I am not caring enough, he is right. I am not pretty enough, they are right. I am not responsible enough, she is right. Once we align with the projections of others, we create our lives to prove it to be right. This can be attributed to a deep seated need to please others. You are right, and I am wrong. Will you accept me now if I prove that to be true? 

A lady who was stuck in an emotionally abusive marriage for five years came to me for counselling. It took her multiple sessions to even realise she was being gaslighted. Her husband would always tell her that because he loves her that he keeps shouting at her for her own good. It is so she can improve, become better and happier. Was that working for her? No. She became more depressed by the day. She was gradually becoming worse at managing her house, her job and her life in order to prove her husband to be right about her. That she cannot do anything right. That she cannot be successful. That she cannot be happy without him. Moment she started to align with his point of view, she started creating her life, career, and health to prove it to be right. The lack of confidence and self-belief allowed her husband to manipulate her to an extent that she started believing them to be true. What was the cost of this? She pulled herself down into a state of non-existence.

Who are you proving to be?

Once you get an awareness of what, why and for whom you are proving to be right or wrong, a lot can change for you. On acknowledging this, you will be able to choose whoever you would like to be, how would you like to be? What would you like your life to be like, body to be like, finances to be like, relationships to be like?

Asking questions is a powerful way to start changing your life. Albert Einstein once said that if he had a problem to be solve in an hour, he would spend 55 min asking the right questions and it would take no more than 5 min to answer it.

Life is not a competition to win over others nor is it to allow others to take over yours. Life is about exploring the unknown, expanding beyond the limitations, and evolving to a greater possibility. Who would you choose to be now if you had nothing to prove?

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