7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else

7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else

You are GOOD enough, SMART enough, FINE enough, and STRONG enough.  You don’t need other people to validate you; you are already VALUABLE.

Sometimes we try to show the world we are flawless in hopes that we will be liked and accepted by everyone, but we can’t please everyone and we shouldn’t try.  The beauty of us lies in our vulnerability, our complex emotions, and our authentic imperfections.  When we embrace who we are and decide to be authentic, instead of who we think others want us to be, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness, and real success.

There is no need to put on a mask.  There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not.  You have nothing to prove to anyone else, because…

1.  The people worth impressing just want you to be yourself.

In the long run, it’s better to be loathed for who you are than loved for who you are not.  In fact, the only relationships that work well in the long run are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person you used to be.

Ignore the comparisons and expectations knocking at your door.  The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.  Prove yourself to yourself, not others.  The RIGHT people for you will love you for doing so, and they will appreciate all the things about you that the WRONG people are intimidated by.  Bottom line: Don’t change so people will like you; be patient, keep being your amazing self, and pretty soon the RIGHT people will love the REAL you.

2.  No one else really knows what’s best for YOU.

Don’t lose yourself in your search for acceptance by others.  Walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going.  You have to take the steps that are right for you; no one else walks in your shoes.

Let others take you as you are, or not at all.  Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.  By being true to yourself, you put something breathtaking into the world that was not there before.  You are stunning when your passion and strength shines through as you follow your own path – when you aren’t distracted by the opinions of others.  You are powerful when you let your mistakes educate you, and your confidence builds from firsthand experiences – when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward without asking for anyone else’s permission.  (Read Awaken the Giant Within.)

3.  YOU are the only person who can change YOUR life.

In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is you.  It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to recognize that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation, or to change the way you think about it.  Don’t let the opinions of others interfere with this prevailing reality.

What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you.  What you’re capable of achieving depends entirely on what you choose to do with your time and energy.  So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.  Just keep living your truth.  The only people that will fault you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.

4.  Society’s materialistic measurement of worth is worthless.

When you find yourself trapped between what moves you and what society tells you is right for you, always travel the route that makes you feel alive – unless you want everyone to be happy, except you.  No matter where life takes you, big cities or small towns, you will inevitably come across others who think they know what’s best for you – people who think they’re better than you – people who think happiness, success and beauty mean the same things to everyone.

They’ll try to measure your worth based on what you have, instead of who you are.  But you know better than that – material things don’t matter.  Don’t chase the money.  Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive.  Go for the things of greater value – the things money can’t buy.  What matters is having strength of character, an honest heart, and a sense of self-worth.  If you’re lucky enough to have any of these things, never sell them.  Never sell yourself short.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Simplicity” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

5.  Life isn’t a race; you have nothing to prove.

Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “Look at me!  Look at me!”  But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing, not while you’re sitting at the top.  Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step.  Don’t rush through your life and miss it.  Forget where everyone else is in relation to you.  This isn’t a race.  You get there a little at a time, not all at once.

Let go of the foolish need to prove yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you.  Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.

6.  The path to all great things passes through failure.

You are an ever-changing work in progress.  You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong.  Screwing up is part of the process.  Looking like a fool sometimes is the only way forward.  If you try too hard to impress everyone else with your “perfection,” you will stunt your growth.  You will spend all your time looking a certain way, instead of living a certain way.

It’s impossible to live without failing sometimes, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all – you’re merely existing.  If you’re too afraid of failing in front of others, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful in your own eyes.  You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward.  In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that reach their dreams.  YOU can be one of them.  (Read The Last Lecture.)

7.  It’s impossible to please everyone anyway.

Some people will always tell you what you did wrong, and then hesitate to compliment you for what you did right.  Don’t be one of them, and don’t put up with them.

When you run into someone who discredits you, disrespects you and treats you poorly for no apparent reason at all, don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval.  And be sure not to leave any space in your heart to hate them.  Simply walk away and let karma deal with the things they say and do, because any bit of time you spend on these people will be wasted, and any bit of hate and aggravation in your heart will only hurt you in the end.


You don’t need a standing ovation or a bestseller or a promotion or a million bucks.  You are enough right now.  You have nothing to prove.  Care less about who you are to others and more about who you are to yourself.  You will have less heartaches and disappointments the minute you stop seeking from others the validation only YOU can give yourself.

The floor is yours…

How has the desire to be accepted by others interfered with your life?  What has it stopped you from doing or being?  How have you coped?  Leave a comment below and share your insights with us.

Photo by: Lali Masriera


  1. Jeanne says

    Fantastic site. Everyone should read this! What an inspiration to life’s journey and our own reality. Thank you for contributing.

  2. Totteanna says

    Merry Christmas! I just want to say thank you for doing what you do. What you do has helped me through so much. I’m young and I’m really trying to turn my life around; to be the best me I can be. But I have one problem that I just can’t seem to fix: loving me for me. I would really appreciate it if you could write something in a future post on ways to improve ones self image of themselves, if that makes since. Once again, Merry Christmas!! (Or Happy holidays!!) :)

  3. Robin says

    Great article! I have found myself being the “butt kissing” fool in many circumstances. Looking back or rather looking forward, I see that I never put myself first and all the “butt kissing” has gotten me NOWHERE!

    It’s a day for new beginnings and your article truly opened my eyes.
    I look forward to future postings.

  4. Alex Marx says

    I am 17 years old and recently I have had many social problems at school. The thought of an English presentation makes me remember last year when I shook profusely in front of the class to the point of the whole class, including the teacher laughing out loud. This is just one of the many experiences I have had that has made me really base my success/happiness on how others respond to it. This is helped me realize that others have NOTHING to do with anything involving my happiness or thought. This is my life and and I’m getting chills knowing that it is only mine.

    thank you

  5. Steven L. Harding says

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. I have struggled with self esteem for many years because I was always overlooked and unappreciated, nor was I accepted by many. So I come to the conclusion that there’s a reason and a purpose for everything. I realize that God has a separate assignment for me to fulfill and it requires what it appears to be loneliness, when no one understands nor accepted me. So, if God be for me who can be against me as Romans 8:31 states. I know the feeling of loneliness but I wanna encourage everyone to know God Loves and Cares for us. So we can cast our burdens on Him. Bless You All.

  6. Lynda says

    Great post. Why do they always seem to be exactly what I need to hear?

    A friend recently shared a great piece of advice with me: “It is none of my business what other people think of me.”

    I have spent my whole life worried about that, always pleasing others. This blog, simple truths, making myself a “priority” In my own life, speaking my truth, and finding my voice have begun a tremendous healing and growth in my heart and life. Thank you for your gift to us, and for all that take the time to share your experiences. Loving yourself is a gift you deserve to open!

  7. mei lisa says

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I feel lucky to have read it and can’t wait to share it with my lovely one. It’s already working, I feel like I know what to do now, which makes me feel better.

  8. Eric says

    This is what makes suicide a dismal predicament. At that point, people don’t want to go through with it because they don’t want to hurt people in their life. But they get to that point because they have spent their whole life pleasing everyone else.

  9. Suchi says

    Thanks for ending my fight with myself, which always leads me to think whether I am doing something wrong… if i am trying to be what I am in realty. I always wanted everyone to understand me and tried hard to get approval from others. But being the REAL me is what’s important.

  10. says

    What a great observation! My New Years resolution is to stop beating me up and to give myself credit; as I am worth it. Let others have their ideas and thoughts about me, I don’t have to take it on board. Thanks for reiterating my new found insight.

  11. Lacey says

    I have been struggling with this my whole life. Your article really hit home for me in many ways. This is a great reminder for so many people. I am a pretty stubborn person so I think that is another reason why I want to please others or have a certain image that my family approves of, so I won’t have to change. Being myself has allows been hard because I have a negative inner voice. I really need to start to just let go of my fears and just be myself and have faith my future will be bright. Thank you for sharing, I am going to bookmark this article so when I get stubborn it will be a good insperation of whats really important in life :)

  12. Juli says

    I was pondering why I sometimes feel the need to prove myself to the public (I live in a small town), and Googled this question and this came up. Never seen or heard of this site or authors before. But let me say that was one of the best articles I’ve read in a while that so precisely describes what I’ve been telling people for years. I’m 46 and my mother had me when she was 39. She taught me to be a strong and independent woman. I veered off the path for about ten years and learned a LOT! I love myself. I expect to have failures because it happens. I try to learn and change in little ways to persevere on. But I’m happy! I’m working on successful. It’s very challenging being a free thinking liberal in central MS. But, one day I’ll move! Thanks for putting into words concepts that I’ve learned the hard way!

  13. Ingypingy says

    Wow! I found this website just when I was about to give up on myself. You really can’t please everyone and I’ve felt I have failed constantly in trying to achieve this goal my entire life! I have nothing left to give everyone and nowhere else to turn except right back around and start again. Welcome to my world where my rules and ethics now apply….accept it or don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Fab article.

  14. Serik says

    This article is perfect for me and for those who are also struggling in self image. I need to read this everyday so I can get it in my head to not be a fake person and be the real me. I’m am trying to set a new mind of who I am and get rid if the junk and lies in my head that have been pushing me to being something else and seeking for approval. God bless everybody and I hope this article will help you.

  15. Karl Patrick says

    Thank you so much for this article. This one’s enough to give me peace, as well as contentment over things I currently live with. Since yesterday, I’ve been questioning myself, “I poured my heart and soul into it. I gave it my all. Why is it that not one, single person appreciates what I did?” But, not until right now. It is, indeed, not important to seek for others’ approval as long as you know you’re doing things right. I really can’t take you enough for giving me hope.

  16. Jason E says

    This article really speaks to me. I spent most of my years in high school trying to be the center of attention in nearly every social gathering I encountered. Admittedly, it was difficult and stressful for me to try and win the approval of all the wrong people. Ever since I entered college, it feels like none of that matters to me anymore as I now have actual friends who love and respect me for who I am all because I let go of the need to be a crowd pleaser. Let’s face it, you can’t win everyone’s approval, the trick is to be true to yourself. Thank you for typing this out!

  17. Che Wai Ng says

    You have a relationship with yourself 24/7, there will never be another person as unique as you. We are all unique in different ways. Loving ourselves is vital for happiness and fulfillment. I believe evetything will fall into place if you love yourself unconditionally. It is not ego. You cannot give to others, what you don’t have yourself. Self love also attracts people who love you for you.
    To myself, I love u with all my heart.

  18. Dawn says

    It makes me sad when I don’t measure up to others as hard as I am trying. Then I realized I am Perfect just as I am and if others truely love me, them I am just human. If someone wants to be cruel, judge mental and mean that is there issue and maybe the sadness I feel is just the humility of life. Thanks for posting!

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