The primary reason you can accomplish anything that’s important to you is not your God-given talent, but your belief that you can. I’ve seen this happen over and over again with the individuals I’ve coached and known in my personal life: the person who wins is not the one with the most innate ability, but the one who believes she will win. “But how can I believe in my capabilities when the evidence is stacked up to the contrary?” you may ask yourself in your weaker moments. Does this mean you’ll gain self-faith when you have “the evidence” to back you up? Let’s destroy a common myth right here and now: you will never prove to yourself that you are a good and worthy person. When you try to prove your value, you focus on how others value you. Your focus is external; you seek good from without. You examine the outcomes in your life—how much money you earn, the approval you receive from others, the potential mates who desire you—and pin your self-assessment to whether they’re up or down.
This week, make a commitment to unhinge your self-opinion from the good opinion of others. The next time you perform less skillfully than you would have liked, or someone sends a neat little package of disapproval in your direction, remind yourself that your self-esteem and inner happiness are impervious to both whether you are generating specific results in your life and whatever anyone else has to say about you.
How do you attempt to prove your self-worth? Have you discovered some effective ways to stop trying to prove anything to anyone and to accept yourself as you are—independent of what you achieve? Share them with us in the comments.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).