Why you don't need to prove yourself #motivationmonday
I attended a fashion industry event quite recently. As much as I enjoyed it, I left with a looming sense of anxiety. Among main topics of conversation? ‘Proving yourself.’ As I sat in a room full of accomplished fashion industry women, each telling me I need to ‘prove myself,’ I unsurprisingly became stressed. Surely, your boss, (even if that’s YOU), has nothing better to do than monitor your oxygen intake – right?
Personally, I find this deeply unhelpful. Every time I have tried to prove myself to someone or something, I always end up: 1. Losing my agency, 2. Endorsing the idea that I'm inadequate.
I’m not saying you should be lazy at your job and not go ‘above and beyond.' Instead, I try to have a self-perception that ‘above and beyond’ is simply how I am, rather than a contrived, people-pleasing mechanism. I’m not entirely there yet (but really, who is), but viewing 'above and beyond' as your natural state is far more empowering than feeling like you could get fired at any moment. The line of "100 girls would kill for your job" (thanks Devil Wears Prada) really needs to stop being said, as it is very manipulative. It's a tactic to make young people feel insecure, and to justify treating them badly. Working hard is important, but your boss chose YOU over those 100 other girls for a reason.
If you give up agency, this means you exist with the sole purpose of meeting someone else’s desires, rather than your own. Whether or not you have a boss to report to, going ‘above and beyond’ is necessary to not only be a strong member of a team, but to also perform as an entrepreneur. However, how your boss defines ‘above and beyond’ and how you define ‘above and beyond’ need to align to a degree. Otherwise, at least one of you (even if that’s you) will end up frustrated.
When you strive to ‘prove yourself’, you also endorse an internal sense of lack. In 'proving yourself', you are going above and beyond not because you are confident, but because you are trying to make up for an inner fault. While fear can be a great motivator, its dangerous to put this energy into every action you do. Besides, who wants to exist in a state of hurried desperation? No one. In the end, the only way you can prove yourself is through confidently executing a task. If you are hurried and desperate, this will become impossible.
From realizing this, I've been able to relax. Ironically, I've accomplished more too.
I would love to know:
- Do you feel like you need to prove yourself?
- How have you overcome this, or how are you working on this?
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a lovely week. Just in case you missed it, be sure to check out the latest episode of Fashion Originators below: