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Why Do We Have this Incessant Need to Prove Ourselves to Others?


I’ve struggled with proving my self worth to other people. This doesn’t have to do with them, it has to do with me and I know that. This is something that I am focusing on in therapy. And I know that this is a common problem that other people have and work on either with a therapist or with a counselor online. I guess what I’m saying is that wanting people to recognize your worth is extremely common.

It becomes overpowering when you feel like you “need“ the validation of other people. In the writing world I have (in the past) felt the need to prove myself. I wanted people to recognize my skill set and believe that I was a good writer. This was particularly relevant with regard to the blogging community. I started blogging into 2009 and I have since become a professional writer. My career developed over time but there have been many points (and still are) where I feel like I have to prove myself, my skills and justify why I’m in this field.

I find that writers as a whole are pretty insecure people. Some of us even express this openly in our writing, which I think is wonderfully vulnerable. Even if writers appear to be confident or even arrogant it can be that they are covering up insecurities. I am no exception to this writerly insecure behavior. I have confident days and I have insecure days. And there’s no way to predict whether I will be having one over the other, because it varies depending about what’s happened to me on a given day. I’ve often wondered why we find the need to puff up our proverbial chests to one another. The answer I’ve come up with is that we want to feel some sense of inherent value but it helps to have other people recognize our awesomeness.

When other people in our field do not recognize our hard work or skillset then we find the need to be louder and show off more. It’s like a peacock flaunting its feathers. It’s natural to want to feel like you’re good at something and have other people see that too. Then again there is part of this that is up to you. I have to believe that I am a good writer in order to keep going. Asking other people to validate me is not going to be helpful to me in the long run. I’m wondering if competition is something and that can be eliminated from the human condition. I don’t think so because I think it’s inherent in our genetic make up. But maybe we can learn to be supportive of one another, encourage each other, show others that they are good at what they do. If we support one another maybe we won’t find the need to prove ourselves so much. What about you? Do you find the need to prove yourself to other people or are you confident in your abilities in your craft.

This post was previously published on www.huffpost.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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