IMPROVING vs. PROVING
"Focus on improving yourself, not proving yourself."
I am someone who has struggled her whole life feeling as if she walks in other people's shadows - waiting for my opportunity to jump out and shine, show everyone just how incredible I am. I was often overlooked for parts in theater, solos in choir, even at sporting events my siblings would often get picked to go on the field/court over me. This carried with me into early adulthood where I was desperate to find a partner (typical "need to get married to show I'm a worthwhile woman" bad mentality) only to again find myself "friendzoned" and "overlooked" for others. There was this mindset I developed that if I just had the chance I could prove my talent and my worth to people they could truly see I was amazing and worth the time. I was busy waiting for people to give me space to show what and who I was.
I hit a breaking point in my late 20's. I was trying to show a man that I was worth his time and he was looking elsewhere. I was working myself quite literally to the bone for a company trying to prove that I was the best choice for a position. And I was trying to prove to my family that I was a great daughter who was being successful and stable in her life. I was doing so many things in my life for everyone else to notice and it broke me - mentally and physically. I had to take so many steps back and face myself with a gentle and honest approach.
It is true that I didn't need to prove anything to anyone - especially when it came to my worth - but I was seeking their validation as if that was the only validation that mattered for my life. That was the problem. I wasn't working to improve myself for myself - it was for everyone else. And when I came to the realization I could start changing my mindset and way I lived my life. It was freeing to no longer have the weight of constantly trying to prove my worth, work, and person hood to everyone else.
I don't focus on trying to prove anything to anyone anymore. My only goal is to improve upon who I was yesterday. Am I better lover? A better sister? A better daughter? A better friend? A better human? Am I working harder than I was yesterday? Have I learned more than I knew yesterday?
Occasionally I still struggle with the urge to "prove I am xyz" to people rather than seeking to improve myself. It's a journey of moving away from letting other people's validation and approval be the only that matters to me and allowing myself an honest space to grow and outgrow who I was yesterday. Maybe instead of trying to prove to the world that you are incredible and feeling let down that the world still cannot see it, try to improve upon yourself and impress yourself. Validate and approve yourself. Love yourself and be proud of what you are doing, who you are, and where you are headed.
I hope wherever you are at today you can step back and take some time for you. Thank you for reading this and I do hope you enjoy these beautiful images of Miss J. She was such a delight to have in the studio. If you are wanting to book your own session let's talk!