People who love us know who we are. You have nothing to prove to them. They know our limits and that their rights end where ours begin.
The need to prove certain things to others for approval or recognition is an unnecessary source of stress.
If you stop to think about it, and analyze it just for a second, you’ll realize that this is something you might do often: to prove your love to family or friends, for example, you end up doing things you don’t want to do.
Of course, if you want to get along with someone, sometimes there’s no other option than to do certain things to strengthen the relationship, or to simply fulfill society’s expectations.
But there are always limits to this. These limits are your own values, and most especially, your personal dignity.
Whenever you stray from these values and find yourself obligated to prove things that are not authentic to you, you run the risk of suffering an identity crisis, or depression.
Let’s take a look at this.
Being authentic is a way to be free and well
Saying “NO” sometimes means being afraid of hurting someone, or even worse, disappointing someone you love. But in spite of that, this word is capable of opening an infinite amount of doors and opportunities.
That’s because saying “NO” sometimes means “YES” when said at the right time. Let’s think of a simple example. You’re in a relationship with a very complicated partner, and even though there’s love between you two, all you get are tears and unhappiness.
A well-timed “NO”—even though it’s difficult and hard—is giving yourself the opportunity to start over, and to stop hurting each other. But if you continue down the same path, all you’re doing to distancing yourself from yourself, and falling into useless suffering.
The courage to show who you are and what you want
Showing who you are and what you want is a very necessary survival technique. It’s like marking your territory. It lets other people know how far they can go, and what they’re going to encounter if they cross those lines.
- Make it very clear from the start what your values are, and what you’re willing to put up with. Make sure they know what information is not necessary. This makes things easier, and of course, makes living together easier as well.
- People that never end up setting boundaries open themselves up for others to cross those lines, always asking for a little more. They’re hoping that you will always be available to them and they won’t respect your rights or needs.
- This is far from looking at it through the lens of ego, isolating yourself from the world. You need to rather see it as a “celebration of who you are.”
As soon as you have a clear idea of who you are, what you want, and what you’re not willing to allow, you’ll experience a sense of inner peace and you will get along with others much better.
You’ll also be fully aware that others also have the right to be authentic, spontaneous, and to sincerely be themselves without being false.
No one should feel obligated to appear as something they are not.
I know who I am and I have nothing to prove
Indecision, insecurity, and low self-esteem will set you on a continuous search for external acceptance to feel good. This is not right.
People who search for acceptance in others will spiral into a very dangerous unhappiness. These are the people that always try to please their partners because “that’s the only way” they feel good.
- These people are incapable of saying no to family members, even though it goes against their principles. They fear disappointing them more than anything else, or projecting an image different than what their parents have of them.
- All this can make you fall into a pit of low self-esteem that prevents you from having a positive, strong and authentic self-image. You’re so focused on the outside that you stop listening to yourself. Those who don’t listen to themselves stop caring for themselves and get lost.
You could say that life, above all, is a process of rediscovering yourself. Once you achieve an “inner connection,” you’re able to establish more satisfying relationships with others.
That’s when you start to discover others in freedom, being aware of each person’s rights, of the magic in constructing common projects, feeling free but intensely united at the same time.
This is definitely no easy task. But it’s worth it to slowly arrive at the point where you find the balance necessary to stop trying to appear to be something you’re not, or don’t truly feel.
The courage of saying “NO,” and knowing you have nothing to prove, is always liberating.