Stop Trying to Prove Yourself to People Who Don’t Matter

Stop Trying to Prove Yourself to People Who Don’t Matter

In high school I had two guidance counselors who really messed me up. I’m pretty certain their disapproval and negative words were in reaction to the fact that I wasn’t taking the prescribed path they had been trained to offer. I didn’t go straight to college. Since I didn’t fit the box, they were convinced I was doomed to fail and they made that pretty clear to me.

Shortly after I got my master’s degree I figured out I had been driven for years by a desire to prove those two guidance counselors wrong about me. It’s silly now that I think about it. I haven’t talked to either of those counselors since, but their words left a hole inside of me that I was determined to fill with proving they were wrong. I realize now that I was always subconsciously thinking, if they could see me now.

The more people I counsel, the more I realize that most of us have at least a little bit of that unhealthy drive. That drive that pushes us to try to prove we have value to people who didn’t value us at some point in our lives.

The problem with trying to prove to that parent, teacher, or ex that we have value is we won’t ever be able to do it. That need is a swirling vortex that won’t be satisfied. The reason is, your value can never come from what you accomplish. Your value comes from who you are.

So what am I saying?

I’m saying that if you are exhausted, frustrated, and unfulfilled it might be your guidance counselor’s fault. Just kidding. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you may be trying to get your value from the wrong thing.

No amount of success, money, or people telling you how great you are will ever fulfill the drive for approval from those who discounted us. You’ll only get that from accepting who you are and who God says you are. Start by realizing that God made you and he actually likes who you are. Sure, you’ve got more in you, but right now, right here, God is pleased with how he made you.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2