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You have nothing to prove.

You have nothing to prove.

I should be writing a personal statement right now to prove that I’m good enough for a course I want to do but, I’m writing this blog instead because, I discovered something while I was writing my statement and I want to share it with you. I find it so difficult to write about myself and the things I have accomplished over the years. I listed all my credentials and thought, ‘Okay, well, how do I write about this without sounding like I’m bragging?’ I feel as if it’s wrong to even say how much I excelled at this and that… even though, that’s what a personal statement is all about. The ‘How to write your statement’ guide states: ‘Make sure you stand out and don’t be too humble!’

I guess, in a way, we’ve been conditioned not to celebrate our accomplishments because to do so would mean that we are ‘arrogant’, ‘ego centric’ or worst of all, a ‘narcissist’.

I know that a lot of us were taught to dim our own light.

This is probably why most of us feel that we’re never good enough.

They say, ‘It’s all about the journey, not the destination.’ and they’re absolutely right. I worked so hard for this moment and now that I’ve reached the finish line, instead of feeling happy, I actually I feel deflated. Even though I know the next steps I need to take to start the next chapter of my life, I feel the need to take a pause; just to make sure I’m choosing the right path. When I look back and think of all the experiences I had to go through to get to this moment, I can’t help but feel kind of… sad. I wasn’t very kind to myself. I was too focused on the difficulties I was facing and didn’t really see the incredible progress I was making. My mentors were saying how proud they were of me and all I kept telling myself was, ‘I’m not doing enough. I should be better than this.’.

We’re our own worst critics sometimes and we’re too hard on ourselves. I don’t know about you, but in the past, when I was younger and didn’t know better, there were moments in my life when I felt like I had to prove a lot of things…

to prove that I’m good enough…

to prove that I deserve better…

to prove that I’m not who people think I am…

Why? Well, because like some of you who found yourselves wanting to prove something too, I guess it’s because we want to be accepted by others. As social creatures, it’s human nature for us to crave acceptance from our peers and when we’re denied this, we feel an intense need to prove our worth. In elementary school, I marched to the beat of my own drum but, when I started my freshman year in high school, I suddenly felt the pressure to conform. I still remember working so hard to make sure I made the ‘honors roll’. I wanted to live up to my parents’ expectations and make sure the tuition fees my mother paid weren’t wasted.

When I moved to the UK as a junior, I was given another chance to be myself again. I didn’t feel like I had to compete for a spot in anything at school. My parents asked me if I wanted to attend a Catholic school again and I said, ‘No.’ I’m so glad I chose to go to a comprehensive school. The one I went to was pretty chilled and it was what I definitely needed at that point in my life.

Even though I got my singing voice from my father, I still remember him telling me this after I told him that I chose Performing Arts as my major: ‘You’ve wasted your life. You were always so smart. I hoped you’d choose something better than singing and teaching.’

He’s the typical Asian parent…or is he really? Most Asian parents are helicopters; my father was never really there for us. He hoped that I’d become a lawyer or a doctor since I obsessively read all the medical encyclopaedias we had at home.

Do I regret my choices? No.

Do I regret telling my father about my choices? Yes.

I knew he wouldn’t be happy but I followed my heart anyway and chose what’s right for me. I didn’t even respond to what he said. I knew there was no point because he was a ship captain who had a ‘Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m still the captain.’ plaque in his office.

I thought, ‘No point reasoning with unreasonable people.’ and I also thought, ‘Thank God I didn’t join him in America.’

I guess, we sometimes feel the need to prove something, even to those people who don’t really matter and who barely know anything about us. When people disapprove of our choices and question us, we sometimes can’t shake off this need to prove every single one of them wrong. It’s a blow to our ego; we can’t believe someone would have the audacity to question our worth and our capabilities. I even see motivational quotes online now and then saying things like, ‘Tell me I cant, then watch me work twice as hard to prove you wrong.’

I guess, we could say that it’s good to have our critics and haters in mind for a bit of motivation now and then but I’m really not sure if this is the healthiest way to become a better person or the person you really want to be. I think it’s so important to know where our motivation really comes from. Does it come from a place of love or hate? Are you doing something or aiming for success because you’re truly passionate about it or are you just doing it to prove to your haters that you ‘made it’ to give them back the hate they once gave you.

I realize now how harmful that mindset is. I’ve seen so many so called motivational speakers talk about how they proved their ‘worth’ by becoming successful and better than the people who put them down. I think this isn’t the right mindset to have. The best thing to bear in mind is this-

‘I want to do this because it brings me so much joy and happiness.’

When you live your life knowing that you are doing something with love instead of feeding your own ego, you will be satisfied no matter what happens.

Life isn’t a competition. There’s enough love, happiness and abundance to go around for everyone. I don’t really believe in living a life with the constant fear of falling behind or not having enough. I don’t like having this ‘scarcity’ mindset. If we live in this way, we will never be fulfilled. I don’t think someone else is better than me or that I’m better than everyone else. I think we’re all amazing in our own special ways.

and remember…

It’s great to have self confidence but there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.

It’s great to have self love but there’s a difference between having self love and being conceited.

As corny as this sounds, you know Whitney Houston’s song ‘The Greatest Love Of All’? this perfect line sums it up-

‘Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.’

When you love yourself, you accept yourself as you are and you won’t have this constant need to prove your worth because…

my friends…

the truth is…

You are enough.

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