Who Are You Trying to Impress?

Break free from the constant “prove yourself” cycle.

Originally published to The Ascent on Medium.

We all have people we need to prove ourselves to. Our employers, our clients. Those who pay our bills.

I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about the pressure to examine your flaws, live up to an ideal and always be reaching.

We should reach until it’s detrimental. Then we have to decide if the discomfort is the type we need or not.

Discomfort is useful and helps us grow stronger. Compromising your physical or mental health with stress and pressure is counter-productive. There’s a tipping point.

There’s a balance between “striving to be better” and “self-acceptance”. Don’t use self-help rhetoric as an excuse to be lazy and never grow, but don’t be too hard on yourself.

We’re all perfect the way we are, but we’re also imperfect.

We can all improve, but work on yourself for the right reasons.

Consider who you’re trying to impress.

Some days we need to recognize that we’re all flawed humans, and that’s okay.

It’s an illusion that we must continually prove ourselves and that we must continuously strive to justify our existence.

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

Not everyone will like us, and that’s okay.

We assume that we have to do all these things to be liked, to be better, to be prettier. We don’t. We can choose to exist and act simply because that is what we want in this moment.

Be like the OG Yoda

Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash

It’s time to surrender. To stop trying and start doing (except when you need to try). I’ve been reminding myself to accept and to flow. As Yoda famously said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” The doing can come with ease if we take the pressure off of trying.

Trying implies that we’re not confident that we’ll succeed. “I’ll try, and I might succeed or fail.” Doing is the action that lets go of the result.

Or maybe I’m talking out of my ass here.

I’m trying to surrender more, to try without trying and to care without caring.

I prefer to be a conduit.

I wrote the following in my journal this morning after a mediation:

Say yes.
Show up.
Let it all go.
The answers exist.
Take inspiration, make it your own.
Let it flow.

My writing was a lot neater when I wrote that — not my usual messy pen scratch — so it’s possible that I was guided to write it. The phrase, “Show up” has been coming up a lot for me, so there’s my message.