This week, I want to warn against any desire you may have to prove your worth to the collectivists, masses, and elites.
You Have To Prove Yourself Because You’re Not Good Enough
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
To the collectivists, masses, and elites, you are not good enough. For a multitude of reasons, you’re worthy of criticism. These reasons include:
- You are not the right gender. Thus, you are sexist or slutty or too masculine or too feminine.
- You do not have the right skin color. Thus, you are racist, a victim, a criminal, or a sellout.
- You have not pursued the right career. Thus, you are wasting your life, pursuing selfish ends, only care about the money, or aren’t helping enough people.
- You do not worship the right god. Thus, you are immoral, lazy, violent, or destined for hell.
- You do not ascribe to the correct political doctrine. Thus, you are selfish, evil, short-sighted, or delusional. And so on.
To someone, somewhere, your life is worthy of criticism. This criticism will come from everywhere, from all corners, and will be constant. No matter what you do or don’t do, somebody will find problems with your existence.
The Value of People With Low Self-Esteem
Why is there so much criticism? To break your confidence in yourself. If you are constantly being attacked, especially for minor or unchosen reasons, then you’ll believe in yourself less. With diminished self-esteem, you won’t value your own opinion or have self-worth.
And who gains from this arrangement? Why, the collectivists, masses, and elites. If you do not trust or have confidence in yourself, then you will do all you can to please other people.
Therefore, you will want to “prove yourself.” Notice you must prove yourself based on standards set externally:
- You must vote to prove your care about civil society.
- You must buy pointless knick-knacks to show you care about the economy.
- You must absorb corrupt, lying media to show you care about the community and the future.
- You must buy into the correct narratives of your unchosen demographic, or you are a “traitor.”
- You must support corrupt, broken governmental programs to prove you care about the poor and disenfranchised.
To “prove yourself” is to sacrifice your self-respect and resources to impress others. However, such a journey robs you of what you need to live your best life.
The Three Best Ways To Reduce The Desire To Prove Yourself
“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.” – Ayn Rand
What about virtue? What about sustainability? What about personal responsibility? In contrast to external goals, these internal principles value the individual before they value society. You are not a slave to virtue or sustainability. You don’t have to “prove” yourself to personal responsibility.
Therefore, the way to reduce your want for external approval is to focus on internal strength. Virtue, sustainability, and personal responsibility are the antidotes to consumerist, corporatist, statist, and collectivist voices hoping to tear you down.
So, let’s get started. With the three techniques listed below, we can reduce your desire for external approval and to “prove” yourself.
1. Pursue and Adhere To Virtue
You will live your best life if you pursue virtue, focus on sustainability, and take responsibility for yourself. These three pillars help cultivate a positive self-image. A positive self-image prevents low self-worth and reduces your eagerness to “prove yourself” to a corrupt, external world.
Firstly, there are 13 essential virtues: Frugality, Fortitude, Persistence, Patience, Loyalty, Zeal, Magniminity, Industriousness, Courage, Discipline, Authenticity, Generosity, and Gratitude. The more virtuous you live, the better you will feel about yourself. For example, if you are more generous, then the collectivists’ insults of your “selfishness” will fall of deaf ears.
Therefore, when you live your life, simply ask yourself: “Is this action virtuous?” The more you pursue virtue, the easier it is to answer this question during any given moment. My suggestion is to reflect on the virtues every morning. Then, before you go to sleep, ask yourself which virtue you adhere to the most and which one you need to improve on.
Virtue gives you clear internal markers you are living a better, more enriched life. Be as virtuous as you can, and you’ll avoid needing to seek external validation for your life.
2. Promote Sustainability By Reducing Your Consumption
“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” – Malcolm X
Unfortunately, we are a social species. This social desire means humans are desperate for external validation. Very few individuals are exempt from this.
This desire for external attention makes it easier for the collectivists, masses, and elites to manipulate you. You’re already geared towards looking for external approval. Couple this tendency with a culture of low self-esteem, and most people are eager to “prove themselves” to those in power.
Along with pursuing virtue, you need to seek sustainability. In a culture of statism, consumerism, and aimlessness, achieving sustainability is rebellious and necessary. How do you achieve a sustainable life? You start by reducing your consumption.
The media, educational systems, and entertainment industries want you to feel worthless by feeding you identity politics, revisionist history, and inaccurate news. You can reduce their influence by consuming less and spending your freed time improving yourself and bettering those around you.
For example, I would spend hours reading the news and debating random people in life and online. Now, I spend my freed time increasing my earning potential, playing with family, and expanding my skillset.
With more money, family time, and skills, I can create a sustainable life. I donate my excess wealth instead of listening to people telling me how “selfish” I am. I spend more time with my children instead of responding to the trite arguments of collectivists. I learn more skills instead of hearing about how “disenfranchised” I am.
Avoid consuming narratives meant to bring you down. Focus on building yourself, and you’ll flourish.
3. Be Responsible For Yourself
Broken people lack self-esteem and self-respect. Thus, broken people are desperate to “prove themselves” to those in power. They express their obsession by snitching on their neighbors, selling out the future, and joyfully drowning dissenting opinions. What do they hope to gain? A feeling of belonging and the false peace that comes with external praise and recognition.
However, you have to avoid such a path. Enslaving yourself to the collectivists, masses, and elites will not grant you peace. They will ignore, belittle, and insult you until you do what they want. Therefore, you have to turn away from seeking external praise from those who beat you down.
What’s the final technique to avoiding the need for external praise? Be personally responsible for all that you do. How can you be more personally responsible?
- Have the courage to create a plan for your life. Then, pursue that plan with daily goals, weekly goals, and yearly goals. These smaller goals will feed into your life goal and help ensure your success.
- Persist through the challenges life throws at you. You are responsible for going forward, even when things are difficult and unfair. However, if you persist, you can find new, exciting ways to dominate problems and deliver solutions.
- Have the fortitude to avoid blaming. If you blame others for your actions, you’ll always seek external reasons for personal failings. Stand firm against any internal weaknesses, and you’re less likely to condemn the world for your life’s problems.
Remember, individuals are not useful to the machinations of the ruling classes or the comfortable masses. Take responsibility for your life, and you’ll have the internal validation you need to avoid external praise.
Personally responsible individuals do not need to “prove themselves” to anyone.
Stop Trying To Prove Yourself To Others
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” – Wayne W. Dyer
The world suffers because weak individuals need to prove themselves to each other and the elites. People think they have to seek legitimacy from corrupt institutions such as the church, the government, the corporations, or the schools. However, you only need to prove your greatness to yourself.
Focus inward. If you excel at virtue, then you do not need to bow to the moral critiques of others. If you build a sustainable life, then you can live on your terms, away from the bleating of the sheep and the lies of the elites. And if you take responsibility for yourself, you’ll have the power to improve your life and help others do the same.
You cannot please the elites and masses without losing yourself. Keep your sanity by becoming an individual.
- When do you feel you have to “prove” yourself? Why do you feel you have to? What do you feel like after you’ve sought to “prove” yourself?
- What negative voices do you hear about yourself? Where is the criticism coming from? Who is seeking to make you feel worse about yourself? Why do you listen to them?
- What is an unchosen reality of your life that you’re criticized for? Is it your gender? Skin color? Sexuality? How are you criticized and why do these criticisms lack merit?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.