There was a time when I had to prove to myself I could do it. What was it? Well “it” could be anything. But for me, “it” was surviving without anyone’s help.

I dropped out of college. I found some crappy place to live that I shared with two other guys I didn’t know. I got whatever jobs I could get. I survived, and I survived without asking anyone for money or help.

I had to prove to myself I could do it.

OK, that’s fine. But that was something I needed to do once. If I had stayed in that mode of trying to prove a point, I’d be isolated, unhappy and unsuccessful.

If you are trying to prove anything to anyone, you’re probably on the wrong path. Yes, at some point, you needed to prove you could be independent, or that you could achieve something no one else thought was possible, or that you could overcome some fear or other. That was what you needed then. But if you’ve already done it once, if you’ve already proved to people once that you could (whatever, fill in the blank here), then what’s happening now is you are just getting stuck.

You’re still trying to “show your parents”. You’re still trying to show those popular kids in high school. But you’re not a child any more. And you’re not in high school. Real life isn’t show and tell, which is why social media is so harmful to so many of you.

If you are trying to prove anything to anyone, you’re actually just getting stuck in a child’s mindset. Trying to prove to others that you can succeed at something you don’t have natural talent at. Trying to prove to your boss you deserve a promotion. Trying to prove to your crush that you are (whatever). Sorry, it’s all just regression to childhood.

I needed, at one time, to prove things to myself and others. If I hadn’t done that, I would never have gained confidence, wisdom or humility. But now, whenever I catch myself trying to prove a point, I see it as a sign that I am on the wrong path.