Some folk like to set themselves a challenge now and again. They have fun proving to themselves that they can do something, and do it well. But proving oneself is something we all do on a daily basis, isn’t it, whatever we do, whether paid, or unpaid? You know yourself how it feels to be satisfied with a “job well done”, whatever it is. To prove yourself you need to feel confident that you do a good job which, in turn, is important to your self-esteem. Having support, praise and encouragement for your personal and professional development is crucial. Is it important to prove yourself to others, or is it more important, to yourself? In some jobs, you will need to do both and until you convince yourself that you can do it (whatever “it” is), you will struggle to convince others. Here are some questions to consider:
What do I know?
Knowledge and experience, combined with vocational/academic qualifications (depending on your job) are a great start to being able to prove yourself, but not necessarily the be-all-and-end-all. Enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, flexibility and a genuine drive and commitment to succeed in what you do are all equally important. Can you tick most of these boxes? Good! Now ask yourself:
How do I measure up to my peers/colleagues/the competition?
Be careful here. You will have strengths and skills that your peers/colleagues don’t have. You may have areas you still need to develop. There’s no need to constantly compare yourself to others; only consider where you stand within your team, department, organisation or amongst fellow professionals. Are you taking the necessary steps to improve your knowledge and experience regularly: reading, practising, talking, shadowing, studying?
How do I relate to those around me?
How are your communication skills? Do you feel comfortable at your place of work, wherever that happens to be? This means relating positively to those you work with or are in contact with, if you work solo, as well as your “clients”, whoever they are. If your working relations are sound, you will be seen to be proving yourself, and very importantly, you will feel it too.
What do I give to others?
Altruism is a proven means to improve your self-esteem and confidence. What better way to feel great than to help someone out in some way? To go the extra distance? Genuine altruism (be sure to be genuine) feels fantastic, and encourages others to do likewise. Pay it forward, always. You will reap the rewards. You will feel the proof of your value.
What do I give to myself?
How do you build your resilience? How mindful are you of your own needs? What do you do outside your job and family, which contributes to making you strong? Your health and well-being is without price. You deserve time and consideration spent on you, and you alone. Bear it in mind next time you feel the need to prove yourself.
If you’ve read this far, you might be wondering about the relevance of the photo at the top. Build yourself the necessary resilience (shell) and you too can be serene as this little guy!