Those Who Prove, Lose

Over the past few weeks I have run in to a number of old relationships who knew me in another stage of life and another decade. They knew the more immature me and probably have me pegged as that same cocky guy who was trying to prove that he was some body important.

As we talked I listened to all of their achievements since we had seen each other last. When the person asked what I had been up to, I immediately felt an old desire to prove to this person any successes and wins that I had had since the decade I had known them. I didn’t like the feeling and so I paused and shared some general updates about the family and moved on.

Here is my question: where does the desire or need to prove ourselves come from? Why is it so important to let others know how important that we are?

For me the study of my personal wiring/personality has given me insight into my insecurities as an ENFP and I have chosen to confront this pride so that it does not cause actions that I would regret.

Now, what about you? What are you trying to prove? What is the insecurity in your life that is mitigating your influence with others?

In Making Your Leadership Come Alive I wrote about the plague of self-preservation. The premise is that when you overprotect what you are afraid of losing, you will lose it sooner. Proving yourself actually ends up hurting yourself because when fear begins to drive, your actions of proving your worth end up undermining your credibility in the eyes of others. Thus, it is imperative to become fluent at self-awareness so that you can regulate and lead yourself in the times when self-preservation wants to lead.

In the end, if we can state these phrases honestly and accurately in our lives we will become leaders worth following:

I have nothing to Prove!

I have nothing to Lose!

I have nothing to Hide!

How far away are you from being at this stage of secure, confident humility?

I still have a long way to go, but I am working to regulate my patterns so that my insecurity doesn’t drive me, but I confine them as I focus on others more than myself.

If you want to go deeper in understanding why you do certain things and why you are what you are, my business partner, Steve Cockram, has filmed some amazing videos at that are free for your benefit.

Know yourself so you can lead yourself!