"The best place in life to be, is where you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself." --T. L. House
I've known a number of people who have lived life in hopes of proving themselves to someone; whether it was for themselves directly or due to pressure. Regrettably, I was once an occupant on that list. I wanted to prove to a few people that I would beat the odds. I used that pressure as motivation, which turned out to work in my favor, but not without costing me my confidence first. Because of that, insecurity formed and I second guessed everything I did. I lost my authenticity and I often looked to those individuals for validation, constantly molding myself into who they thought I should be. I never took the time to figure out exactly what I was doing for me or what I actually wanted to do for that matter, I was simply seeking approval. The biggest life lesson was understanding the necessity of moving forward and evaluating myself. I couldn't blame anyone else, because I allowed myself to succumb to the scrutiny of other imperfect souls, people who turned out to need molding themselves. I slowly learned who I was, what I wanted and what made me happy for me. I begin to pursue those things, not really being concerned with anyone else's approval; only to find that I was comfortable with the decisions I made. You can't live for anyone else. You can't downplay your life, talents, abilities or personality to stroke the ego of another. You can't make up for what someone else should've done, but didn't do. Your life is not meant to be botched, so that others feel better about their position in life. You can't allow yourself to be pressured by the fear or insecurities of others; which will eventually overlap into your character, if you allow it. You can't pretend to be someone you're not, in hopes that acceptance will come. You literally have to acquire a knowledge of self, embrace who you are and be confident when you do it. The only person you owe anything to is yourself. If you are your best self, then those worthy of benefiting from who you truly are, will.