Friday, June 12, 2015

Fear is the Hook of Proving

I ran across a thought this week that gave me much pause to reflect. It began from a simple phrase and one that is usually quite motivational and has even been so for me in the past. 

The simple phrase is this:
“Prove them Wrong”

Who couldn’t identify with this statement? It rings a bell of strength and courage to overcome unsavory projections from others now doesn’t? I learned in life something a bit different and I’d like to share with you a little spin to offer you another perspective to consider. I have great respect for the true ideal behind this phrase so please don’t miss my meaning. I’m a respectful soul down to my very bones and do very much understand the intent behind this phrase.

When I consider what I have learned with environmental psychology alone and what I term malware in our human consciousness, I cannot help but see this phrase as a potential hook in the negative for those who are not quite yet self-aware.

To put it simply, to prove others wrong means a part of us has become concerned about what others think of us. This is one very powerful trap that can have you striving for minutes, hours, days and years or a life-time even just to prove others wrong.  We may put out much effort in this regard for very little return in terms of satisfaction for our efforts.

Here’s the thing, what other people think of us is really none of our business. If they think us lacking or unworthy, so what? Let people have their opinions and let them live with their own projection. You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself at the end of the day. You see, if you’ve fallen for the hook of needing to prove others wrong, there is already a part of you that agrees with them.

Your agreement is rooted in fear. If you can uncover and then acknowledge the fear and explore it, you’ve given yourself a better opportunity to get to the source. If you spent more time and energy understanding the fear, it would do more for you in the long run than expending effort to prove people wrong about you.

This isn’t to say that it’s a bad idea to clear up someone’s misunderstanding of you if a miscommunication has occurred. In this there isn’t really anything to prove but rather you take an opportunity to communicate and gain greater understanding. Proving people wrong as a form of vengeance for insult or verbal injury doesn’t ever solve the fear that becomes hooked. You can remove the hook by exploring the fear.

When you find a way to understand the fear, you won’t be hooked again. The next time a similar situation arises, you’re less likely to react knowing you have nothing to prove.  With this realization you can retain your balance and mental equanimity. It takes work, I’ll tell you that. But its work that will take you farther for longer than just striving to do something to spite someone else’s opinion of you. This is just some food for thought. Words are more powerful than you know. Think about them and what truth lies beneath them.

© 2015 Jaie Hart (photo/words)

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