Likely, at some point, you have felt a mismatch between how you view yourself and how others view you. Maybe this comes from you feeling that taking a compliment and agreeing is cocky? Maybe it comes from you truly believing that you are NOT IN FACT those good things people say you are. How much proof do we need to accept positives about ourselves? I know I struggle with proof most days!

Do you need proof?

I am a huge classic rock fan, and recently got really into The Beatles. Me, in any new interest I get, must learn everything possible about it. Listen to all the songs, read all the books, and look at all the pictures ever taken. 

Something that really grabbed my attention is that The Beatles, often cited as the most successful band in history, did not start out too great. They were rejected from record labels, they were described by reporters in very unflattering words. I thought wow! How great is that that they persisted past this criticism and became very successful and proved everyone wrong! They must have felt very validated and confident by their success! Wrong. 

Once I started reading articles about them and listening to interviews, I was intrigued to see that even after they sold millions of records, reached the number one spot for songs more times than I can count, and became extremely wealthy and in demand, two of them were STILL SELF-CONSCIOUS!

I wonder how much proof is enough…

How is it possible to still not believe in yourself and your talents when there is an incredible amount of evidence to show that you are the opposite of how you view yourself? Learning about John Lennon and Ringo Starr specifically, I thought “She Loves You, yeah, yeah, yeah. But you hate you.” 

John Lennon is particularly interesting. There is an airport named after him. He led a band that changed the world. He wrote songs that continue to be covered to this day. And he didn’t think he was a great singer. According to the band’s producer, John “would incessantly plead with him to alter his voice because of his insecurities. “He was always saying to me, ‘do something with my voice! You know, put something on it. Smother it with tomato ketchup or something. Make it different’. As long as it wasn’t his natural voice coming through, he was reasonably happy.” (Far Out Magazine).

Again, here what more proof do we need…

Here is a person regarded as one of the most successful musicians of all time who does not think he is good at what he does. 

Ringo Starr, the drummer, also struggled deeply with feeling self-conscious and inadequate. It is reported that he attempted suicide during their 1964 US Tour. Several sources report that he was the most popular member in America, and by the time of this tour, the band had already become extremely successful. Despite all of the adoration and “proof” indicating that he was respected and loved, he did not feel it. 

I find this surprising, but then again, I understand it. I struggle to believe compliments, and my brain automatically moves to finding proof that what was said about me is not true. It is extremely easy to take negative comments as truth, but it is not equally easy to take positive comments in.

Reading about extremely successful people that STILL struggle with this, even though they have the money, album sales, and documented history to refute their self-talk, scares me. How much proof will be enough? Is there a certain number of times we can see proof of something good about us where we will magically believe it? Or is there no limit? Is there no number of times we can be faced with evidence to the contrary that will help us realize and begin to believe in ourselves? What does it take to make us finally believe in the good we possess? 

How much proof do you need to accept positives about ourselves? 

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