I’m The Prize
“I’m the prize” is a common affirmation in the Pick Up Artist (PUA) community, but I believe it can be applied to all kinds of relationships. “I’m the prize” is about setting expectations for yourself and the kinds of relationships you want to cultivate in your life. It’s the belief that you deserve to be treated a certain way, because you are worthy of relationships that enrich your life.
You see, the opposite of a person with an “I’m the prize” mentality is someone who constantly sells themselves short. They don’t believe they deserve the kinds of relationships they ultimately want, so they settle for “second best.” Eventually they get used to “second best” – being just good enough – and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’m convinced that being content with mediocrity is the latest plague, and I intend to help cure it. Being content with what you have is not the same thing as being genuinely happy. To be genuinely happy you need to live in accordance to your values, not settle for less.
People have a hard time getting what they want out of life, especially when they don’t know what they want. The very first thing you need to do is define what you value in others. If you’re one of those people who constantly finds themselves attracting the same non-fulfilling relationships, you probably need to reflect on your core values and see where you are making unnecessary sacrifices. One exercise I do that helps clarify what I want is to write out my values. You can do it in a list form, or write a short essay describing the types of people in your life you want to connect with. This will help prime your mind to look out for these values throughout your day-to-day interactions.
How to BE the “Prize”
Monotonously repeating an affirmation over and over again will be futile, especially if you don’t consciously act in accordance to those beliefs. I guarantee that no matter how many times you tell yourself “I’m the prize,” you won’t get anywhere unless you embody that affirmation, by actually being what you say you want to be.
You simply can’t create fulfilling relationships in your life solely by demanding them – you need to offer real value. All relationships are a kind of psychological “exchange.”
What value do you offer to others?
I’m obviously not just talking about gifts or money, but what psychological value do you offer others? Start by defining your strengths. What will make people want to be around you more? Are you: Kind? Understanding? Funny? Adventurous? Creative? Intelligent?
Identify your positive attributes. Write out a list of each, or write a short essay describing what is so good about you. This can be a great boost to your self-esteem, and it can also help clarify who you are as a person. Also, identify attributes that you want to work on and improve. Write a separate list or essay describing the things you need to do in order to improve yourself in the future. Just because you are the prize doesn’t mean you can’t improve yourself to be even better than you already are. Those who are the prize are always looking for new ways to grow and expand themselves. They apply a winning attitude to everything that they do.
And please don’t be too modest, everyone has positive qualities about themselves. Don’t be afraid to reveal these positive qualities when around others. They make you who you are, and people are going to appreciate you more when you let your personality shine through, rather than when you hide it and don’t believe in yourself.
Taming the ego
Okay, I understand that saying “I’m the prize” can sound a bit arrogant and egotistical. I certainly don’t want you to announce it out loud to others. Instead, it should be an internal and unspoken thought process. It’s a general attitude you have about yourself, the feeling that you are capable and deserving of positive relationships.
Don’t think of “I’m the prize” as a means of boasting or bragging, or trying to artificially inflate your value in front of others. A lot of people in the PUA community come up with little games and tricks that they believe “demonstrate higher value,” when really it’s a superficial cover for a shallow personality. If you ARE the prize, you don’t need to come up with tactics to demonstrate it. It should just emanate from you naturally, because that is who you are.
“I’m the prize” isn’t about tricking yourself (or other people) into believing you are something you are not. Instead, it is about building your potential, and being your best self using the resources you have available in the present moment. Be optimistic about yourself, but pragmatic. Believe you can achieve your values, but don’t expect the whole world to tilt its axis just for you, it’s not going to happen.
Being the prize is altruistic
If someone perceives you as a prize, that implies that they see value in you (as I’ve mentioned above). In that way, I see “I’m the prize” as not just about self-improvement, but also improving the world around you. When you are capable of building value in other people’s lives, they become better off, not just you.
In my post on magnetic self-esteem, I also describe how many people look up to those who are self-worthy. When we embody this characteristic, we inspire and motivate others to do the same. We become a type of role model, and the world could always use more positive role models.
Don’t just be the prize for yourself, be it for others as well.