We’re human. We need to connect. We need to feel that we belong. That we’re part of a community, tribe, sector, institution, organisation, group, team, or other. And yet it’s more than that. We need to feel validated by those around us. Although we don’t always admit it, we do care what others think of us. We want others to think well of us. You know, the kind when you see that little ‘Like’ thumb on Facebook, or ‘Heart’ on Instagram that SCREAMS validation.
Validation started when we were learning to become human. When we did something right, we would be rewarded, validated. In fact, as toddlers, every clap, every smile told us that we were doing something right. We wanted more, so we kept seeking approval.
We seek validation as we don’t always trust ourselves enough to make our own decisions. Sometimes, however, we can lose sight of ourselves. Our own judgement. Like anything, you need to work on and practice being self-confident. Start trusting your own judgement. Your gut doesn’t lie. You feel it before you even think it.
So why do we feel we need validation?
Feeling validated builds our self-esteem. Or so we think. Ok, so let’s take this one step further. If validation builds our self-esteem, then negative re-enforcement must diminish our confidence. If we put the same emphasis on the negative, it could paralyse us. Eek.
Consider this …. Rather than take the position of needing to feel validated, think of yourself as a contributor. You’re contributing your knowledge, skills, experience, passion, enthusiasm, and most importantly, yourself to whatever you do. That means something. It means that you know how good you are. That you don’t need to feel validated. When you do, sure it’s a nice feeling, and yet YOU already knew it.
Let’s work on needing less validation and focusing on your own self-worth. Here are some actions you can take to start reinforcing your self-confidence:
Become Aware of Your Actions: Check in with yourself. The next time you doubt yourself, ask why? What’s going on. How often do you feel this way?
Ask Yourself Why You’re Seeking Approval: Comprehending why you’re seeking approval is the first step toward better understanding how to eliminate the need for it.
Develop a Greater Sense of Self-Worth: Self-worth is knowing you are loved, valuable, and worthy because you are. Not for any other reason other than that. We tend to seek approval from others when our self-esteem is low.
Practice Self Love: Be kind to yourself. Practice self-compassionate. Self-care is vital to your emotional wellbeing.
Journal Your Thoughts: Writing is therapeutic. It helps you to figure out your internal struggles.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: We are all unique individuals. We all have a unique purpose and life journey. We truly don’t know what’s going on in the lives of others. Social Media tends to create a ‘smoke and mirrors’ effect. Follow YOUR path.
Trust Yourself: Don’t let anyone else tell you your choices aren’t good enough. Hold onto your truth.
Repeat after me …
“I am who I am. Your approval is not needed.”