Do you worry about what people think of you? Avoid stepping up and standing out for fear of disapproval from your peers and loved ones? Wish you had the power to endear yourself to anyone (and everyone?)
If you responded with ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you, my dear, sweet soul, may just be seeking outside validation.
By seeking validation from others we are basing our concept of self on what others think. Who we are and what we stand for becomes less about us and more about what others think of us.
But the problem with this is that firstly, we can never truly understand what others think of us. Individual pasts, experiences, values, beliefs and even personality influence opinions … none of which we have any control over.
Which means that we’re not basing our sense of self on what others think of us, we’re basing it on what we think others think of us.
C.H. Cooley and Han-Joachim Schubert referred to this as the ‘Looking-Glass-Self’ and explained it with the statement: “I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am.”
But you want to know something game-changing? The same people that you are seeking validation from are seeking validation from you.
Suddenly makes them seem a little less scary, huh?
And the good news is that you can retrain your brain not to seek validation from others. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Accept that seeking validation is normal.
We have all been socialised to seek validation from others. It’s wired into our brains and impacts our thoughts, beliefs and actions every day. Which is why you shouldn’t beat yourself up for seeking validation from others. It’s completely normal.
Choose to value yourself first.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to base your identify and self-worth on the thoughts and beliefs others have of you (or that you think they have of you). You can intentionally and mindfully choose to – with love – set aside the beliefs and thoughts of others and instead choose to carve your own path and value your opinions first and foremost.
Know your worth.
Spend time cultivating a healthy appreciation of your own skills, talents and gifts. And be patient with yourself while you nurture this self-love. The goal is to shift validation from outside sources and begin to recognise that so long as you value yourself, you won’t need validation from anyone else.
In summary: loving understanding and a willingness to seek out appreciation of and for your uniqueness will help you in stepping away from needing outside validation.
For more enlightenment and self-care, don’t forget to check out our Truth or Dare Self-Discovery + Happiness Game!
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