"Don't seek approval. This may be the toughest suggestion for you to follow & the most important. Whether you are a teenager seeking approval from your peers, a middle-aged parent seeking approval of your kids, or a man or woman seeking the approval of your partner, it all amounts to the same thing. You are giving your personal power away every time you seek validation from someone else for who you are."-T. J. MacGregor
Validation simply means approval. We need validation for our work, we seek social validation; getting a thumbs up has become so crucial for our existence in today's world. It has become so obsessive that even if we know that the task we have done is great, unless & until we get a validation, we feel very poorly of our self. As if getting a thumbs up is the approval stamp for our work & existence as a whole. This isn't abnormal, this is quite human. We all like it. We all like to be liked. We love follower-ship; as & when we post something in the virtual platform, we like to be validated for what we posted. But, when we define our existence, our worth with validation; the problem starts happening then. If you regularly seek validation, then you give the power to others to judge you and your existence, this becomes very needy & anything needy is always creepy. This affects your choices because then you operate from a space of pleasing others and not doing what you are supposed to do. Even if it may conflict with your inner values & feelings, you may do stuffs just for the sake of getting validation. And then one day you realize that these are all futile. You just wasted your time & energy on things that really didn't matter to you. There will be lack of fulfillment & even loss of self-worth.
The question that you need to ask yourself is, "Why the need for validation?" Do you feel you are not good enough? Is there deep-seeded self-esteem issues? Don't you love yourself and your uniqueness? Is there an iota of doubt about your potential & capabilities? The more you seek for external approval, the more you will lose yourself in the process because it will act as a distraction for your growth & development. You will always remain unhappy because you have given the power to the external world to define your worth. But the fact is, your value is who you are. The person inside you. Unless you give validation to that you, you will always be hungry for some external validation. Only when you aren't aware of who you truly are, when you don't feel good about your own self, you would keep juggling between the need to be good for the world; to be liked by them & the person who truly you are. But, when you are confident of yourself, when you love yourself, when you know your uniqueness, you would just be fine. Likes or no likes, it doesn't matter. You will keep walking that path.
"He who controls may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." Lao Tzu.
So, how to stop seeking for validation from becoming faulty habit detrimental to our own growth & mastery?
1. Acknowledge your need for validation. Try to figure out the underlying quest for seeking for approval. You will discover the truth if you truly give yourself the permission to analyse this emotion. How do you feel? Why do you feel the need for approval? What is the root cause for this longing?
2. Don't feel ashamed about anything that you know about yourself. Even if you don't feel good about these aspects, remember that everything that happens is a part of the building process of who you are. Accept these experiences with gratitude. Love yourself unconditionally.
3. Dig out the diamond in you. Only you can and no one else can do it for you. Discover your strengths, your uniqueness. Define your self-worth.
4. Practice positive self-talk. You are the judge of what's cool & good for you.Own yourself & hold that power. Do not hand it over to others.
Life & Organizational Development Coach