These days we are high on the adrenaline of approval. You wouldn’t deny it when we say that we are living in the age of social media that screams “validation”. Our lives have become no less than slaves of the like, share, and comment buttons. And they indeed are some of the greatest examples of seeking approval. Not just this, in real life too, we surround ourselves with people that appreciate us, do not judge us, and would always say what we want to hear. If this was not enough, we also often confirm our own choices with someone else. We desire to be received well by people who are important to us and feel accomplished. In fact, psychology theory explains that love and self-esteem are one of the most essential components of human motivation.
This pretty much explains why we seek out validation and thus cannot decide for it to be inherently bad. We all begin life in a state of complete reliance on external validation. Seeking approval, however, becomes unhealthy when it becomes someone’s be-all and end-all. It is about finding the right balance. We cannot eschew the opinions of others as some might prove to be constructive. One needs to understand when to take feedback and opinions from outside without completely relying upon the same. As this balance is quintessential for self-worth.
So, When does external validation become unhealthy?
External validation becomes unhealthy when you change your decisions, thoughts, or beliefs because someone else is approving or disapproving of them. Complete reliance on what others have to say is when seeking approval becomes detrimental.
How to overcome the need for approval?
Start by developing a significant sense of self-worth. Analyze your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses. Once you are done and dusted with this task, accept your flaws, the same ways you accept your strengths. When you finally find yourself on the gradual path of knowing and accepting yourself, reset your own boundaries and stick to the things that fulfill you.
How to self validate?
Telling yourself that it’s okay to feel a certain way but also not over-identifying it, helps to curb the need of seeking approval from outside. For eg: I am feeling sad. Instead of wallowing in it, I address the feeling and decide to cheer myself up. Be present for your own self too, just like you are for the world outside.
How can self-validation improve your life?
Self-validation is nothing but self-worthiness. Whatever you are going through is your own journey. Once you start keeping a note of this, you automatically start taking the lead. You are able to filter out everything that provides no value. It brings along the sense that” I am responsible for what I do” and thus the belief that you are capable of making a conscious choice for yourself.
Not to forget, self-validation is a step towards one’s self-healing. It is a process and shall take its own time. But if practiced consciously, it shall bestow upon you, some of the greatest gifts. The git of being confident and the gift of being at peace with yourself.