Today’s topic is addressing why we seek validation outside of ourselves.
I will break this down into three parts.
First what is validation
Second, why do we do it and why do we feel like we need it.
Finally, how do we learn to validate ourselves.
Validation is the deep need that we have to be understood. I do believe this is a need. I believe that we all need to be seen and expressed and if we don’t just need will manifest itself in interesting and unique ways in our lives.
It like we are seeking out someone to tell us we matter and that we are important or good job, I know you’re working hard.
The catch here is that we will never feel validated or accepted as we really are until we do this ourselves.
I remember when I was so obsessed with how my body looked and I was hyper controlling my food intake and taking pills to, as it felt, hold back this beast inside of me so I could get validation from my family that, hey Erin you look good. The only thing is that I was miserable and real beauty comes from happiness and connection. So I rarely got the validation and I took that to mean I wasn’t good enough.
I think a huge struggle of an addict in recovery is that we want validation, but we don’t even know who the fuck we are yet.
So the illusion comes that we have to be something else or project ourselves as we think people want us to be. It’s really wild.
I remember reading client stories from Brene Browns book, “The Gift of Imperfection,” and a women said my biggest fear is that I’ll go to a party and everyone I know will be there and I won’t know who to be.
Here’s the thing, how can we validate ourselves if we are so wrapped in boxes, layers, and masks that we can’t even see our special and unique talents and skills?
Shit, we probably don’t even know about them.
I like to tell the story about when I opened my studio and how it was such a brave expression that afterwards I was able to express myself in other ways such as public speaking, and even singing and chanting. This was a talent I definitely did not have before or at least I didn’t see it.
We think that we need to be this huge deal for validation or our accomplishment needs to be epic, but in going to stop you right there and say, that’s not true.
I used to have to starve myself down a couple of sizes, have a certain number of certificates, or grades, or win everything to think I deserved my own love. Nowadays I can just sit at the computer for 10 minutes and attempt something I know is challenging for me and I’m so proud. It’s small things now that give me validation like yes, I showed up, I gave my best, and I’m happy because I can do hard things.
Another aspect of validation is acknowledgement. It’s knowing we have been heard.
I have had many clients that crave acknowledgement from their peers, family, or spouse. An interesting thing though is a lot of he time when I ask them if they’ve expressed themselves as to their wants or needs, they say no.
How is that person supposed to acknowledge you if you’re hiding? And if you’re hiding your voice from others, you’re dying slowly inside. You’re forgetting your importance and not allowing yourself to be expressed from the inside out. How constricting.
So how do we validate ourselves? How do we feel like we matter and that we’ve been heard?
Well, we already know it starts with us. Be the change you wish to see in the world. But I do have a game plan for you.
I want you to write down 5-10 things you find challenging. Make it a mix of bigger things and smaller things.
Choose 1 or 2 things that you can accomplish fairly easily. Think of how it will feel once you get them done. Acknowledge yourself in that moment that you are doing this because you care about yourself and love yourself. Get out your calendar, write it in, and do it.
After you do it. Sit with the feeling and fully acknowledge it. Savor it. Be proud and happy about it.
So this is one method if we are still working on self value. Another method you can combine with this is taking 10 minute out of your day in the morning, on a lunch break, or before bed. I like the Rise, Pee, and Meditate method myself, but some days a nice lunch hour real is great to recharge.
So set a timer for 10 minutes and validate yourself. You can sit there and scan your body and breath. A great mantra to start with for the student who is more kinesthetic is :
I am breathing in.
I am breathing out.
I feel my breathing.
Or My heart is beating.
I feel it beating. I feel you.
I feel my fingers (touch tips together)
I am here in the present.
I see you.
This is another beautiful to make conscious contact and acknowledge your true self. Your soul is desperately seeking to connect with you so you can feel whole.
This way you can remember, acknowledge, and validate the consciousness below the surface that hums with unconditional love at your very core.
Have a fantastic week.