While making assumptions is one of the fastest ways to allowing negative beliefs take over your mind, there’s another culprit at play. It’s one of the leading causes of personal failure and fear in the world. Let’s just call it the need for validation. Or the need of someone else’s favorable opinion.
Needing something from anyone else in the form of validation is how you can identify codependency. I’m very attuned to this because I’m a recovering codependent. Like I talked about in this previous blog post, allowing other people’s words to impact how you see yourself is a fast way to block your personal growth.
Here’s why. Letting someone else determine your value is so unhealthy, it’s worse than taking on the diet from Super Size Me and adding a truckload of Chocolate donuts and gallons of Red Bull. On a daily basis. That crap will literally kill you.
Which is what the seeking of validation (someone else’s opinion about you) does to your emotional and mental health.
We get this wrong all the time
We tell ourselves that we don’t care what someone else’s opinion about us is, but is that really true? Do you care what people think of you?
If you think, “No dude, people can think whatever they want. I’m fine,” are you sure? My guess is that on some level there’s a hidden want or need that you have for other people to approve of your work or validate your offering. Let’s see if that’s true. And more importantly, let’s look at what to do about it.
Remember that phrase I gave you when we talked about asses (not the kind you might be thinking)? It goes, “Opinions are like assholes; everyone’s got one and all of them stink.”
Which is a great way to think about things when it comes to the human condition of needing validation. I’m just as guilty of this fallacy of thinking as anyone else is. I have told myself that I don’t care what other people think, BUT……
When put to the test, I realized that I had a big desire for someone else to validate me before I believed in myself or my worth. Actually, I secretly sought it out. I have spent years pining for someone else’s approval, acceptance, love and validation. Which created some dysfunction in my connections and also created a few very painful dysfunctional relationships.
So I’m speaking from experience here
That’s why seeking validation is the root of insecurity. It’s not just thinking that you’re not enough or that you’re not worthy. Those two false beliefs will derail you on their own. But the root of the problem is the idea that someone else telling you that you’re good enough or worthy will make it so.
That’s bullcrap. Here’s the truth: No one gets to determine your value except you.
If you give anyone else the power to determine your value, you’re still conceding what’s rightfully yours to someone else.
It’s still your choice.
Validation, and seeking validation, creates the opposite effect of what you’re wanting.
This self-realization has tremendous benefits. For me, in changing the way I see myself I have a LOT more fun. That means I dress differently and interact differently with people.
An example of this is something I started doing in 2018 with our local philharmonic. We have a group of young professionals who form The Mozart Society (see above) as a way to attract a younger audience to the symphony. I’m the official mascot. Which means that for our Society parties, I wear a colonial wig, dress in elaborate suits and have a blast with everyone. Because it’s fun, and awesome. And because I choose to celebrate life regardless of what anyone else thinks. The scared dude who needed validation and approval from others wouldn’t be ballsy enough to do this. Which means….
It all comes down to belief
What do you really believe about yourself? What do you really believe about the work you do, the quality of your production, the value that it has?
If you question whether or not you’re going to be able to sell yourself or your product/services based on a negative thought, you’re destined to fail. A thought like “they can’t afford to pay what I’m worth so I have to lower my prices,” is a self-defeatest attitude. It’s saying the validation of someone else’s judgement on the value of your work.
You don’t get to decide ahead of time what someone can afford or not. That’s giving your power away and also making their opinion of your worth more valuable than your own. It’s also operating out of an assumption, which is a false belief.
This is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs, business owners, and startups. The answer lies in getting out of your own head.
When you feel like you need someone else to tell you that you’re work is great and worthy of recognition, that’s needing their validation. If you need someone to believe in you in order for you to believe in yourself, that’s needing validation.
Here’s the real deal Holyfield:
The only person who’s going to give you the validation that actually matters is yourself.
It’s one of the reasons why I practice daily affirmations and mantras. Like I said earlier, this has been a struggle for me for a long time. When I break away from my affirmations practice, I tend to slip back into these negative patterns. And it sucks!
You’ve got to choose to back yourself up
As soon as you stop wanting someone else to tell you that you’re good enough and you start believing it, everything will change for you.
That’s the secret to my success that’s detailed in The Growth Farming Affirmations ebook. It’s how I start and end my day, along with a regular practice of meditation and journaling. Just doing affirmations still has an incredible impact on reshaping your beliefs to go from helpless (needing validation) to empowered (solid on your own merit).
The impact of this practice is widespread. Your life will transform and your career will transform in magnificent ways. Because here’s the real dark side to the need for validation:
If someone can validate you and that gives you power, they can also invalidate you and take all that power away. It’s giving someone else a helix of power that determines everything about your success or failure. And you’re the one giving someone else the power to curse you by fostering this negative belief and practice.
So let’s get even more honest and dig a little deeper. When you want someone else’s validation of your worth and value, you don’t have confidence in yourself. From that lower, insecure position, you’re subconsciously waiting for people to tell you how bad you are, or that you’re not good enough. It’s psychological. You’re waiting for someone to confirm the negative beliefs you have about yourself.
So when they do, the insecurity is upheld. “See, Jack said I such at writing cool blog articles. I knew it!”
Which leads to you second-guessing yourself, and not really putting your heart or your best effort forward. Why put your best effort or try your best when you believe your best isn’t good enough.
This is why so many people settle for average work, average lives, average relationships. Or even worse, why so many people settle for unhealthy and dysfunctional situations and people. They don’t feel worthy of goodness. Because somewhere in time, someone said they weren’t worthy?
Have you been that in that somewhere in the past? Are you that someone now?
Here’s how to get out of the pit of seeking and needing validation from anyone.
Give yourself permission to be awesome
Yep, you read that right. Give YOURSELF permission. To. Be. Awesome!
It’s like Zach de la Rocha shouted in the iconic Rage Against The Machine track, “You gotta take the power back!!!” The song lyric is a bit vulgar, but in your empowerment process, you might even want to rant on that last line he shouts. Again, profane language in all of that so if that bothers you, don’t go there.
But you have to give yourself the power to determine your worth. Let no one else do that.
A practical exercise is looking at yourself in the mirror and telling the person looking back at you,
“You are good enough. You are my favorite person. I believe in you!”
Sound cheesy? Who cares? It works. It’s no cheesier than letting your inner critic in your head tell you that no one likes you or no one cares about you or that you suck.
Punch that bastard in the teeth and go on with your awesome self. Do that by affirming yourself and your worth (for more on this, check out this speech clip on changing how you see yourself).
It’s what I had to do when I came to the realization that my codependency was eff-ing up my life. And was likely part of the cause of my worst heartbreaking experience. I didn’t love myself enough, and sought out the validation of someone else to earn their love and respect. Which just leads to pain and anguish.
When you empower yourself and choose to believe in you, the obstacles and challenges you think are in the way of your success won’t be there anymore. Because you won’t be looking for them. That “need” you think you have for someone else’s approval, acceptance, and validation will disappear. Because you gain all of those things from yourself. Confidence is second nature when you love yourself.
If you want more confidence, love yourself. It’s that simple. This is the method that’s taught in my new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole.
Here’s how to do that
How do you love someone else? The ways you love someone else you can love yourself. As long as your method of love is healthy and whole. If you dote on someone and tell them how great they are, how much you appreciate them being in your life, and how you couldn’t live without them, give that to yourself.
Because it’s all true. You can’t live without yourself. Give yourself the love that you give away to others.
It’s like Lisa Nichols says, “We show the world how to love us by how we love ourselves.”
If you approach people from a place of needing their approval, you’re showing that you’re needy. And they won’t be as likely to reciprocate in healthy ways.
When you love and respect yourself, you show people that you’re worthy of love and respect. So you end up getting more of that. Wayne Dyer says, “If you want people’s approval, stop trying so hard to get it.” The people we tend to approve of the most are those who really don’t care if anyone is paying attention or not. That confidence makes us want to get closer and be in their energy.
The big takeaway here is to let go of the need for validation because it’s a recipe for the antithesis: rejection. You don’t want rejection, but you’re giving it to yourself by not seeing your own worth. The antidote to this human fallacy is to give love to yourself. Fill up your own heart-well with the love you pour out to others. Then, as you love yourself and transform yourself, more people become inherently drawn to you as you grow.
Get Your Wings Back & Take Off!
Let’s talk. This is a human condition. I have struggled with it too. And overcome it. If I can do it, so can you!
Set up a 15 minute conversation with me here. I’ll help you be able to see some of the habits you have that are hindering you from the life you want and give you the tools to make changes that bring you relief, peace, clarity, and hope for a super-powered future. Come fly with me!