No one is a stranger to the word’s approval and validation. Some individuals spend their entire life seeking validation of others without even realizing it. Whether it be from family, friends, coworkers, or society in general.
We will put limiting beliefs on ourselves and start to sacrifice our dreams and ambitions because they are not “good enough” or “too big” in someone else’s perspective.
There is also fear of judgment because we so desperately want “society” to accept us. We will live our entire life in the box the people around us has put us in.
Seeking validation is not always negative. We all begin life in complete reliance on external validation. As toddlers, we look for our parent’s smiles/nod to learn appropriate behaviors.
As young adults, we mimic the actions of our peers to fit in. It can become a big part of our personality if it is a part of our upbringing and environment.
As adults, we must realize that there is a fine line between needing someone’s approval and looking for constructive feedback/ suggestions. But still trusting your ability to make the right choice for yourself.
Ultimately, we seek validation because we lack self-confidence and self-trust.
The best way to overcome your need for approval is by finding your inner happiness and working on strengthening the relationship you have with yourself. We must practice self-love to know our self-worth.
Practical Ways to Stop Seeking Validation
1. Understand your emotions.
We benefit from understanding our emotions and the impact they have on us.
We must recognize that seeking validation comes from the emotions that arise within us when faced with making a decision. This may be in form of doubt, insecurity, or uncertainty.
Once we recognize how often we are focusing on others’ approval and the emotions behind it we become aware of our actions.
2. Know your self-worth.
Your sense of self-worth helps you trust your judgment before anyone else’s. Having self-worth means that you love and value yourself regardless of what people do, say, or think of you.
We seek others’ approval when our sense of self-worth is low, when we find our happiness in someone’s permission and when we believe that we must ‘perform’ to be worthy of joy, love, and attention.
According to this survey, 55% of people credit their self-worth to what others think.
Self-love is an appreciation for oneself that comes from actions that support our emotional and spiritual growth.
We can show kindness to ourselves and accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths. We do not feel the need to explain our shortcomings to everyone for them to accept us.
Individuals who have more self-love tend to know what they want. They may seek guidance but rarely validation.
4. Cultivate a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. You are not limited to the intelligence you are born with. This takes away the feelings of insecurity.
Those individuals can learn from criticism, get inspired by others, and believe that everything is the result of their efforts.
For this reason, individuals with a growth mindset can self validate instead of always seeking validation or approval from others.
5. Build your confidence.
There are many benefits to increasing your self-confidence. It allows us freedom from self-doubt and negative thoughts about ourselves. It enables us to overcome our fears and aim higher.
Confident people take more chances on themselves rarely relying on approval from others.
Happiness from within is a critical element of being confident. You cannot be happy if you are trying to live your life to someone else’s standards. Trust your instincts and pursue what resonates with your core.
6. Take a social media break.
Jumping from one social media app to another has become our favorite hobby. We are constantly attached to our phones.
Dr. Clark Rose, professor, and chair of the Bryan college Psychology department explained that when we are constantly using our phones we are preventing our brains from resting.
This constant stimulation wears out the brain and leads to burnout, a “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”
Mental exhaustion leads to depression explains Rose.
Social media is a major channel of communication. There are many positive aspects to the internet. It allows us to connect with family and friends, provide entertainment, keep us updated with the latest trends and news.
But at what point does that become a problem?
We are constantly living in FOMO ( Fear of Missing Out) state when seeing friends post happy updates. We feel the urge to post about everything we are doing.
We only feel validated when we have a large number of followers and likes. It starts to consume us. It creates an unrealistic expectation of how we should be living our life.
The key is to practice moderation when using social media and be aware when you are posting only for the sake of feeling validated.
It feels good to be praised and have our feelings affirmed. Seeking validation is not inherently bad. But you cannot let it take over your life.
Just because you are on a path that does not follow someone else’s path does not mean you are on the wrong path. Your life path is unique to you.
Love yourself for the person you are and stop worrying about what people will think about you.