Making assumptions is one of the fastest ways that negative beliefs ruin your life. There’s also another culprit at play. It’s one of the leading causes of failure: the need for validation and approval. That’s why seeking validation is destroying your self-worth.
Codependency can be identified when you need validation and acceptance from others to feel worthy. I’m very attuned to this because I’m a recovering codependent. Allowing other people’s words and actions to impact how you see yourself is a fast way to block your personal growth.
This is what the seeking of validation (someone else’s opinion about you) does to your emotional and mental health. It’s also the root of people-pleasing (which is another way of saying “codependency”).
Want help overcoming codependency & seeking validation in your life?
Good. Read on and you’ll find out how to break free.
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 and validate you.
We get this wrong all the time. We tell ourselves that we don’t care what someone else’s opinion about us is. Yet often this isn’t really that true.
Most of us struggle with 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. In my past, I spent years pining for someone else’s approval, acceptance, love, and validation. Which created dysfunction in my connections and also created a few very painful dysfunctional relationships.
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 or worth except you.
If you give anyone else the power to determine your value, you’re still conceding what’s rightfully yours to someone else.
Seeking validation creates the opposite effect of what you’re wanting.
This self-realization has tremendous benefits
In changing the way I see myself, I have a LOT more fun in life. This means I dress differently and interact differently with people.
Me playing Mozart for one of the Mozart Society parties
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 as a way to attract a younger audience to the symphony. I’m the official mascot (see above).
Which means I wear a colonial wig, dress in elaborate suits and have a blast with everyone. Because it’s fun, and awesome!
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, and the value that it has?
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 (becoming solid on your own merit).
The impact of this practice is widespread. Your life will transform and your career will transform in magnificent ways. And your relationships will be authentic and genuine.
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.
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. You’re waiting for someone to confirm the negative beliefs you have about yourself.
When they do, the insecurity is upheld. “See, Jack said I suck at being cool with other people. 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? You invalidate yourself with your own beliefs.
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 relationships.
Many people don’t feel worthy of goodness
Because somewhere in time, someone said they weren’t worthy (or that’s how they interpreted it).
Giving yourself affirmations of how awesome and lovable you are is how you change your story. From the inside. It’s how you cultivate empowering new beliefs about who you are. As you change the way you see yourself, the way others see you changes too.
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!!!”
You have to give yourself the power to determine your worth. Allow no one else to 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.
Your inner critic is a bully
When you empower yourself and choose to believe in yourself, the obstacles that 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 core principle and method taught in Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole.
In the ways you love someone else, you can also 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 and how much you appreciate them being in your life, give that love 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.”
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.”
Take your wings back & let yourself fly!
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 rejection. You don’t want rejection, but you’re giving it to yourself by not seeing your own worth.
Change your self-concept by changing the story you are telling yourself about who you are. You are already awesome and already lovable. You are already worthy.
Affirm this series of new beliefs in yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and let yourself hear from your own voice how much you value you.
Then, as you love yourself and transform yourself, more people become inherently drawn to you. And everything flourishes in your life because you’ve changed yourself from the inside out, instead of the outside in.
*This blog article was originally published at dgrantsmith.com.
D Grant Smith is known as the Growth Farmer, which means he has an old-fashioned approach to living a whole & healthy life. Get his free ebook called Love Is The Seed To Success, that gives help in healing relationships and growing healthy ones. His new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole is about the journey into self-love and self-care after heartbreak and personal loss. He’s an empowerment superhero who would love to give you encouragement so feel free to reach out!
Image courtesy of Dakota Corbin.