Stop seeking validation”
“You should do what you want”
“You don’t need anyone’s approval”
I am sure you have heard these things before from different people and in different situations. People somehow villanize the concept of “validation”, without understanding why we seek it and where the limit is, when do we stop or when do we really need validation. And let me be real, I was one of those people who thought that seeking validation means undermining yourself.
Whenever “validation” is mentioned, a negative connotation follows. People who constantly seek validation are deemed as people-pleasers who negate their own needs and people who do not seek validation at all (or they want us to believe this) are seen as someone who is assertive or downright selfish.
But what if I tell you that these extremes do not really exist, because we humans do seek validation, all of us, no one is exempt from this, not even those who say “I don’t care what they think.” In most cases, those who say they don’t care are trying to seek validation by acting like they do not need it and not being dependent on validation is seen as a symbol of power and strength.
Before we jump to conclusions and decide to do away with the concept of validation, let’s understand what it is in its truest form.
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Validation is seeking agreement, in the broadest sense of the term, whether it is agreement towards our thoughts or our behaviours. We want people on our side, especially when we are unsure about something or want to confirm that our beliefs and thoughts are moving in the right direction. It helps us fit in, and feel like we are a part of something.
Seeking validation is not a measure of your confidence or the lack thereof, even the most confident people out there seek validation and take feedback on their work and thoughts, this helps them grow and move forward.
The problem isn’t seeking validation, we do it all the time knowingly or unknowingly. Validation and feedback can boost your efforts, adds value to what you are already thinking and doing but it should never be the motivation.
The real mistake we make is giving weight to that validation and forgetting about something called “Self Validation”- be it encouraging yourself to take a leap or being kind to yourself if things do not work out the way you wanted them to. Valuing your own opinion is also as important as valuing others’ opinions.
In other words, validation is a powerful tool when used right– for instance, before taking a tough decision and whenever you feel stuck in life, however, getting validation from others should not always be your end goal. Learn when to self-validate and know that it’s human to fall into the trap of ‘appealing to the masses’ every now and then.
So go ahead, seek some validation, and ask your friends how they found this article when you share it with them!