I’ve spent most of my life looking to others for validation. I’ve always been preoccupied with wondering how others saw me and what they thought of me. As much as I had become accustomed to this, engaging in such behaviour wasn’t healthy for me at all. I was looking to external factors for my own happiness. I needed to look within myself to appreciate and love who I was as a person.
Looking to others for validation
Last night, I watched an episode of a television show that led to some self-reflection. If you’ve been following ‘How I Met Your Mother’, you would know that the five characters have matured a great deal over the eight seasons, both in their age and in their perspective towards life. In the first of this double-episode, Ted, the main character, was preparing for the grand opening of his new building. He was extremely proud to show off how far he’d come as an architect.
But, as he boasted about his efforts, he reflected back to his college years when a professor had made the harsh comment: “You will never be an architect.” Those words had become ingrained in his mind. Despite his present success, he still felt the need to prove to his former professor that he’d been wrong. He felt the need to invite him to the grand opening out of spite; he felt the need to show up to his class and rub it in his face. He still yearned to have validation from someone else, even though his success proved that he didn’t need it.
Caring too much about what others think
And this rather touching storyline, was one I could easily relate to, because I’ve felt this way for the majority of my life.
I’ve spent about 23 years wondering if I was a good enough daughter to my parents; if I was too boring, nice or sensitive for people’s liking; if I even had an opinion worth sharing. I was so worried about what others thought of me, I forgot to listen to the opinion that mattered most – my own.
I wanted so badly to ‘fit in’ and to do what others wanted, I didn’t stop to think about my own happiness. This caused me to doubt myself and my ability to make a difference.
Looking within yourself
But since I became a writer in April this year, I have stopped looking to others for validation. By sharing my views in such a public domain, I’ve learnt not only to believe in what I write, but in who I am.
I now know that…
It doesn’t matter if people don’t like the things that I write and wholeheartedly disagree with me.
I believe in the things that I write.
It doesn’t matter if someone judges me for parenting my children differently to the way they do.
I know I do the best job I can.
It doesn’t matter if I want to wear track pants to see a few friends.
I know I’m beautiful, regardless.
It doesn’t matter if people judge me for being a young mother.
I’m glad to have met my best friend and soulmate so young.
All that matters is that I know who I am. I’m not going to let the judgement of others change the way that I live my life.
It’s all about self-validation and learning to love yourself….
Wherever you go in life, there will be roadblocks. Someone or something will try to get in the way of your success and individuality. Someone will tell you that you’re not good enough; that you’re not capable.
But don’t let those roadblocks stop you from reaching your destination. Don’t let what other people think, determine your happiness.
If you believe in your abilities and in who you are, don’t look to others for validation. Validate yourself.