Validation is not a bad thing. It can be affirming and positive. It is reasonable to want your ideas, achievements, and choices validated by those around you. Recognition and acceptance of someone else’s experience can be a beautiful thing.
So, when does validation become problematic?
I recently came to the awareness that the desire to get people to like me has motivated the majority of my choices and actions. Particularly in my early life. That awareness and realization has caused me to contemplate. So, now that I’m aware of my need to feel validated and desire to be accepted, where did it all come from. When did it all start?
How can I get to the bottom of this and heal from it? Heal from the root cause of my need to feel validated and accepted.
This is requiring that I go back all the way to my childhood to uncover where that need came from. Through the process of energy work, meditation, a lot of tears, a lot of time alone and the support of a few amazing friends, I am still here. Otherwise, I feel I may not be.
My journey to discovery also is requiring that a few difficult decisions be made. Painful decisions.
My need for validation and acceptance at times has led to behaviors I am not pleased with. Behaviors that left me feeling more void than before I participated in the behavior. Behaviors that have cost me some valuable relationships. I recognize now that the behaviors were yet another subconscious attempt for validation and acceptance.
It certainly does not help that for much of my life I have been clinically depressed. Something I have struggled with but have become very good at hiding and always pretending everything is okay.
For me, my bouts with depression stem from that feeling of not being validated and a feeling of not being accepted. Even as far back as my early childhood, I can remember feeling depressed. Of course, at that time I didn’t know I was depressed. I just knew I felt different and out of place. I found myself feeling sad way back then. Often sitting over in a corner somewhere watching others while at a gathering.
Having a father who was verbally, mentally, and physically abusive left me feeling unworthy, unaccepted, and not validated. This led me to seek that validation in other men. I have allowed those feelings from my father to stick around for far too long. Now when Mr. Right shows up, I end up sabotaging the relationship because deep inside I still feel that sense of unworthiness that was deeply embedded in me from my father.
As my life has progressed, the depression has continued with frequent thoughts of suicide. The break-up of my 18-year relationship and the tragic loss of my beautiful angel and Mother just added more weight to my depression. I knew I had to get help. I started crying out for help to a few close friends. My dearest friend Greg, who is an Energy Healer and life coach has dug me out of the quick-sand more times than I care to mention.
I now know that first and foremost, I need to give myself validation.
One way I am moving toward self-validation (approval) is by keeping a self- appreciation journal. It is a good way to begin to acknowledge the things I am most proud of about myself. The first entry in my self-appreciation journal was, “The work I do both as a writer and nurse makes a difference in people’s lives.”
So now that I’ve discovered where my need for validation comes from, Am I healed? Do I still feel the need to be validated and accepted?
It is a journey for me and not a destination. It is a daily work. If I fail to do the work, I fall right back in to the same pattern of seeking that validation (approval) from others. There is always work to do. Work to become and remain my highest and best self.
I will continue to work at bringing more awareness to my validation seeking thoughts and behaviors. I will continue to work on dealing with the past that led me here in an effort to free myself and feel worthy the next time someone shows me true love.
In Summary: Don’t we all want to be accepted and validated? I think it becomes problematic when we seek external validation as opposed to looking internally for validation. The truth is, no validation is needed from anyone. It is okay to be who you are. It is okay to live in your truth no matter what that looks like. Those who truly love you will accept you in your truth. Now, I just need to remember this and work on applying it to my personal life.
My Personal Affirmations:
- I am worthy of love
- I am ready to receive love
- I validate and approve of myself
- I openly receive validation (approval, love) from others
Your continued love and support of me move me deeply. I am grateful for each of you. It is a pleasure to share my journey with you.
Is the need for validation (approval) holding you back? I look forward to your feedback.
Vince is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, Published Writer, and Columnist living and loving in Atlanta, Georgia. Enter your email address to receive his monthly Educational, Inspirational, and Motivational 5-minute reads straight to your inbox. You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedInand Twitter. Your support and feedback are deeply appreciated.