There have been many things I’ve struggled with in life: fear of failure, fear of success, indecisiveness, analysis paralysis, low self-esteem and worth, identity, the need to be needed and more.
Of the many things I’ve had to overcome, validation was the most challenging.
Validation is “recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.”
If I was to modify this definition, I would add “from themselves versus someone else.”
Validation is a part of society and is necessary. When you are validated it communicates to the person that what they are saying or have to offer is important and of value.
However, if you don’t have a strong, healthy foundation of self-validation, then you will always look to others to validate you. And emotionally this can be very unhealthy, especially if you battle with identity issues.
Because of struggles I have experienced and embraced in life, I constantly sought out external validation. I wanted to be loved and feel needed.
I wanted everyone to like me and make me feel like I belonged. I wanted them to tell me my worth and the value I bring to the table. I wanted them to tell me something I could not see for myself.
This can be dangerous because sometimes, other people will see you for who you truly are, the gifts you have and take advantage of it for their own personal gain.
The core of the issues I faced all stemmed from this seed. I was afraid of deciding because I didn’t want to let you down. I didn’t want to fail because what would you think of me.
Maybe I would no longer be of value to you or the company if I made a mistake. Even though I didn’t want to fail, at the same time I was afraid of success because what if I couldn’t keep it up.
My identity, self-love, and worth were tied up in a title which made me feel like I brought value. It was always external.
However, seeking validation from other sources to confirm the value you bring will always convolute who you truly are – especially if you don’t understand yourself.
They have their own perspective and opinions that have shaped their views, so how are they the authoritative figure on who you are and what you offer? Why do you give them so much power over your life?
I had to realize true validation comes from the Father and no one else. When I understood this, I had to begin the process to deprogram my thoughts and reverse engineer the validation process so I could go inward versus outward.
Here are three things I discovered on my own road to self-validation:
Know the source. Know who your master creator is and what He designed you for specifically. We were all created for a purpose and to fulfill a specific master plan but you must go within yourself, become still and truly listen to His voice.
Find the root cause. Know WHY you are seeking validation and if it’s from an unhealthy place seek healing. Because if you don’t discover the root cause then you will constantly repeat the cycle.
Seek value not validation. Seek to understand how both parties can bring value to the situation. This way you stand in a place of power and not a weakness because you understand what you offer.
Therefore, the validation you receive will only be confirmation of what you already knew, shed light on a different method or provide information to help complete the goal.
At the end of the day, everyone is human, wants to be heard, wants to know they are appreciated and loved and wants to make a difference in the world. Just make sure it’s your voice being spoken and not someone else’s.
Janna B. is a wife, an entrepreneur, a giver, philanthropist and a mother of two little ones who are firecrackers. She enjoys talking with people and understanding their heart, their dreams and their passions. Find Janna B. online at jannab.com and on social media at @jannabspeaks.