Why Do We Seek Validation?
Did you know that every single person you ever meet on this earth will have a different perspective of you? The version of you that your mom sees, is completely different than the one that your boss sees, or the one the stranger who you cut off on the way to work sees….and it’s funny because absolutely NONE of them are the exact perception that you have of yourself.
Today I’m not coming at you as life coach Meg. I’m just here showing up as human Meg, because y’all – I am still overcoming my addiction to other people’s approval.
This is something that’s proven to be so damn hard for me and I just thought we could create some space to openly talk about some ideas around why we’re so addicted to the approval of others and why letting go of external validation is so difficult.
I can honestly say that less than 5% of the people I’ve worked with in a coaching relationship do NOT struggle with needing other people’s approval – we are completely addicted to it. External validation is when we look to others to validate our feelings, and by itself, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. BUT when it supersedes our own INTERNAL validation, or we completely rely on the approval of others, it becomes a slippery slope to losing your sense of self.
When we seek validation externally, we immediately place our self-worth in the hands of others. Why do we need others to like us? We might not even like — or even respect them — but we need their approval. What ends up happening is we enter this never-ending circle, trying to appease people and it’s never enough — so we go back into this vicious cycle of continuously straying from WHO WE ARE to try to be who we think they want us to be. And sometimes, we try to appease multiple people at a time, who all have a different version of who they would like us to be — it’s a lose - lose for us. And confusing. And exhausting. Sometimes we can feel like we have 14 personalities when really, we’re just trying to people-please 14 different perspectives of ourselves, shapeshifting from version to version. Where’s the sense (and confidence) in SELF?
Where does it come from?
Perhaps you learned to fear rejection or being disliked, and you grew into insecurity, not trusting yourself to make your own judgments.
Maybe your family was a “keeping up with the Jones’” type of family, and you learned from your parents to look outward for approval.
Where do you think your addiction to external validation might come from? Grab a journal, trust me, and start writing it down.
What we learned as kids has inevitably shaped us into adults who make decisions based on what we think others want for us – and a lot of times, we do this unconsciously. What happens is, this repeated behavior leads us to a very poor sense of self-worth, and then we end up relying on external validation even more, because we don’t even value our own opinion. It’s a nasty cycle.
You have to live your truth. Not the truth of whoever you are trying to impress or get approval from in the moment. That’s exhausting.
Until you learn the lesson, you will continue to live it. So you have to say NO MORE to needing other's approval and then you heal the root of the problem.
This means you have to keep digging, you have to get to the root of the problem.
What is your responsibility?
To live your truth. Nobody else’s.
Is the temporary approval from someone worth you not living your truth?
It comes down to this:
External validation comes from a lack of internal validation. Start validating yourself.
Where are you lying to yourself about yourself?
What are you still learning to love/accept about yourself?
Get to know yourself. I promise a stronger sense of self will never be a disservice to you.
You don’t need everyone to like you. But you choose to like you. As your real self. And I promise to do the same. We got this.
Take a deeper dive into overcoming this need for validation by checking out this podcast on all outlets listed below! You’ll be stronger for it, I promise.