The definition of ‘validate’ is to prove the accuracy of something. People seek this validation in their own lives. This stamp of approval, about who they are, about what they are. Giving them legitimate proof, that they are accepted.
People ironically seek this acceptance, this validation, from the very people we are supposedly closest to in life; friends, parents, siblings, and work colleagues. And sometimes people in groups in which we aspire to be included.
There were times in my life, when I sought this form of validation. When I needed it. This validation that I was smart enough. Or good enough. That I had made it. This validation that I was one of ‘them’.
Not coincidentally, this was a time in my life of great insecurity. This was a stretch when I was uncomfortable in my own skin.
I spent the bulk of the last ten years trying to feel validated through my job. Little seemed to validate me. Not success. Certainly not failure. Not a series of people telling me what I was. Or who I was. Or even how good I was. There was this constant, underlying level of uncertainty. And while it stemmed from my job, it permeated to all areas of my life.
Unfortunately, people seeking this stamp of approval are not alone. This need, this search for validation, is common. And it’s not just the unsuccessful. It’s not just the underprivileged. It’s not just the unbeautiful. The smart, successful, attractive, funny, driven, and everything else good you can imagine…all kinds of people roam this earth in search of some validation that they belong.
I used to walk out of meetings with this inner dialog, ‘Did I say the right things? Did I do the right things? Did my hair look right? Did they think I was funny?’
The infamous they. They are the group of people who are already had their foreheads stamped. They are approved. They are in the club already. So we’re always worried about what they are thinking. What they would want us to do? Because everyone who is already approved must own a stamp of their own. They must be able to validate you.
But the rub, is that a lot of these same people are seeking the same validation. So you are trying to be validated…by the very people that are seeking validation themselves?
It’s all such bullshit.
We attempt to get validated by our job. We try to get validated by our friends. Our social status. Or sadly, our cars. It’s all this great effort to be validated in the eyes of others.
If that’s what you need…to be validated by someone else…this is me, stamping you validated. You’re approved. Feel better?
Of course not. It doesn’t mean anything. You don’t need validation from me. You don’t need validation from anything, or anyone…but yourself.
You are what you think. You are what you do. You are what you aspire to be. Be validated by your actions today and how they will help get you where you want to go in the future.
That should be enough. That is enough.