Life can sometimes feel like a popularity contest. The internet is a never-ending hustle for likes and followers. And even in real life, we all want to be loved and accepted. I remember a time in my life where I would post on the ‘Gram’ and check every few minutes for new likes and comments. It was a sort of validation. If my likes were low, my first thought was there’s something wrong with the picture or me in the picture and I would instinctively want to take it down.
Thankfully, time has brought growth and I no longer feel the need to be validated in that way. However, it took some time to get here and I’m still on this journey, I haven’t arrived but the important thing is I became intentional about how I saw and felt about myself and this greatly reduced my need for external validation. Here a few ways you can do this too.
Love and believe in yourself
We hear this all the time but we don’t really internalise it. Self-love is the journey of accepting yourself for who you are – not what the world says you should be. It is to embrace yourself and fall in love with where you are right now and the potential of what you could be tomorrow. And this love has to come from deep within, a strong conviction in the value you have as a human being. Anytime you feel the need to scramble for attention, remind yourself you are good enough. You are beautiful. Loved. Valued. And you matter. It is your responsibility to have this ongoing conversation with yourself. If you must, write down positive affirmations. Speak them over yourself. Your words are powerful and you will find that your thought patterns will begin to align with what you say to yourself.
Be your biggest cheerleader
Learn to celebrate your milestones. Even the small ones no one sees. For instance, when I finish writing this article, I will do a little dance or just mentally pat myself on the back. I remember reading articles and at some point thinking I didn’t have the skills to do such and here I am. No one else knows your journey as you do, so you can’t wait for others to celebrate or laud you. Do it yourself. Even if your product or work wasn’t great, you know the effort you put in, take it as a learning experience and give yourself an A for effort. 😀
Avoid lingering thoughts
Bounce off the negative thoughts or comments. Things will take root the longer you allow them to fester. Don’t let comments or thoughts stay in your mind for long, even if you have to distract yourself. Some times the negative vibes people give off is more because of where they are and they are just projecting on you. Many times it has nothing to do with you. If there truly is something you have to change, then change it but don’t sit and stew over negativity till it takes over and ends up having a worse effect.
Don’t compare yourself to others
You are unique and your life’s journey is unique. Someone else’s achievement or result is not the requirement for how yours should look. Yours will turn out how it was supposed to turn out for you. Be content and happy with your results –your life, house, car, etc. It’s okay to strive to be more but not just because someone else is doing it and that makes you feel less worthy. You are already worthy.
Getting support and encouragement from others is great but remember no one can fully validate you the way you can. The same people that praise you today can destroy you with their words tomorrow. Human beings are fickle, so you cannot live for external validation. Know yourself fully and love yourself. Period.