“My higher self said yes and that’s all the validation I need.”
*…me…five minutes ago
“Once you finally give yourself the validation you’ve been craving, you will no longer seek it from the world.”
*also me, also 5 minutes ago
The need for external validation can be one of the most crippling feelings in the world.
And it’s 2019, which means the desire to be liked, and loved by others and told on a loop on a daily basis has only been amplified.
I’m just going to be honest.
This topic hits home for me, really, really, hard.
It’s one of those topics that’s really big, hairy, scary and growling with giant sharp teeth and slime dripping from every orifice.
But it’s an important topic to bring up and overcome if you want to live your best life.
If you’re ready to take the leap and start living your life regardless of what others think, here are five ways to stop seeking external validation.
5 Ways to Stop Seeking External Validation
1. Understand Why You do it
One of the first ways to overcome a behavior is to first identify the why behind it.
Human beings need to be part of a tribe.
It’s a very primal need to feel accepted by others because when we’re accepted that means we get to stay in the tribe.
Which back in the day, like way, way back in the day, like first humans back in the day, that meant surviving.
Of course with the rise of the internet, social media and billions more humans, we don’t need the approval of everyone to survive and thrive.
But that fear of being left out is so ingrained in our minds, it’s not easy to shake.
It’s simply the way your mind keeps you safe.
And this is where changing our beliefs and changing the story we’re telling ourselves about what others say plays the biggest role.
2. Poke Holes in the Story You’re Telling Yourself
The most sure-fire way to stop yourself from living a bigger and better life is to ask yourself what others will think about you if you do, x, y, and z.
Or telling yourself people won’t like you, that you’ll be made fun of, or whatever.
All before you even put one-foot forward.
Things always seem the scariest right before you jump in.
Then after you do it, you’re like, dang that was pretty easy, let me go do that thing again.
Chances are, other people are too worried about themselves to have the time to judge you, or dislike you.
And even if people do care, what is the worst that will happen?
Have you ever been disliked by someone?
Have you ever personally disliked someone else?
Chances are, nothing came of it, maybe there were a few words exchanged but then everyone moved on.
As soon as you hear yourself saying it’s not possible for you because so and so might not like it, begin poking holes.
Poke holes in the stories you’re telling yourself.
And get very clear on the truth.
If you put yourself out there and start that blog, or that podcast and someone says they don’t like you, are you going to survive?
Yes, you will.
Ask yourself and be as honest as possible, what is really the worst thing that could happen.
Answer it and realize its’ not really that bad.
3. View your Desire for External Validation Neutrally
I’m not going to lie, viewing your thoughts from a neutral standpoint is really tough.
But here’s the thing, you have thoughts, and you may think thoughts, but you are not your thoughts.
You get to chose if you want to identify yourself with them, or if you just want to recognize they’re coming up, understand why they’re coming up and then release them.
The easiest way to do this is to recognize as soon as the desire for validation from others comes up.
What situation were you in?
What were you doing?
Where you making a big decision and looking for others to give you permission?
Take out a journal and write down all the reasons you feel you need someone else to tell you what you’re doing is okay or not okay.
Is this something you were taught as a child?
Is your ego telling you it’s not possible for you? (the ego reacts from fear)
Really dig into the reason why these thoughts are coming up, let them just be there and the release them.
By recognizing the situations you are in and decisions you were making when the thoughts came up can help you to see the patterns and stop them before they get out of hand.
4. Give yourself the Validation & Permission You’re Searching For
As I quoted myself above earlier, “Once you finally give yourself the validation you’ve been craving, you will no longer seek it from the world.”
You are the only person who can give yourself permission to live as your best self.
And you are the only person who can give yourself the love and acceptance that you’re looking for in people, places and things.
It’s when we stop looking for external reasons to be happy or loved that the feeling of needing it goes away.
Putting a focus on external things is never going to make us feel as fulfilled as learning to love ourselves simply because the exterior will always be changing.
There will be 10 strangers on the internet that don’t like you one day and then the next their singing your praises.
And simply put, you were not put on this earth to play small.
Or to ask for permission to live your life.
Because guess what, if you keep waiting for someone, a stranger on the internet, to give you permission to live your best life, go out and start that business, start that podcast or whatever, you’ll be waiting forever.
5. Decide on your own Happiness
Happiness starts from the inside out.
Not the other way around.
You get to chose if something makes you happy, sad, angry, frustrated, joyful, whatever.
And at the end of the day, you need to decide on your own happiness, regardless of what everyone thinks or is doing.
The only constant in life is change.
So if you’re constantly chasing external happiness and validation from someone or something you will be running for a long time.
Because those external things will always be changing.
Decide today, right here and right now that the only validation you need is from yourself.
Give yourself the permission to live big, give yourself the permission to live your best life and leave the rest behind.