How to stop seeking external validation?

Break free from the need for approval.

By By Anubha Singh
17 September, 2023
How to stop seeking external validation?

I've invested significant time and energy chasing those elusive nods of approval, recognition, and reassuring pats on the back from those around me. It's almost as if I've convinced myself that my very essence depends on the applause and validation I receive, leaving me feeling incomplete without it.

The more I've chased validation, the more it's slipped through my fingers, much like trying to grasp smoke in the air. This relentless pursuit has left me in a state of constantly seeking external affirmation and never quite feeling truly satisfied.

And the cost has been high. I've found myself shape-shifting, altering my personality to fit the molds I believed would earn me those coveted gold stars. I've compromised my authenticity and strayed from my values in the process. And even when I did manage to capture that moment of validation, it just left me longing for more.

Here's the painful truth: The cycle of chasing validation is an endless one. The more we seek it, the more it eludes us. It's like a mirage, always just out of reach, leaving us perpetually wanting. So, where do we start on this journey to break free from the never-ending chase?

Embrace authenticity

The journey to freedom from the grip of external validation starts with embracing authenticity. It's about shedding the masks we wear to please others and revealing our true selves. Authenticity possesses a magnetic quality; it attracts those who resonate with our genuine essence. By embracing our authentic selves, we open the door to meaningful connections built on a foundation of authenticity and depth.

Practice self-compassion

In our pursuit of validation, we often become our harshest critics. But it's important that we practice self-compassion. This means, treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we offer to our loved ones. It's a reminder that as humans we are imperfect and that's perfectly okay. Instead of berating ourselves for our mistakes, self-compassion helps us see them as opportunities for growth. It becomes a constant companion, guiding us to accept our flaws with grace.


Celebrate small wins

Breaking free from the validation cycle isn't solely about the grand, transformative moments. It's equally about celebrating the small victories along the way. Each time we make choices aligned with our values, each time we silence our inner critic with positive self-talk, and each time we practice mindfulness, it's a triumph. These small victories accumulate and gradually reshape our self-perception.

Build supportive relationships

Internal validation matters, but isolation isn't the answer. Healthy relationships provide crucial support. Surround yourself with people who appreciate your authenticity, encourage self-compassion, and celebrate your small victories.

Remember, every step, no matter how small, brings you closer to a more authentic and self-assured version of yourself. So, be kind to yourself if you encounter stumbling blocks along the way. Embrace your unique journey and find joy in the freedom it brings. Ultimately, the most valuable validation you can ever receive is the one that comes from your own heart.