We live in a world where external validation is seemingly more important than ever. Technology and social media don’t help matters. Many people strive to get as many “likes” and comments on their social media posts as possible. Others want to appear as though they have perfect lives just to feel validation from friends, family members, and complete strangers. 

You might even rely on validation from others in your personal life. That’s likely due to low self-esteem. Or, maybe you have gone through negative experiences in the past to make you feel like your thoughts and feelings aren’t valid. 

While it’s okay to enjoy and appreciate validation from others, it shouldn’t be your sole source of recognition. You should be able to self-validate and realize your worth on your own. You should also be able to accept your feelings for what they are. So, how can you strike that balance? 

Practice Positive Self-Talk

As the old saying goes, you are your own worst enemy. So many people struggle with negative self-talk. You might think your feelings are silly or over the top. Maybe you keep quiet because you’re worried about overreacting. You might even keep opinions to yourself because you assume no one will agree with you. 

That negative little voice inside your head is what’s causing you to keep quiet. Fight back by practicing positive self-talk more often. That starts by saying nice things to yourself. Your thoughts matter. Your feelings matter. You have worth. 

It can take some time to get used to saying those things, but saying them out loud can actually make a big difference in how you feel. Plus, it can boost your confidence. 

woman of color smiling at camera near a busy city streetFocus On Your Strengths

Again, because you might be your own worst enemy, it’s tempting to focus solely on your weaknesses. As human beings, we tend to look at the things that challenge us more frequently than the things we have mastered. 

That can drag you down and belittle your worth. 

Consider some of the things you’re good at. What are your strengths? Don’t just think about them — write them down. Continue to add more as you think of them. When you’re feeling low, look back at what you’ve written and regain that sense of strength that helps to remind you that your feelings matter. 

Practice Self-Compassion

If a close friend or family member approached you and confided in you that they felt like their feelings and emotions didn’t matter and their thoughts were worthless, what would you say? Would you judge them? Criticize them? Make them feel worse? 

No. You would comfort them. You would show compassion and kindness, and do whatever you could to build them up and validate their feelings and needs. 

If you’re not showing yourself that same kind of kindness and compassion, there’s a problem. 

Accept Your Weaknesses

As important as it is to understand your strengths, it’s also necessary to accept your weaknesses. Recognize that you aren’t a value or somehow “less than” anyone else because you have weaknesses. Everyone does. Some of the most successful people in the world have reached the top because they haven’t shied away from those weaknesses. 

When you embrace your struggles, rather than let them invalidate you, it will put you back in the driver’s seat and you’ll have more control over how you see yourself. 

So, while it’s okay to enjoy validation from others, it’s not something that should define how you feel or control how you see yourself. Learning to self-validate is necessary for your well-being. If you’re still struggling with these suggestions, it might be worth it to talk to a professional for more tips. Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment anxiety, depression, or self-esteem therapy.