Humans are social creatures that constantly need to simply belong. We all need validation from others in order to feel safe and secure. Though fulfilling our need to belong is a good thing, it can go too far. It can truly be difficult to find some equilibrium between not caring enough and caring too much.
The tendency we all have, to seek validation from external sources is so strong that many of us feel exhausted and drained, even after we receive the validation we crave. Although this tendency is universal, there are things you can do to stop the cycle.
What Do We Mean by Seeking Validation?
Seeking validation is when a person seeks acceptance from others and assumes that their approval, love, and respect are vital to keep themselves going. For some, validation comes from social approval, such as friends, family, or co-workers. For others, it can come from external sources such as media or celebrities. The validation that we seek can have many different sources, and we seek them for different reasons. The key is recognizing what you truly want to seek and how you want to finally receive it. The validation you receive may be unintentional, or it may be intentional. Either way, recognizing this will help you become aware of when you seek validation, so you can stop and decide if you really need it.
Here’s How to Stop Seeking Validation from Others:
- Create A To-Do List.
How can you stop seeking validation from others or from anything really? It sounds easy, but it’s truly not when you’re in the middle of it. People need validation from things all the time. They seek it from others, and frankly, even need validation from themselves. So, how can you stop seeking validation? You can create a to-do list, and if you really want to stop seeking validation, start checking things off your list.
- Establish Realistic Goals.
Setting goals for yourself can be a good thing, but there are also pitfalls to avoid that can help you stay on track. Setting goals that are too high or too low can be detrimental, as this can lead to feelings of failure or resentment. It also causes people to start losing sight of what is truly meaningful to them.
- Have Routines.
The most successful people, regardless of the size of their net worth, have routines. They plan their day, schedule tasks and appointments, and stick to those plans. Feeling bad about your looks or comparing yourself to others causes negative energy that prevents you from living your best life. To stop seeking validation from others, you must have a routine. The routine should include things you have to do, the things you love, what you want to do, and want to ultimately accomplish. The routine should make you happy, so when you need validation from others, all you have to focus on is living your own happy life.
Successful people have a plan for their time. They know how their day will go in advance, and they know what their priorities are. Even as adults, many of us still struggle with the reality that seeking validation from others can lead us to feel inadequate. We feel as if we have to prove ourselves to others, and constantly look for ways in which we do that. And worrying about pleasing others can make us less happy than we would if we focused on ourselves and pursuing the things we truly care about.
- Keep A Journal.
A journal is your best friend. Record your thoughts, your goals, your dreams, and your achievements. Write down what you feel on a daily basis, and as you do this, you may also start to become more aware of when you seek validation. Becoming aware of your thought patterns can help you get rid of habits that drive you to seek external approval.
- Track Your Progress.
Keeping a journal won’t help you if you don’t review it regularly. Set yourself a schedule for reviewing your journal and keep track of your progress. Read back on what you wrote last week, and compare it with this week’s entries. See if there’s a recurring negative pattern that you can break.
Be honest with yourself about whether it is really necessary for you to seek validation from others. If it isn’t, then stop. It may not be easy but try to take note of all the times when you feel most strongly about needing approval. Then, when you became aware of it, you can consciously stop doing it over time.