The verb validate is defined as giving official sanction, confirmation, or approval. I have realized that instead of validating ourselves, we look to our peers, social media, and even our parents. Yes, everyone appreciates reassurance, but solely depending on someone or something else to give you the stamp of approval can lead to a loss of self-validation and ultimately confidence.
Seeking validation from your significant other or person you are involved with can often be confused with reassurance. Reassurance is letting your partner know that you are indeed serious about the relationship between the two of you. Reassurance turns into validation when one partner feels as though their worth or meaning in life is determined by the relationship or their other partner. Being afraid to end something with someone because you are uncomfortable being alone or feeling unworthy is a red flag. You have lost your sense of self- validation and understanding that you are well, whole, and enough by yourself. Regain that sense of self and start the healing process. 2018 is not the year where we will water dead flowers.
The validation from social media is actually insane and the majority of us partake in it without even realizing. Allowing the number of likes to determine whether your picture is fire only hurts you more than it helps you. If you don’t receive the amount of likes you thought you would get, you begin to question what was wrong with your picture, “Am I ugly?” “Dang I felt like this wig looked crazy” “I guess my outfit wasn’t that popping after all”. On the other hand, if you do receive the amount of likes you wanted you feel validated by that number and the ego begins to swell. I am sure many are reading this and saying that it’s not that deep but I challenge you to step back next time you post a picture and say “Am I posting this because I feel great in this picture and know its top notch whether my timeline likes it or not or am I posting this to get validated by likes and comments?” Do it for yourself! I know many people who have done social media fasts and benefited from the time away. In no way am I knocking posting pictures because I do love dropping heat on the timeline and saying “damn I’m good” as it uploads, yet I am simply warning you to not come dependent on others sicing you and telling you that you look good because the self-validation inside of you should already have that covered.
Internships, GPA’s, and plans after graduation are all conversations that you try to avoid during holidays when you see extended family because the thought of them makes you sweat. That’s understandable and acceptable. However, comparing your journey to others and using that as means to invalidate your intelligence or ability is not. Hampton University is the land of bomb internships, job offers before graduation, and 4.0 gpas. This environment can either force you to grind harder or hinder you if you are not validating your own journey to success and prosperity. I have mentioned in a post before that I compared myself to others who had amazing internships while I had none. Instead of understanding that my path is different and believing in myself, I allowed a comparison to hurt me. Parents and family can also be looked to for approval or acceptance. Yes, we all want to make those we love happy but not at the expense of our happiness. If you are only taking a job offer or taking 19 credits during the semester to get a gold star from your parents knowing that you hate the company or could barely handle 17 credits, you are wrong and allowing your stress levels to increase. I am all for making loved ones proud but make sure that you are equally proud of yourself and genuinely happy in what you are doing. Validation in your education and future career goals should come from highlighting your improvements and personal come-ups, not from comparing yourself to your peers and parents.
After struggling with self-validation in 2017, I have vowed to look to myself and God for validation and approval. The next time you catch yourself waiting for someone else to give you their seal of approval on your worth, your relationship, your post, or even your summer internship, take some time to validate yourself. Understanding that you are the most important person when it comes to you will aid in your ultimate approval of your life. Let’s start this new year off right but validating yourself. Here is to a blessed new year full of prosperity, growth, and blessings!