Validation, the act of confirming something as true or legitimate, is a basic human need. People crave it and seek it in different ways. There are two types of validation: self-validation and external validation. Knowing when to use each type can be crucial to a person’s success and well-being.
Self-validation is the act of recognizing and accepting one’s feelings and beliefs without seeking approval from others. It involves trusting one’s intuition and self-worth, and it is a powerful tool for building confidence and self-esteem. Self-validation is important because it allows individuals to form their own opinions and make decisions based on what they believe is right, rather than what others think.
For example, you feel confident in your decision to quit your job because it no longer aligns with your values and career goals, even though your friends and family disagree with you. You feel proud of yourself for completing a challenging project on your own, without seeking constant praise or validation from your boss or colleagues. You trust your intuition and feelings about a new romantic relationship, even though your friends and family have doubts or concerns.
However, self-validation can be challenging. It demands a strong sense of self-awareness and the ability to differentiate between thoughts and emotions. Individuals who rely solely on self-validation may tend to ignore or dismiss alternative perspectives, which can result in narrow-mindedness and social isolation.
External validation refers to seeking approval or recognition from others, often in the form of compliments, praise, or rewards. It is frequently used to measure success or worth and can be a powerful motivator, helping people feel valued and appreciated.
For example, you feel motivated and appreciated when your boss compliments you on your hard work and gives you a raise or promotion. You feel happy and valued when your partner surprises you with a thoughtful gift or gesture. You feel proud and accomplished when you receive a diploma or certificate for completing a challenging course or program.
However, relying on external validation can have negative consequences. It can create a constant need for approval, which is exhausting and draining. Additionally, it can result in a lack of self-confidence and an inability to make decisions.
So, which type of validation is better? The answer is neither. Both types of validation have their place, and knowing when to use each is key.
For example, self-validation can be useful in situations where an individual needs to make a decision based on their values and beliefs. It can also be helpful in situations where external validation is not available or is unreliable.
External validation can be useful when an individual needs feedback or support from others, or when a person is trying to achieve a goal and needs motivation or encouragement.
It’s important to remember that validation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each person is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it’s important to understand your own needs and preferences when it comes to validation.
To achieve a healthy balance between self-validation and external validation, there are a couple of ways to approach it. First, cultivate a supportive network of friends and family. Having people who support and encourage you can be invaluable in boosting self-confidence and providing external validation when needed.
Secondly, practice self-awareness and mindfulness. By paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, you can better understand your own needs and motivations, and learn to differentiate between thoughts and feelings.
The key to achieving a healthy balance between self-validation and external validation is integration. Integration means recognizing the value and limitations of both approaches and using them in a complementary way to achieve our goals.
For instance, if we receive feedback from a colleague on a project we have completed, we can utilize that feedback to identify areas for improvement and develop new skills. Simultaneously, we can rely on our intuition and judgment to determine the best approach for implementing those changes.
If we are pursuing a personal project that isn’t receiving external validation or recognition, we can use self-validation to maintain our motivation and drive. At the same time, we can also seek feedback and criticism from others to ensure that we are on the right track and making progress towards our goals.
In summary, both self-validation and external validation have their place, and knowing when to use each is crucial for personal growth and success. By acknowledging and accepting our own feelings and beliefs, while also seeking feedback and support from others, we can achieve a sense of balance and live a more authentic and fulfilling life.
So, go forth and validate yourself – and also allow others to validate you!