In defining the term validation, words like approval, justification, and acceptance pop up. Some people I know almost never seek outside validation. Self-validation is a term that Merriam-Webster offers and defines as “the feeling of having recognized, confirmed, or established one’s own worthiness or legitimacy” How does a person learn to validate him or herself? Is the ability to do that learned, intuited, inherited somehow genetically? Confident people are often self-validating, they are less inclined to poll others for opinions before making up their minds on how to act or decide. My question is, how is that achieved?
I have met those who rarely seek the input of other people. These people are strong minded individuals who seem quite focused and clear. They have strong opinions and are decisive and productive but they also often seem to lack empathy and compassion for others. These people can come across as aloof or arrogant because they hardly ever seek input from those around them.
On the other hand, I have encountered many people who constantly seek the advice of outsiders and are always looking for input and validation – usually in the form of approval and acknowledgment for their seeming acts of kindness or good-heartedness. These people often seem to me to be disorganized in a sense and less focused and productive, but they often seem more personable and relatable than the self-validators.
About two and a half years ago my almost constant search for validation ended at my own internal doorstep. What I understand now is that a balance between asking others for input but ultimately deciding for myself is most effective. Sometimes we must ask other’s advice when we are learning a new skill or trying to find options, but we must know our own hearts as well. We must know our own truths. It is the combination of these two approaches, seeking advice and input at times, and understanding and knowing oneself which will yield the best results.
Where are you in the camp of Self-validation? Do you need others to constantly legitimize you? Are you oblivious to ways you might make your life easier or better because you devalue the opinions or ideas of those around you? How do you balance these areas in your life?