Why Practising Self-Validation is Important.

Do you know someone who pretends?  And who requires ‘approval’ from others?

I’m not talking dress ups.

More of the ‘trying to make out they are someone they aren’t?’ type.

To be honest, I’ve never, personally, really understood that.  I’m more of a ‘what you see is a what you get kind of person’.

Masking one’s true personality is easily done on social media – you just post what you want people to see and there you have it – an identity that may or may not be a true reflection of the person.  That identity though, is often cultivated to seek external reward from the people they are trying to impress.  Unfortunately that reward on social media is short lived, people move very quickly to their next ‘like’.

Will the number of likes, shares and comments help you live a full meaningful life? And are we in control of these?

We all know the answer to both questions….(No)

The truth is that we can only truly control what we think of ourselves – we need our own internal ways in which we are able to self-validate.

Psychology Today (2014) tells us that ‘Self-validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts and feelings.’  Which means recognising and managing your own thoughts.  Given a chance, I’m always talking about mindfulness – it fits in really well here and is a great place to start with self-validation.

As with mindfulness, self-validation is something we require practice at.

Will you practice?

Is it a far better an alternative that relying on the external validation from social media? (I think yes.)

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‘Comparison is the thief of joy’

Lets be honest, those who say they don’t love a good selfie, are liars….hehehe

Selfies, posts, likes, shares and tagging – all words that now make it into our everyday conversations – and multiply that for young people!

I ask you a question (ok, a few) – what is social media doing to your ‘sense of self’?  How can we possibly measure up to the often staged, filtered and photoshopped photos that fill our feeds daily??

Studies have shown us that a staggering number of people say social media has affected their self-esteem and yet, we go back for more of our social media ‘fix’, for most people, everyday!  Everyone wants to feel accepted and liked – but is it worth the damage it can do to our minds?

BUT knowledge is power – so the fact that we are aware of social media not always being helpful is a step in the right direction.  By choosing marvellous, we get to decide how much influence we allow social media to have our lives.  How about starting a conversation about this topic over the dinner table this week – especially if you have young people with you – the results could create questions for them.

I do however, find it so reassuring to see rebellion against this endless comparing.  The #nofilter pics and the ones that are portraying the downs as well as the ups.  That’s what we want, a generation who realise there is much more to life than how many likes they got on their photo post compared to their friends.

Let’s be real and honest and not let social media take over our ‘real lives’

 

**Also, I just wanted to add, I’m not anti-social media.  As I sit to write this blog – I feel like that’s the pitch I’ve taken.  Its not that at all, but my goal is to increase awareness of the potential effects it can have on our sense of self.

 

No, they aren’t selfish!

Conflict can be so tough.  Any skills we can learn to help us deal with it would be beneficial, right?

The blog today is going to be talking about ‘I’ statements – as touched on the Facebook live earlier in the week – check out http://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist if you didn’t see it.

Firstly, we probably need to get this out of the way – ‘I’ statements aren’t selfish!  In fact, they are a really effective way to respectfully and effectively communication feelings.

They are though, just one way of getting your point across.  There are obviously others but I like these because they are simple but yet so powerful.

Just the power of recognising and labelling feelings is phenomenal.  If we can teach this to children and adolescents – we can help make sense of situations that may have previously perplexed them!  I know myself, when I can be specific about my own feelings, it is so much easier to work through them.  Ok, and maybe I’m a pros and cons list kind of girl – useful when you have time, but not so useful when you need to respond quickly!

I think one of their ‘features’, if you like, is that they are focused on solutions – and if you have ever been part of a really effective team, solutions are always a way to move forward!  Interestingly, most people often know what they want to happen when there is conflict – by using ‘I’ statements as a model just allows us to communication what we want.

Let me give you an example:

Your friend Robyn always cancels plans at the last minute.  The final straw was that she stood you up, leaving you standing outside a fancy restaurant.  You could choose to use an I statement…something like this…

Robyn, I feel like I’m not a priority when you keep cancelling plans.  It makes me feel so rejected!  Can you please not commit to plans unless you are sure you can make it and then we can keep having great times together.

Even typing that felt awkward!!  But you get the idea, simple but to the point and clearly using your own words.  It does take practice, but man, its liberating when you can get it sorted!

Choosing to actively deal with conflict and communicate using ‘I’ statements gives us confidence and I look forward to hearing how they go for you!  Feel free to connect to let me know how you find them!

 

Are you?

I don’t know about you but I cannot believe that it is now February!?  One month of 2016 is done already!!  I don’t know if its that I’m getting older or that we have been busy (as everyone is) or that my children have been so anxiously anticipating school and kindy to start.  But here we are, February is here.  When I consider how fast time goes, I really am reminded how we need to be present and mindful.  I can hear some of my friends, a few in particular saying, whatever (!), or what does that even mean?  It means closing down all of the tabs in your brain and absorbing where you really are.  You won’t get this time back, that is what I do know for sure.

Will you look back and be proud of how you spent your time?  Will you have regrets?  Will you think about times you have spent with family and friends and wish you didn’t spend the whole time talking or scrolling on your phone?  I’ve seen a lot #makingmemories lately, you know the ones.  What will your memories be?  Are they about the meme you saw on your newsfeed or the sound of your friend or child’s laughter?

Here’s my quick tips, for what they are worth, about being ‘present’:

  1. At least once every day, deliberately take 20 consecutive deep breaths – you know the type, in through your nose, where you feel your shoulders rise as your lungs fill with air and then out through your mouth, yes those.  Repeat more than once if you wish.
  2. Consciously listen to your self-talk – that is the way you speak to yourself – listen to whether it is positive or negative, make a real attempt to speak to yourself like you would a valued friend.
  3. Be grateful – Stop.  take a look around and make a note of three things you are grateful for.  Being thankful and grateful is about focusing on the positive things.  If you do this, there is no time to dwell on the other stuff, that has nothing to do with your goals, anyway!
Could you do these everyday for a week?

I’m going to try it, are you?
I look forward to hearing about all the nice things you said to yourself and noticed in this amazing life!