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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What’s your default?

Let me ask you a question – truly, when was the last time you really thought about all the good things you admire about yourself?  Was it this week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or at worst, never, maybe you have never taken the time to notice the positive things about yourself??

Well today, if you do nothing else, I want you to sit down and be truly kind to yourself. And maybe it has to wait until everyone else is in bed for you to have five minutes alone, that’s ok, it won’t take long!

You are going to practice writing a list of (or at least start with one thing) that you wholeheartedly admire about yourself.  You will be kind to yourself in a way you would be to a valued friend, this is the practice of self-compassion.

Let me get things started – I love how determined I am once I set my mind to something. When I was a child, I imagine this was quite punishing for my family, but it has absolutely set me in good stead as an adult.  What’s the first thing on your list?  Maybe you can write five, or more? Do that now.

Ok, good, tell me you have something written, or at least is in your mind – the task for the coming week is to pick one of the things you admire and say this to yourself each day.  Repeat as often as you like.

So, to be fair, it might take more than a week, but there are a couple of good reasons to practice this:

  • we need to regularly practice being kind to ourselves (so when there a threats to our self-esteem, self-compassion, not self-criticism, is our default),
  • Even our minds need reminding how awesome we are sometimes AND
  • when we hear something enough, it changes the way we think about ourselves – and that itself, is really powerful!

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