Needing validation from outside sources is natural sometimes. After all, it feels good to hear about all the good things you’re doing from someone else who’s noticed. However, the downfall is that it can become a vicious cycle of only seeing your worth if someone else tells you you’re worthy. Self-esteem is a fickle thing and if you rely on others to keep yours intact, it becomes way too easy for someone to come along and destroy it. Here’s how to become a woman who validates herself and isn’t phased by what anyone else thinks.
- Be authentically you. There are times in every woman’s life when she’s faked it. Maybe it was to fit in with the crowd or to make a good impression on a partner’s new family—whatever the case may be, we’ve all reined ourselves in at one point or another. To get out of the habit of needing outside validation, you need to nip that people-pleasing, and act-how-you-think-they-want-you-to-act attitude right in the bud.
- Choose your circle wisely. To build on my last point, if your circle isn’t accepting you as you are, you’ll never be able to stop trying to fit into their idea of who you should be. Your circle should know the good, the bad, and the horrendously ugly and still think you’re a superstar. Pick people that set you free.
- Make your opinion the one that truly matters. Everyone needs a little advice every now and then. It can help make those big life decisions that much easier. But if you’re heavily focused on outside opinion, you’ll always take other people into consideration when making the choices that will only affect YOU. Listen when necessary and hold your own opinion in the highest regard and you’ll be able to validate your own life choices.
- Choose yourself. We’ve all put someone else first. A spouse, a friend, family members—we’ve all made sacrifices in the name of love or guilt or whatever. But that’s not going to get you the inner validation that you need to get by in life without depending on someone else’s praises. When you put your own needs first (the majority of the time!) you’ll be able to see just how much you deserve and that will keep the high self-esteem rolling.
- Put down the smartphone. Posting a selfie and getting a ton of likes feels good, but when you post another one and it gets less, it kind of hurts. If you say that you haven’t felt that ping of disappointment when a photo you posted didn’t get the recognition you thought it deserved I’d probably say you’re lying. There’s even a science behind why we feel the way we do when those likes start to roll in. The point here is that social media has a weird way of tricking our brains into thinking that likes equate value and if you can manage to get off the phone and back into the world, that detachment will help you realize that the only one that needs to think that selfie is hot is you.
- Only apologize when it’s necessary. Women have a dirty little habit of saying sorry when they’ve done nothing wrong. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we take up too much space, we should feel bad about it. The thing is, though, apologies are for wrongdoings. They’re not for simply existing. Don’t say sorry unless you did something wrong and watch how much better you feel about yourself.
- Get a healthy hobby. Sitting around binging Prime and eating junk food sure feels good in the moment, but when those jeans feel a little tighter the next day and your to-do list is still sitting there unfinished, you’re going to feel bad about yourself. This isn’t to say you can’t indulge every once in a while but find a hobby that’s good for either your body, your mind, or both. That way, if you procrastinate on some obligations at least what you chose over them is a form of self-care.
- Work on your faults. Low-self esteem can come from feeling bad about yourself for no reason but it can also stem from actual faults in your character. Listen, nobody is perfect. If you start actively working towards becoming the best version of yourself, you’re less likely to look to others to make you feel good. You’ll know that you’re putting in the work and that’ll bump that self-esteem up all on its own.
- Give yourself a break. If you have bad feelings about yourself on your journey to becoming less inclined to need outside validation, let them go. There’s going to be ups and downs on the journey and you’re not going to get over it overnight. Be kind and forgiving with yourself, the same way you would a best friend.