At some point or another, we’ve all been guilty of seeking validation in some area of our lives. Maybe you still do at times – it’s a difficult habit to break. It feels good when our friends, romantic partners, or even strangers offer us acceptance and praise. However, becoming reliant on this for your self-esteem is a terrible idea and you need to break free. Here’s how to do it.
Decide who you want to be without distractions.
Deep down, you know who you are. You know the kind of woman you are and the kind of woman you want to become. This vision lies within all of us but it often becomes clouded and hard to discern because we’re influenced by so many people and factors around us. The first step to being a woman who doesn’t need validation is taking a good look at yourself while cutting out every outside influence and deciding you’re going to build yourself according to your own visions, not anyone else’s.
Surround yourself with people who accept you for you.
We want the people around us to support our life decisions and the people we are. If there are people in your life that you feel are constantly trying to mold you into their idea of who you should be and how you should live your life, you should take a look at your relationships with those people and decide if they’re still worth having in your life. The right people will enhance your life and make it happier by loving you for you, no matter who that is.
Learn how to drown out the background noise.
One of the main reasons we seek validation is the unsolicited advice and/or opinions from the people in our lives as well as complete strangers. No matter what you do, there are going to be at least a dozen people waiting in the wings to tell you that you’re doing the wrong thing. It’s easy to let other people’s opinions of you and your life get inside your head and make you second guess yourself. In order to be able to leave that behind, you have to be able to drown out the negativity and the commentary because I promise you, it won’t ever stop. You just have to learn to ignore it and just do you.
Whatever you do, do it for yourself.
Whatever makes you happy, just make sure you’re doing it the way you like it and not for someone else. If you love fashion, wear the clothes that you love, not just what other people say looks good or what you see other women wearing. If you want to start a blog, write about the things that make you happy, not what you think your friends will appreciate. Things done with passion are done so much better than things done simply to appease others.
Don’t place so much importance on social media.
It helps us connect with so many other like-minded individuals and brings us a lot of joy but it can also be the cause of so much of our insecurity and self-deprecation. It’s so easy to base your worth on how many followers you have, how many likes or comments your pictures get, and the things people are saying about you online. Deep down, we all know that the world of social media is, for the most part, fictional. When you take a step back from all of that and just enjoy your life without having to tell the whole world about it, you won’t feel the need to compare and seek validation for everything you do.
Apologies are for when you’ve done something wrong or you’ve done something that has resulted in someone getting hurt. You are supposed to apologize when you are at fault. You are not supposed to apologize for being yourself or living life the way you want to live it. We are so quick to say that we’re sorry when we do simple things like saying no to a party or a second date, changing our mind about a career path or a personal endeavor, or even just having a specific personality trait like being talkative or sensitive. You don’t have to apologize for being yourself!
You may think it’s corny but don’t knock it until you try it. Standing in front of your mirror in the morning or simply just closing your eyes and telling yourself that you’re strong, beautiful, and capable can do wonders for your self-esteem and for the way you see yourself. If you can convince yourself that you’re amazing and wonderful just the way you are, you won’t feel the need to seek that acceptance and approval.
Find coping mechanisms for anxiety.
If you feel as if you’re not good enough or that people don’t like you, you feel the need to get confirmation from them in everything you do. When those anxious and negative thoughts creep up, find ways to block them out. Go for a walk or a run, journal, meditate, or read a good book. Do things that fill you with positive and happy thoughts and find a way to silence the anxiety. This will help to reassure you that you don’t need anyone’s approval but your own.
Own your choices and defend them.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you are the way that you are. You do owe it to yourself, however, to own who you are and own your life and to stand firm in your beliefs and in your values. What you love and how you live doesn’t need to make sense to anyone but you.