How To STOP Seeking Validation and Quiet The Voices
How To Stop Seeking Validation
Tell them to shut up. Seriously.
This has got to be the hardest blog post that I've ever written. I've procrastinated more on this than any other post, Medium article, or YouTube video. Why? Well, I'm an approval-addict writing about how to get free from validation. Am I even qualified to publish this? Will anyone take anything away from this blog post? What if they just see my mess and judge me?
The voices of shame, guilt, and fear tell me: "You're a fraud, how can you possibly encourage people when you can't even encourage yourself." "They are so sick of you "preaching" to them." "Nobody cares! Who do you think you are?" So, I shut the computer down and immediately grab my phone to scroll on Instagram hoping to find an inspirational quote to cheer me up- and to see if my Insta-stories got more views. Then 30 minutes later, I catch myself and immediately go into the shame-cycle again: "You're an idiot. Why are you so unproductive? Do you know people don't even have phones and you're aimlessly scrolling? Selfish!"
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Until one day, I changed my mind and told the shaming voice to SHUT UP! (2 Cor 10:5) And it stopped. I felt undefeated. Until the voices of other people echoed my insecurities. "Deb, you're blog isn't "fashion enough"- that's why brands don't want you." "You have a strong personality. You're too hard to love." "Nobody actually likes you." "You're too young to really 'know' anything." Y'all this damn voice that tells us that we are "unworthy", is a LIE straight from the devil himself. Faith or not, it would be absolutely stupid for us to believe those LIES.
But Deb, if their lies then where it come from? Our childhood. There was someone or some thing that directly or subliminally told you, you were not "worthy". You were simply “crazy” for believing in your dreams. Or that you're feelings and experiences weren’t real. This poisoned your subconscious mind. Jen Sincero clearly illustrates that our subconscious mind is “the non-analytical part of our brain that’s fully developed the moment we arrive here on earth. The subconscious mind believes everything because it has NO filter, it doesn’t know the difference between what’s true and what an not true,” (You Are A Badass, 22).
For me, it was the moment I found out I was abandoned, it all made sense. The obsession with people-pleasing, consistent toxic relationships, and decapitating panic attacks before social events...it all made sense. Fear encompassed every moment of my life and, which birthed perfectionism that spoiled into extremely low self-esteem. I was deeply afraid of being alone. So, I clung onto people, titles, and material possessions for validation. According to Pyschology Today, validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person's thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable.
How often do we seek validation from people to tell us that we are "valuable" or worthy of love, success, and the fulfillment of our dreams. In our daily actions and conversations, we are seeking confirmation and to be understood. “Was that presentation okay? How did I do? What do you think of this idea?”
Now, there’s a HUGE difference between affirmation and validation. Affirmation is emotional support and encouragement; whereas, validation requires someone else to grant permission or approval.
Here’s an example of asking for validation: “I’m too old to go back to school. My brain doesn’t work the way it used to. Plus, those students will make fun of me. Do you think I should go back to school?” This is laced with self-deprecating LIES, drowned in fear. The person hasn’t decided anything for themselves and is seeking approval to go back to school.
Here’s an example of asking for affirmation: “I’m doubting my decision to go back to school. Can you remind me my why?” While it has some insecurity (I.e. doubt) this question holds humility and the confidence to seek reassurance. The person has already decided to go back to school, meaning either way they are GOING. But it’s human to experience glimpses of doubt or fear after making a bold decision.
Now, yes we will experience the voices of shame, fear, and guilt throughout our lives through people. But we have to take no crap when it comes to us killing ourselves with our poisonous words. Trust me this is and will be harder than it looks. I’m extremely insecure about myself at times BUT I have faith in God who lives in me.
So, when I’m going through a really rough time and a sermon, quote, or self-help book won’t work I get angry at the voices.
I use prayer as my weapon to quiet the voices.