I constantly hear my friends saying, “well I did it because I was having a bad day,” “I just sometimes don’t have the energy,” or “I don’t normally do that, it was just that one time because I didn’t feel well.” Ladies, why are we constantly seeking validation for our actions? Whatever you choose to do is your business and your business only! Accepting your own thoughts and actions as valid is a huge step towards independence that all college students need to read about. This article is about how to break this negative cycle and practice self-validation until you’ve made a habit of it. I once read, “once you finally give yourself the validation you’ve been craving, you will no longer seek it from the world.” Living by this is what makes me the almost ‘too independent woman’ I am today.
From a young age, we are taught to seek validation from our parents in everything we do. If we get a good grade, our parents reward us by hanging it up on the fridge. If we win our little league game, we get a high five and ice cream on the way home. Getting recognition from people is human nature. This is drilled into us as soon as we can walk and talk. However, one day when you pack up your life and move to college, you’ll have to learn to recognize your own actions as valid with no one to give you the recognition you want. This is a tough part of growing up. Although being encouraged by others is something we all need in life, being able to accept self-validation should always come first. Follow these easy steps below to practice being your own support system:
- What type of validation am I seeking?
As suggested in Psychology Today, the very first step in breaking the negative cycle is to understand what type of validation you are seeking. Once you know what validation you want to hear from others, tell it to yourself.
- What is social media doing for you?
If you find yourself waiting for approval on social media, decide what is best for you. Maybe you need to take a break from social media to stop yourself from comparing. I sometimes find that a break from social media is not what I need, but instead a good social media cleanse of any negativity in my feed, along with following affirmation accounts is what’s best for me. See what works for you and try it out!
- Interrupting the cycle
Interrupt yourself when you can feel yourself asking a friend if what you did was okay. If doing something feels right for a certain reason that benefits you, then it’s validated. If you find yourself over explaining why you made the choices you made, break the habit and be happy with what you chose because at least you made a choice!
- Positive self-talk
At the end of the day, always practice positive self-talk. This is something I have found very useful in the past few months whenever I get overwhelmed and start to feel negatively towards myself. Flood your brain with reminders about why you are making the right choices and why whatever you need to do for yourself is acceptable. Boosting your own self-esteem will allow you to not necessarily need the same boost from others. My mom has always told me, “Abbey, the voice you hear the most in the world is your own, make it a nice one.” Reminding yourself of this one step could be the solution to all your problems.
By practicing these steps you will be able to accept the self-validation you deserve, and stop craving the external validation you don’t always get. You will not always be someone else’s priority, so that’s why you must be your own.
All images courtesy of the HC Media Library