We all need validation and it is just as important to be able to validate yourself as it is to receive it from other people. These great ideas will help you do just that.
How To Validate Yourself
Everyone needs validation in their lives. We often look to our friends and family, our coworkers and bosses, social media, and complete strangers to gauge a response to our own experience, whether it’s an accurate reflection or not.
When we are wrapped up in our own thoughts, external validation means a lot. Not just because we like hearing nice things, but because we often trust others more than we trust ourselves.
But whether your family member always says the wrong thing or you don’t feel like there is anyone who truly understands you, self validation can be just as encouraging, if not more.
When we live a daily life that is dedicated to gathering an emotional response from others, we kind of miss out on the bigger picture.
What is your own internal experience like? Are you proud of yourself? What are your emotional reactions to the areas of your life where you’ve seen things happening?
It is great for everyone to have a dear friend to talk to and confide in, but don’t miss out on the process of self-validation. You are the one who is always with you, so it’s time to be your own best friend.
1. Treat Yourself Like A Friend
Are you as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend? When someone we love is having a hard time, we are encouraging, loving, and willing to put energy into making that person feel happier and more secure.
The first step towards learning self-validation skills is to learn how to be a part of your support system.
Be gentle with yourself. The worst thing that you can do is to brush yourself off doing a tough time. Be encouraging.
Think of what amazing characteristics you have and what good things you’ve done in your relationships and in your life. Remind yourself that you are enough.
2. Tell Yourself That It’s Okay To Feel This Way
Whatever intense emotions you are feeling, remind yourself that it is okay to feel that way. It doesn’t make you a bad person and there is no need to be embarrassed or angry.
You are a human being and sometimes experiencing that part of your true self can be a little bit scary.
We all have thoughts and feelings that we may not be proud of, but it is okay to acknowledge them without judging yourself for having them.
Whatever the case, the important thing is to do your best to be understanding and supportive of whatever you are confronting.
3. Appreciate Your Efforts, Not Only Your Achievements
The old adage, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” is important to remember when being a shoulder for your friends as well as being one for yourself.
Recognizing and acknowledging your effort under any set of circumstances is a great way to pat yourself on the back.
No one wins first place all of the time and it is important to be aware of – and proud of yourself for – the hard work that you put into any situation.
4. Allow Yourself To Reflect
While it’s incredibly important to focus your energy on the present moment and all that you have going on, make sure that you make some space to reflect on the person that you’ve become.
Our past experiences can help or hinder our growth, so think about the different ways that you’ve grown over time.
What past events have led you to be the person you are now? What negative situations have you been through that you would be more equipped to handle now?
Sometimes self-validation means being grateful for the person you are now, so have some pride in how far you’ve come – regardless of whether you’ve experienced small victories or large ones.
5. Don’t Let Your Worth Be Defined By Other People
The next time someone offers advice or criticism, particularly if is unwarranted or makes you uncomfortable, give some real thought as to who was the bearer of that information.
Sometimes people deliver specific messages due to their own need to feel better about themselves. That has nothing to do with you and it shouldn’t affect your internal state – although, of course, it will.
Remind yourself that you are the person who knows you the best. Whatever life throws at you, you are worthy of love, success, peace, and happiness.
Nobody is perfect, and that includes the people sending you less-than-helpful messages. Don’t let their judgement get in the way of your growth or self-confidence.
6. Start Journaling
Writing in a journal is great for your mental health. While getting professional help can be an excellent investment in your well-being, therapy may not be something you are interested in, and journaling is a great tool.
Journaling doesn’t have to be like writing in a diary, although you can certainly approach it that way.
If you are looking at journaling in terms of self-validation though, you may want to aim your writings toward your inner child.
Be raw in your journal. Write down the things that you think you need to hear. Write the things that you wish someone would have said to your younger self or to the person you are right now.
Share the important information that could have changed your life if you’d heard it in the past and talk to yourself about the good life that you’ve created without having had it.
Then, read your journal whenever you need to feel more connected with yourself – where you’ve been and where you are going.
7. Preserve Your Achievements
There will always be days when you don’t feel good enough. Days when all of that negative emotion covers you like mud and your body feels like a wet noodle.
When you find yourself in that funk and need some internal validation, look at the external to remind yourself of what you have achieved.
Whether you have actual trophies from sports and competitions, an A+ school paper that had a lovely message from a teacher, a memento from your professional life, or notes, messages, or cards from loved ones, this is the time to bring them out.
Come back to your real self by recognizing when you did a good job – not just in your own opinion, but in the opinions of others.
Their words and intentions shouldn’t define your self-worth, but they can remind you of what you have accomplished and who you really are.
8. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself For Making Mistakes
We all make mistakes. They can be difficult to accept and sometimes embarrassing, but mistakes make you human.
The best way to shake off a mistake is to see it for what it is, digest your feelings for a day or two, and then brush yourself off and take the next step.
If you only made the right choices, you’d be a perfectly boring person. Your mistakes make you stronger and your mistakes help you to learn.
So look on the bright side – spending time recovering from your missteps just makes you better and better.
9. Accept That Not Everybody Will Like You
No matter how amazing a person you may be, you will never be everybody’s cup of tea.
The reason that there are so many ice cream flavors is because this world is full of people with different tastes. So don’t expect everyone to want to share your favorite flavor.
There are different levels of validation and it is easy to understand why everyone wants to be liked. That said, it is important to recognize that while many people love and accept you, others just won’t get it.
And that’s okay! Do you like everyone? Do you want to spend time and get close to every single person you’ve ever met?
If the answer is no, acknowledge that tiny bit of longing for what it is and move on. Enjoy your favorite ice cream flavors and wish other people well to enjoy their own.
10. Remind Yourself That Your Feelings And Thoughts Matter
The world has a way of making you feel small and insignificant, but you’re not. You are someone and what you have to say matters. If you have an important point to make, don’t shy away from it.
There is a right place and a right time for most things, but don’t suppress yourself to fit into a mold. Express your own emotions, don’t try to emulate someone else.
Be who you really are. You matter, as does what you say and how you feel.
11. Take Time To Pamper Yourself
You deserve to have nice things as well as enjoyable experiences. Part of the art of self-validation is the realization that you are someone who can have more than you may give yourself credit for.
Do some things that make you feel good just because you are who you are. Consider getting a facial or a manicure and pedicure.
If acupuncture or a hot stone massage have always been a mystery, give yourself permission to try them out. While you’re there, feel the body sensations they provide and really relax into the experience.
Pampering yourself isn’t a selfish or stuck-up feat, it is something that one does when one feels that they deserve it. And you do.
12. Trust Your Instincts
We all doubt ourselves from time to time – particularly when we are in uncharted territory. While it can be crucial to listen to others’ opinions and the information they have, the most important thing is to ultimately go with your gut.
Paying attention to the areas in which you may have some skewed opinions (maybe you’ve had 20 failed relationships or are on your 15th job) and try to see around your own biases.
You know when something feels right and when it feels wrong. Take in as much data as you can about any given subject, but when it comes down to making your ultimate decisions, go with your instincts.
Can your instincts be wrong? Of course, they can. We don’t know what we don’t know. But at the end of the day, mistakes that we make today are those we can try not to make tomorrow.
13. Do Yourself A Kindness
Bad days happen to everyone. Our feelings get hurt, we get blindsided by a decision, and we are left with overwhelming emotions that don’t have anywhere to go.
In these moments, it is important to be kind to yourself. Validate your feelings and do what you can to make yourself feel better.
Encourage yourself to find healthy ways to do this (these are not the moments to become a daredevil), but if a scoop of ice cream or a trip to the movie theater makes you feel better, that’s where to turn.
14. Focus On Actions, Not Words
When people speak lovely words it’s wonderful, but if their actions don’t match, there is nothing to hold on to.
Whether you are the best speaker or a person of few words, what you do and what you say will be something that others are aware of.
Did you have the best of intentions when you did what you did? Did you follow through on everything that you said you would and put in your best efforts?
If you can say yes to those questions, then you can be confident that you’ve done what you could do. No one is perfect, but if you did as much or more than you said you would, you’ve completed the task to the best of your ability.
15. Learn To Love Yourself
The most important aspect of self-validation is learning to love yourself. Sometimes this can be a tough place to live, so when you are struggling to love yourself, think about what you can do to like yourself.
Consider all of your positive qualities. Do your best to aim for positive thinking rather than being cynical. Try to see the things that your best friends see in you.
Make it an everyday practice to be kind to yourself, treat yourself well, and believe in yourself.
Sometimes the best validation comes from within, so be your greatest companion and show yourself all the love that you deserve.