Where Do You Go For Validation?

Stamp of Approval

Marlena had a name for her tendency to defer to her father’s opinion. She called it: running it by the committee. In wanting her father’s approval, she had become accustomed to having him tell her what to do rather than take responsibility for her own decisions.

Shannon’s habit of asking her friend for a reaction had a different name that came in the form of two letters: N-O. She laughed at the absurdity of presenting new ideas to someone who had a predictably negative response. Her light-bulb moment came when she realized: I can do things differently. I have choices.

Whether it’s tapping the wisdom of family members or friends, factoring input from others can be extremely valuable. Yet it’s also true that we can rely too much on external forms of validation and approval. Can’t we give ourselves the rubber stamp we’re seeking?

Your Own Definition of Success

The best go-to people for guidance are those who don’t just dish out opinions. They are the people who help you uncover what feels right to you, revealing the truth that needs to be spoken, and supporting you in making the best decision possible.

My client, Rebecca, was able to break her pattern of constantly looking for approval from others when she saw that this was tied to a concept of success that only served to paralyze. Instead of continuing to fear making the wrong decisions and failing, she decided to rethink her definition of success: being happy with your effort regardless of the outcome.

When you abide by definitions of success authored by others, you are confined by the reins of their approval. Being your own validator frees you to hear your own truth. While it comes with a higher level of risk and responsibility, you’ll never have to regret having ignored your own instincts.

Genevieve and Rose are two prime examples I’ve referenced in recent articles. In both cases, had they listened to well-intentioned loved ones who urged them to take the safe route, they would not have obtained the higher-salaried offers that they each were awarded by doing what felt right.

The Validator

The Validator. It’s not another Schwarzenegger movie; it’s you. Practice accepting when something feels right. Often, you’ll feel more peaceful even if the circumstances are difficult. The urge to keep questioning will quiet down.

This Week’s Call to Action:

  • Refit yourself with your own definition of success. Be happy with your effort regardless of outcome.
  • Notice the internal cues (from your body, mind, and spirit) that signal a good decision.
  • Take responsibility by honoring what is true for you.

What do you need to feel good about a decision — a guaranteed outcome or the knowledge that you are doing your best, moment by moment?

I am the validator. This is what I choose today.

Here's to you,
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© 2011, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.

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