What does it mean to validate yourself?
It’s to embody all of you; a self-acceptance of your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, and your experiences. Allowing you to be who you are to truly express yourself authentically and unapologetically.
When we can truly accept ourselves, we won’t over justify, over explain or over apologize for who we are. We trust in our own views, beliefs and opinions which creates emotional stability in us. The most important power in this world is WHAT you believe about yourself.
The need for validation is a genuine human need; it’s part of being human, and as we live in communities, the need for validation allows us to feel part of and feel we belong. This creates safety within us; emotional and psychological safety which we need to thrive and survive.
Unfortunately we all struggle to give ourselves validation and then we look externally for it. We seek it through the opinions of others. In their feedback, in their opinions and views. This only creates anxiety as we are trapped in, “it matters what I think you think of me”. Needing external validation only creates disconnection and self-rejection. Because if the person does not give you the feedback you want then you feel rejected and in turn tell yourself “I’m not good enough” known as a rejection wound.
Why is it hard to self-validate?
Our inability to self-validate is often influenced by our past experiences and our conditioning. We develop our sense of self through our relationship with our parents. Also, by observing their relationship and others. Our environmentS feedback messages to us all the time. For example, as children we become influenced by how we feel because of the actions of others. If our parents fought, then as a child, we would feel unsafe, unsure and at times believe “this is my fault.” Another example would be if we shared our thoughts or feelings, but it was denied or rejected by our parents. This makes it extremely hard to self-validate because the message we received is “I don’t matter.” We are never truly in connection with ourselves because we are emotionally dysregulated. This dysregulation results in feeling overwhelmed and we begin feeling unsure of ourselves. This leads to an underlying feeling of being unseen, unheard and we become defensive and reactive; we take things personally. To cope we might shut down, withdraw, become more insecure as we always scan the environment looking for the evidence of “who I am does not matter.”
Our emotional wounds will block us from being able to self-validate. These wounds become programs that run an inner narrative that hurts, shames and guilts us into believing we are unworthy. Here are examples of emotional wounds that I support clients to become conscious of:
Shame wound, “I’m flawed or bad”
Guilt wound, “it’s my fault”
Rejection wound, “I’m not good enough”
These emotional wounds are why we cannot self-accept and without self-acceptance we don’t know how to self-validate. We are emotionally dysregulated and untrusting of ourselves and the world.
Ways to self-validate.
Start slowly, making one daily promise to become aware of yourself: an observer of your beliefs, your emotions, your habits. Becoming aware allows us to accept seeing ourselves; seeing what unseen was before. Once we see what’s within us, we can give it space, hold it with acceptance and compassion which will allow us to practice self-validation.
The moment we hear the negative self-assessment, the inner critic, we can with conscious intention bring in a validation mantra.
“I am enough just as I am.”
“I am a good person.”
“I trust in my own abilities.”
Self-accepting statements like “it is ok to be wherever I am,” or “it’s ok that I feel sad,” tells us its valid being who we are and it’s safe to be and feel all emotions. This is us holding space for ourselves, heals our emotional wounds. How? Because you are beginning to give to this wounded part of yourself the attention, support, and love that it needs to transmute and heal.
You do matter, you are important and a worthwhile soul.