Validation: To make legal. To confirm. To give approval to. To recognize or affirm the worth of.

Life deals us a hand of cards at birth and we begin to live and respond to the cards we’ve been dealt. Circumstances, background, family, disappointments are all used as explanations for the deficiencies, nuances, and quirks that we develop along the journey. I grew up somewhat naive about many of the things people do to cope with this thing called life (ie. drugs, sex, YOLO (“you only life once”) moments, “turn up” extravaganzas, and street life survival techniques (aka fights)). Although I didn’t participate in much of anything considered “fun” when I was younger, I had more than my fair share of the same emotions that prompted those activities in other people: pain, hurt, happiness, sadness, confusion, desire, love, emptiness, joy, and desperation. On the long list of reasons we provide for people’s behaviors and choices, “validation” is often left out.

We often say people are looking for love, success, peace, happiness, answers, and even adventure in life. However, I don’t often hear people give the same weight to the idea that validation plays a big role in the decisions people make in their life. In some cases, we might seek a certain level of success to validate our belief that we are indeed intelligent, competent, and valuable. People sometimes join groups to validate their worth and to gain acceptance. Sometimes we care about our image solely because compliments reassure us that we are beautiful/handsome. Often people find themselves accepting a strange kind of love in relationships because, whether wonderful or painful, that love oddly validates the idea that they are lovable. Everybody wants to be validated and reassured that this world wants his or her existence. Think about it. Who wants to feel like the world could care less if they were ever created?

The reason we seek validation is the same reason we are drawn toward believing that we have a greater purpose in this life. The problem begins when people seek external validation more than internal confidence. I would be lying to you if I said that we don’t need validation from people from time to time. However, people can only validate you to the extent that they believe in your worth. People waver; and if they do, that might also mean your confidence will waver too. In order to develop a true unwavering sense of internal validation, you need to find the inner conviction that you are valuable and have something meaningful (great or small) to offer the people in your world. Internal validation is not something that develops overnight; you might need to have multiple sources, places, and routines to keep your validation scale tipped in the internal versus external direction, but that struggle is just a part of life.

I have found that the greatest validation I have ever experienced in my life has been the sense that I have been created ON purpose and FOR many purposes. When I feel connected with the universe and God, it reminds me that I am valid and have been legitimately placed on earth.

What is your source(s) of validation?

Share your reactions, thoughts, and questions below!