We’ve all done it. If you’ve been alive on this earth for any amount of years, you’ve sought some sort of validation. Whether it’s from your parents, your teachers, your friends, your significant others, we have ALL gone on a journey to seek validation. We like to feel important, wanted or needed. I’m not going to sit here and preach and be corny by saying “Stop seeking validation from others,” when we as humans need validation. On the flip side, I do have a disclaimer. We should only seek validation on the grounds that it is healthy for our minds, body and soul. I want to emphasize the word healthy on this. There is a difference between healthy validation and toxic validation. I’m going to use this word like it’s a noun moving forward. We are in the age of social media where we look for validation’s approval through likes, views and comments. Let’s be real, it’s awesome to be admired, wanted and envied.
To be honest, we’re all pretty fucking vain in our own ways. If something isn’t to our benefit (whether selfishly or selflessly) or we do not feel like we are heard or listened to, we inherently get upset. However, there is something I have to say and this is not a much a blog post as it is a vow. I was a very meek and shy girl in elementary school. I believe it’s why my mother had put me in dance class and tried to involve me in extracurricular activities. She just wanted me to open up, be social and feel more confident. I don’t know if it necessarily worked or I just learned to grow out of my shell on my own.
I always used to fantasize about having a large group of friends while I was in middle school. It didn’t help that I was the only black person in my private school class. My goal then was to be accepted and not looked at as the black girl but looked at as an actual person. That didn’t stop people from constantly reminding me of who I was and my culture. At the time I resented that not realizing that I should have owned who I was from the beginning, but it’s harder said than done when you are a socially awkward lanky 12-year-old. In high school I had a group of friends that eventually filtered out into me having a person I call my one true best friend. It wasn’t until toward the end of college that I really started to feel comfortable with myself, and even then, I wasn’t 100% there nor capable of feeling secure enough to own everything about myself.
If you want me to be honest, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I had put a mental middle finger up to those who weren’t necessary or valuable in my life.
From this day forward, I am vowing not to seek toxic validation nor surround myself by individuals who aren’t benefiting my life in any capacity. Once you realize that people are always going to have something to say no matter what and regardless of whether or not you are doing something positive in your life you’ll still be met with criticism. It doesn’t matter if you’re curing cancer and giving food to half of the world’s homeless population, a negative person’s spirit will always find a way to try to crush yours and bring you down. Those types of individuals do not have your best interest at heart.
If you are aiming to seek approval and validation from those types of people (I call them vampire soul suckers but that’s for another post) then you will never, and I mean NEVER be happy with yourself or with life. I’ve argued and debated and had justifications for who I am as a person and one day I asked myself “Why am I explaining myself to this person that provides NO value in my life? I am who I am. I’m proud of it and I’m owning it.” Once you instill that mindset within yourself, you’ll encounter less stress and baggage moving forward. Always seek healthy validation, and by that, I mean make sure you are feeding your soul the right way. Whether that is exercising to feel good about yourself, letting go of relationships that are harmful to your spirit or simply doing things that you love to do, the validation you will receive is knowing that you are happier as a person engaging in healthy vices to improve your well-being. That is the best validation you can give yourself.