I did a Google search the other day that began with “how do I learn …” Since I was planning to write this post, the autocomplete options caught my attention. The first was, how do I learn to love myself. Second was Spanish. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of broke my heart.
The need to write this post became evident during a class we taught on the topic self-worth. One of the readings on the topic sparked a conversation about people pleasing, boundaries, guilt and being taken advantage of. It was evident that all of this suffering came from seeking external validation.
It’s normal to want people to like you. It’s also easy to let it go too far if we don’t have the proper boundaries in place. And boundaries are hard because they threaten that external validation.
You may be thinking, thank God I’m not like that. But, I think we all do it to some extent. Even if it’s just looking to see who liked your new Facebook pic. So what can we do?
Here are 5 tips to find validation within.
1 – List everything that you are grateful for.
There have been a plethora of studies on gratitude in recent years and the findings are incredible. The simple act of gratitude can change our brains. Learning to practice gratitude will help you appreciate the goodness that you have already.
2 – Create an I’m Awesome file.
We don’t celebrate our accomplishments as much as we should. And as busy as we are, they’re easy to forget. Start a folder with memories of your greatest successes. Create a list of all of your strengths. Add anything you’re proud of. Make a habit of reviewing your file regularly.
3 – Learn to see the beauty of your uniqueness.
I was sitting in a large group recently and it occurred to me how unique everyone is. Think about it, unless you’re a twin, it’s unlikely that your identity is ever confused. There are over seven billion people in the world, and we all look different. That’s pretty freakin’ miraculous.
Celebrate that. Your beauty is unique to you. While we’re on the topic, go ahead and list all of the things you like about your physical appearance. Then tell yourself, “I’m gorgeous!”
4 – Become you own BFF.
Learn to love yourself by dating yourself. Go out to dinner … alone. This is easy for me because I’m more of an introvert and I traveled alone for 15 years. But from the sad looks I got when I asked for a table for one, I’m guessing it’s not common. Getting comfortable hanging out with yourself is a powerful life skill.
5 – Serve others by bringing out the best in them.
There’s no better way to validate your unique skills and abilities than by using them to serve others. Tony Robbins said it best, “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.”
It’s not always simple, but finding validation within is always the best choice. All of these activates are simple to do and compound over time. Once we are able to truly love ourselves, then we can spread our love freely to others.
What tips do you have to find validation within?
Share in the comments below.