There’s nothing inherently wrong with being validated by others. In fact, it’s great. It just becomes problematic when that’s your only source of being affirmed. Instead, it’s important to strengthen your self-validation game. Here are 10 ways to do that:
1. Increase your self-awareness. When you’re more aware of what’s going on for you it’s easier to provide sincere validation for yourself. You can be honest with yourself about your shortcomings as well as your successes. During the whole journey, you can be mindful of what you brought to the table. Then, you can pat yourself on the back, knowing you’re okay and you can keep your eyes open to the truth.
2. Start speaking to yourself kindly. I know, this sounds easier said than done. It’s possible, though! Start with small mantras to feel better about yourself that feel genuine to you. How about “you’re good enough as you are” or “darling, you’re doing the best you can.” These are ways to provide validation to yourself. With practice, they become more and more believable and even often become your first response (or a close second).
3. Let your emotions and feelings be what they are. It’s so easy to want to change feelings. Especially if you’re feeling sad you may try to cover it in positivity. While being positive is a good thing, it’s not good when you’re doing so at the expense of truly feeling what’s going on. So, let your emotions and feelings be what they are. Give them space to breathe and run their course. All things shift and end.
4. Ask yourself what you need. At any given time what do you need? You can treat yourself like a child if that’s helpful. Speak to yourself as lovingly as you would a small human. Make sure you’re giving yourself the space to answer this question, though, don’t just stay super busy all of the time. Slow down enough to look inward in this way. Then go ahead and give yourself what you need.
5. Celebrate your victories. When you do something well be sure to celebrate that! You’re awesome and you’re deserving of your own celebration. In doing this, it helps you build up self-esteem and belief that you’re the capable human that you are. No victory is too small to celebrate. You can get yourself a small gift, play your favorite song, or go out to eat with a friend. Celebrate how you want!
6. Read inspirational things. Whether it’s a simple quote on Instagram or a book from one of your favorite authors, dive into what inspires you. That feeling when you read a quote that just hits the spot is a great one. It’s one way to validate yourself with the help of someone else. It’s not cheating! Use their spark to ignite yours. You’re still doing the work.
7. Surround yourself with inspirational people. When you surround yourself with inspirational people you’re more likely to be inspired yourself. They’ll remind you to validate yourself because they’re validating themselves. Positive folks around you will keep you doing healthy habits like remembering to care for yourself.
8. Perform good self-care. Practicing self-care is a way of validating yourself because you’re saying in essence that you deserve to be taken care of. Then you’re taking that action. It’s confirming that you’re a worthwhile human being who loves themselves. Performing self-care can come in all forms like the traditional bathtub with a bath bomb or just cooking yourself a nice meal.
9. Turn to praise instead of shame. It’s so easy for many people to jump right to shaming themselves. You feel you’re bad, stupid, and a messed up person. This is not the kind of language you want to use when you’re trying to validate yourself. Instead of that, try praising yourself for what you did do right and the fact that you tried. Tell yourself you’re actually doing just fine.
10. Practice acceptance. Life happens. Things often turn out ways we don’t plan and maybe didn’t ask for. In this case, practicing acceptance is a way of telling yourself “okay, your feelings are valid, and we’re going to have to take this for what it is.” Acceptance isn’t about giving up, rather it’s about surrendering to things you can’t control and not letting them control you.