I suspect we’ve all been there. Where? In the self-defeating cycle of insecurity where we become dependent upon acknowledgement from others. Might be a new-found friend in the blogging world 😊 or a spontaneous interaction with a stranger. It’s true! A positive nod or word of encouragement is a gift.
Revel in it – whether it’s a compliment from someone near and dear or a person you may never see or hear from again – many of us are hungry to be seen, heard, recognized. Especially true for those who identify as achievers.
But that’s okay, right? Yes, I think so. It’s truly what makes the world go ‘round. People taking care of one another by offering praise and recognition nurtures love – for the greater good. I’m a fan.
Except…when you are incapable of acknowledging and celebrating your own successes (small or large) because the only praise that “counts” comes from the outside. That might be a sign that your need for external validation is dragging you down.
The fix is straightforward but requires a wee bit of practice. Being mindful of your unique gifts and talents is a good first step. Yes – you have them. Make a list if you need to.
Be ready to celebrate and ‘high five’ yourself at every opportunity. Be the first…not the last…to offer praise and give yourself the gold star.
Visual imagery can help. Take a minute or two to connect with your breath. The simple act of breathing in…and out…while allowing your head and heart to peruse the things that make YOU feel good about you is restorative.
Don’t go spelunking around for heroic acts of bravery here. For some, getting out of bed is praise-worthy if the day dawns bleak and gray (whether actually, metaphorically or emotionally). Hurray for YOU! You’re up!
If you make it a practice to celebrate the little wins, it will become less and less necessary for you to feel good only if praise comes from someone else.
My wish for you? Don’t let ‘external validation’ be your only (or main) source of ego strength. You are fabulous. You always were.