It Doesn't Matter What Others Think of Me. All That Matters is What I Think of Me

24 Apr

Most people want so badly to be liked. Most people want so badly to be accepted and to belong. To belong means to be a member or a part of. A sense of belonging is one of the strongest basic human needs we all have. In fact, our family is our first experience with belonging that helped shape our identity at first. Belonging is one way in which we place value on ourselves.

A sense of belonging is a need we have throughout life. From our youth, playing with other children in our neighborhood; through elementary school, where we hope to get picked for the dodgeball team; through high school, where we seek to identify with a certain group or club, like the jocks, cheerleaders, band or dance team; and into adulthood, where we seek belonging with people with the same interests or who are in the same phase of life - whether it’s through a Meet-up group, career status, marital status, or group of team moms whose children play with our children in soccer. It never really goes away, does it?

Belonging is acceptance; and we all want to be accepted for who we are, what we look like, what we have or don’t have and who we want to become. And yet, at every turn, we seek validation, or affirmation that we are worthy and that we belong. Our obsession with "likes" and "followers" on social media proves it.

But who makes these decisions anyway? Why do we give away our power? Of course, when it comes to a specific field of study or interest, it is logical to assume that those with more knowledge, expertise or experience are in the highest position to make decisions of worthiness. Outside of this scenario, seeking validation is not necessarily bad, but when it is our sole focus, then it can become unhealthy. The most powerful source of validation comes from within.

Self-validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts, and your feelings. Validation comes from what we think about ourselves and a strong sense of self-worth. What you think completely affects how you feel and what you believe.

Your thoughts are the most powerful weapons you own. They can trigger every emotion, action and outcome in your life.  So, you must exercise caution with regards to how you use them. If you hold onto negative thoughts about yourself, it is only a matter of time before you believe what you tell yourself, resulting in negative feelings and actions. In other words, if you don’t think or feel very highly of yourself, then chances are you will lack the motivation or drive to pursue your goals and dreams. Therefore, negative thoughts can undermine and sabotage every positive intention and goal you set while positive thoughts can change your life for the better.

Positive self-talk is a loving, kind and compassionate way to boost self-love, self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-worth. It can help retrain your brain to believe you are worthy of all the greatness the world has to offer you. When you believe you deserve health, happiness and success, then you are more inclined to take the steps necessary to achieve health, happiness and success regardless of what anyone else thinks, says or does.

Self-validation makes you feel brave. By believing in yourself more, you naturally become more willing to muster the courage to take action on your goals and dreams. You are more willing to step out of your comfort zone, take healthy risks and move in the direction of making your own dreams come true.

If you focus on crafting more positive thoughts, attitudes and actions, my Pineapple, you won't need anyone else's validation.

Live, Love and Lead with Aloha.

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