Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the search for validation and acceptance, as well as how feedback from others effects our measurement of self-worth.
Why is life consumed by a quest for acceptance? Last night I attended a fun social event for Connecticut bloggers and brands. I spent a week planning my outfit and one too many hours mentally preparing for the occasion. WHY would I mentally prepare for such an event? I’m a social butterfly by nature, but very insecure when I know who people are but am aware they don’t exactly know me. As a way to cope with my insecurities, I talk too much, make awkward jokes, and probably smile too hard.
READ MY 10 LESSONS LEARNED IN 10 YEARS OF BLOGGING
How I search for Validation
Over the last few years I’ve grown more aware of my behavior in social settings. It’s embarrassing how I search for validation and acceptance everywhere I go – from the grocery store to family parties. It’s normal though, to want my achievements, choices, ideas and opinions validated by those around us. After all, we seek approval from our parents for our accomplishments from birth. But WHY are we as a society so obsessed with using validation as a tool for measuring self-worth?
We live in a world where its become normal to spend every day seeking validation from others. Whether it’s a smile, thumbs-up, or “good job!,” the level at which we measure our own worth is based off of the reaction of someone else. Our society has normalized the use of social media to measure success and popularity, which in turn establishes self-worth.
A simple LIKE on Instagram or Thumbs Up on Facebook means way more than it should. As a blogger, I try to squash my desire to be recognized by complete strangers on the internet, but it’s unavoidable since a blogger’s success is defined by statistics. And in return, I measure my self-worth in the same manner.
How We Should Actually Measure Self Worth
In an article for Psychology Today, Amy Morin, L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist, explains how we measure our self worth in the most unreliable way. Unbeknownst to us, self-worth relies on feedback from others regarding our appearance, career, salary, or who we know. These factors and external events in our life are truly out of our control though. Instead of measuring self worth using validation from our peers, we should use factors we can control. Instead of chasing things that temporarily boost your self-esteem, measure your self-worth by who you are at your core.
At my core, I am friendly, realistic, empathetic, hard working, and dependable. I am loving, flexible, passionate and emotional. Like everyone else, I have flaws I can accept and imperfections I wish I could change. Is it WRONG to desire people know who I am on inside instead of what they see from the outside?
I woke up today with a new purpose in life and a quest to forget the moments I feel insignificant. We only get one life to live that we shouldn’t spend it seeking validation and acceptance from others. Instead, I want to embrace all that is wonderful, let go of my insecurities, and work on measuring my self-worth on my own terms. And no one else.
Kristen M says
SO brave and real. Love this. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with every post. <3
Meg @ Closet Fashionista says
I’m the same, always worrying about what people think about me and worrying I’ll sound dumb. That makes me the opposite at events and things, I just sit in a corner and watch because I don’t want to insert myself into conversations with people I don’t know and just feel super awkward. So I always wait for people to me, but they usually don’t (probably because I look like I don’t want to talk, haha)
I definitely need to up my self-confidence game and just go with it!
Great post! And so important to consider in this blogging space. I think we all get caught up in it. Myself included! Thanks for sharing!
This is such an important topic and honestly, I feel like I could’ve written this post. This is something that I’ve been working on a lot lately- just trying to better myself in every facet, increasing my self-confidence and being courageous enough to leave people behind that don’t have the best of intentions. It’s especially hard in the blogging world where so much of your “worth” is based off of tangible things like comments, likes, who you associate with, what you wear, where you live, etc.It’s difficult to compare yourself and honestly, I wish that people would see beyond the pretty pictures and the comments and get to know who I really am. That’s all we really want 🙂
We all want to be that confident person who walks into a room not giving a hoot what others think of what we are wearing. It is the greatest characteristic ever to be born with or to instill in your children if you have any. Never stop striving for it!!
gosh i love this post so much. why do we care so much about validation from others? as bloggers, we clearly are putting ourselves out there for a reason 🙂 it’s important to look inside instead! well said!
xx rebecca // http://www.rebeccapiersol.me
PREACH!! This is a huge issue for all of us! Unfortunately, we all crave validation and reassurance to know that we are “liked” or beautiful enough. This is especially a huge issue for the next generation behind us. Young girls are feeling this pressure for validation at a very young age!! I am very thankful insta and Snapchat we’re not invented during my school years. Keep spreading the good word, my friend ❤️
Sarah Lindner says
This is such an insightful and amazing post! Thank you for sharing this- this message is something everyone needs! xoxo sarah
Wow! These are some really deep and important thoughts you’ve been mulling over since your event. I think it’s great that you’re seeing the good in NOT seeking validation from others, but rather, loving yourself and being proud of yourself. Thanks for sharing.
Anna English says
I loved this post! I struggle with seeking validation from others, and it’s such a work in progress!
We shouldn’t let others determine our self worth. The only person that can determine our self worth is ourselves!
You’re awesome babe.
cute & little
Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels says
This post truly resonates with me and how I feel when going to certain events. I am so glad I’m not alone!
I really needed to read this today – I have been struggling with seeking validation from others. I’m trying to just be better at the mentality that validation from others means I’m valuing opinions of people who may not necessarily have my best interests. I’m trying to be better at validating myself.
Thank you for such an insightful post – this is something I struggle with as well.
Laura Leigh says
Girl I just adore you! You are such a force and I am impressed by you daily. Thank you for sharing this powerful post and opening the conversation.
xo Laura Leigh
You make some very good points, and in truth, everything we see is a mirror. You probably went to that blogger event thinking someone was more talented or creative or had a better outfit than you, but those women likely looked at you and thought the same thing. We can very rarely look at ourselves in an unbiased manner, so I think that is why craving validation from others becomes this uncontrollable beast.
Chic on the Cheap
You are absolutely right. Such great insight!
Lovely!! I think as we grow up in school there’s a lot of pressure to fit in, and then we carry some of that with us into adulthood. Then slowly over time we realize there’s less pressure to conform and act, think and be exactly like others. That gives us the freedom to blossom into who we really are. So glad you are finding this freedom!! Love the looks in this post too.
Yes I don’t really search for validation from others as people can be fickle. My faith in Christ has helped prioritize how I respond to praise and criticism. They let get into your head. I’m glad you look to yourself for validation.
Love this! I am so bad about seeking validation from others — you have made some great points!
Taylor Mobley says
I love everything about this. You speak the truth girl.
Merry Christmas Day