Needing validation from others is something we all suffer with. Whether it be a primal driver from when we were in the cave men times and had to be liked in order to stay in a group and stay alive or whether this is learned behaviour, we need to try and put an end to the constant seeking of external validation and be who we truly are.
In my own journey, I have struggled with being who I really am for some people. In fact it is actually embarrassing how much I have hidden who I truly am in order for people to like me. But that is where self compassion comes in hey? I was doing the best I could in each situation at the time… Anyways… In my close relationships it is easy to be all of me, show my true self and to shine. It is almost like because I know they love me for all that I am, it is ok to be all that I am. It is safe. I feel safe.
Yet when I am in a new group of people, with people I am not so close to, or people from what I call “my past life” (Hi binge drinking, party drug taking, body/image obsessed Lozza) I can really struggle to be just me. I can struggle to show who I really am for fear of rejection and non acceptance. It is like I believe that who I am is not good enough. But that whole sentence just is not true. Who I really am is enough, it always has been enough and it always will be enough.
What this comes down to, is valuing other’s opinions of me as higher than my own opinion of me. And as silly as I can feel, it has taken me to turn 27 years old to understand and truly know that it is my opinion of myself, living a life aligned to MY values is what is important.
The more we seek external validation for our worth, the lower our self esteem will be and the less authentic we will be. This is because in order to seek external validation we often stay quiet with our opinion to not rock the boat and make the other person like us, we often change our opinions to meet theirs or we agree to things we don’t believe in or things that are in no way in line with our core values and beliefs.
And it is in aligning to and sticking to our core values that helps us to be authentic and be who we really are. When you know what you value in life and who you really are and truly honour it, value it and choose to be it, then you will increase your self esteem, be more authentic and be more and more ok with people not validating you and who you really are.
For example, since my more spiritual side developed at age 21 onwards, I was terrified of showing this part of myself. A lot of my friends did not resonate with anything spiritual and I thought they would think I was a total nut case for talking about that sort of thing, even though it was becoming a huge, important and nourishing part of my life. Now that I love, honour and value that part of myself, I am more and more ok talking about it all. I don’t care whether people like me for it or not anymore. Granted I am not there preaching about spirituality to all my friends who are not in the least bit interested, but I am no longer afraid to post an instagram post for example, with some level of spirituality within it. I used to dabble at posting a post here and there and then would delete it for being terrified what people thought. And that right there is a CLASSIC example of how we can value other’s opinions of ourselves over our OWN opinions of ourselves. It is our own opinion of ourselves s and sticking to our core values and true selves that is what truly matters.
At the end of the day, what people think of you is none of your business. Not everyone is going to like you and that is ok. You are not everyone’s cup of tea. Just like some people love Earl Grey tea and others really dislike it, it will be the same of each and every one of us and that is OK. And some people just won’t like you for no reason. Perhaps you remind them of someone they don’t like in their life, or perhaps your truth annoys them in some way or brings up things they need to work on. There are billions of people on this planet and if we were all the same, it would be rather boring wouldn’t it?
So let’s start being authentic and being who we truly are. Let’s stop playing small and stifling who we truly are in order to fit in and have external validation.
Be YOU. Be TRUE. Be AUTHENTIC.
And it is a journey. It takes little steps. When someone is a polar opposite to you and your values and beliefs it is not super easy to go in and be alllll of who you are straight away. And sometimes it isn’t even necessary. It is not that we need to be throwing our opinion around to every Tom, Dick and Harry, it is just that we need to allow ourselves to be who we are, not hide who we are, not be ashamed of who we are and not be afraid of what others think.
We need to value ourselves, know our worth and know that being who we are is enough.