External validation is so easy, but what happens when it slips away…
We have become so accustom to instant gratification, the rise of social media has given us a false sense of assurance. We post a picture, get likes and comments, we feel good. So we post another picture, maybe more likes or less likes, and we feel a way -positive or negative. It has us internalizing, whether it is doubting and questioning, or boosting and vibing. It has us judging our worth based on the consensus of the collective. And the problem is… well there are a few problems.
One being the algorithm, which for our purposes and the purpose of the article, isn’t of importance. And only real thing to take from it is that not everyone is seeing your posts, so essentially it isn’t a true measure of the collective consensus that is your community, so to say. In other words, it’s similar to a false positive or a false negative. So that’s number one.
Number two is, the reliance on approval… the fact that we can’t feel good without a stamp of approval from outside sources breeds insecurity. So much so, that if we don’t get that approval, that solidification, we feel unworthy… feel less than, and that leads to further doubt. And to be honest, we already doubt ourselves enough, we already criticize and judge ourselves to extents we wouldn’t otherwise judge others. And another thing to note is, the bias… the simple fact that we think it means something. When really is says nothing about a person, but the simple fact that they have a reach. Nothing about what their reach is worth, or even what they are worth.
And lastly, what happens when it’s gone. What happens if social media disappears and you have no way of finding validation on yourself. I say this because, this is probably the most important point. Because it is one thing to get less likes, less comments, but if it is gone together. What if everything that makes you feel validated, and not even social media, but your car, your job, your money… what if it ‘poofs’ gone. And you are left there with nothing, none of it -just you. What do you do?! What if all these things that we think, or better yet believe give us status, disappear… and it’s just you?!
Alone -what happens?
When put all of our confidence… worthiness, or rather state of worthiness in everything else, but ourselves, we lose ourselves. Because what happens when everything is gone?! Does the tower not come crumbling down?! How do we define ourselves, if we have nothing to define ourselves with?!
And there is the question. How do we define ourselves when all is gone?! Because if we put our power in everything and everyone, but ourselves, then when all is gone we are undoubtedly left lost.
So, how do we find validation?!
We find it in ourselves. Who we are, what we do, how we do it and why…
And what I mean specifically is that it isn’t in the outcome that we are validated, but rather in the process. So in other words, it is during the process of who are are, what we do, how we do and why that validation is found. Because here is the thing, the outcome is contingent on the process. But yet, so many of us focus on the outcome as a means of validation, attached to the result, when really it is the process by which we are validated.
For example: A car salesman sells a car. Yes it is great that he sold a car, but it’s who he is to sell a car, what he did to sell that car, how he sold that car and why he sold it… Because yes, the result proved successful. And it illustrated that he can sell cars, but it is in the process by which he did it that validates him to do it. For the sale is the end result, but it is the process that gives us that end result.
We get so caught up in the outcome, we neglect the process of gave us that outcome. If we stick to focusing only on the process, leaving aside the outcome, we won’t ever be lost. Because there will be moments that no matter the process, you may not get the results, and if you become attached to the results then you will lose the process. Question and doubt it. Potentially sabotaging. And leads to a whole other can worms.
So it really becomes a matter of looking inward, reflecting on what makes you -you. Not externally, but internally. Focusing on intrinsic value oppose to extrinsic. And that really is self-love at its finest. Validation from within, because everything else is just extra. Most importantly, it can be one day and gone the next, and if you aren’t grounded and stable within who it is you are, you will most definitely loss more so than one that is.