This blog shares 5 ways on how to validate yourself. As social beings, it is typical and normal for us to want validation from others. At one point or another, you have most likely sought out validation from someone; whether it was during your childhood from your parents, during your teen years from your friends, in adulthood perhaps from your boss, coworkers, significant others, or strangers on social media apps.
We seek validation for the sole purpose of feeling good about our decisions, and ourselves. There may be a struggle to trust our own opinions and judgments, and therefore reach out to others to obtain their feedback on something. We may value others’ opinions more than our own, and rely on receiving that.
It is natural to want others to like you and uplift you through their words – it makes us feel good!
But when we desire this too much, it can have a negative impact on our mental health. We may begin comparing ourselves to others, not feeling satisfied with ourselves or where we are in life, and overall have a negative outlook on life and our capabilities.
Our 5 ways to practice self-validation include: (1) Reduce instances of comparing yourself to others. (2) Avoid “reading” others’ minds. (3) Expect and accept that people will have good and bad opinions about you. (4) Practice positive self-talk. (5) Use neutral or more forgiving language with yourself.
Make sure to check out our blog on 3 Benefits of Individual Therapy to understand how you can benefit from having your own space to process difficult emotions. Individual counseling in Simi Valley, CA holds sessions in-person to provide you with a separate space from your home!
It is normal to seek and want validation from others. However, we should not base our self-worth or value on others’ feedback.
How to Validate Yourself: Reduce instances of comparing yourself to others.
Aim to reduce instances of comparing yourself to others. This can be difficult, especially if you aspire to live a certain lifestyle, or achieve certain goals that others may have. When we are unsatisfied or unaccepting of our life or ourselves, we may yearn for something that others have.
In reality, comparing yourself to others will not help you achieve true happiness. It will keep you in the mindset that you cannot amount to what you desire. This can lead to cognitive distortions, negative self-talk, or overall dissatisfaction in general.
While it’s good to have aspirations, ensure you are working towards goals in a healthy, positive way. You may have fitness goals, for example, and look up to individuals who constantly share their workout plans.
As a result of this, you might take it out on yourself for not meeting their criteria, and blaming yourself for not “measuring up.” This can be distressing, and further set you back from experiencing and strengthening self-love.
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps you gain greater self-awareness and self-insight.
It’s normal that we may compare ourselves to others without realizing.
How to Validate Yourself: Avoid “reading others’ minds.”
Avoiding reading others’ minds is one way to validate yourself. You may find that you seek approval from others, and their words and affirmations mean more than your own. There also may be worry around what other people may be thinking about you.
However, it’s important to not focus too deeply on others’ perspectives. While you may want to maintain a good image or reputation, you should not try to tailor yourself or your lifestyle based on what others may think or expect of you. Furthermore, in many cases, your anxiety may be causing you to think the worst when it’s not what is really going on.
Examples of reading others’ minds could look like:
- Those people keep looking over at me – they must be judging me.
- I texted my friend and they haven’t responded – they must be mad at me.
- My partner is in a bad mood today – they’re thinking about breaking up with me.
- The waitress will think I’m annoying for having a few modifications for my meal.
In reality, it can be easy to get caught up and feel that we are to blame for anyone acting “out of character”. However, what is typically true, is that others are not thinking about us as much as we imagine.
By avoiding making assumptions about what other people are thinking of us, we can release the anxiety and worry that comes from that. We can simply think to ourselves, “I am not always in the spotlight of others,” or identify alternative explanations for their actions that do not include you.
Think of times when you have been in a bad mood, and have not been especially friendly or welcoming to others. There are often reasons for your feelings and behaviors that don’t necessarily involve people on the receiving end of your behavior or demeanor.
You may have experienced instances of innocent people-watching without judgment, wanting space but not fully communicating that to others, or have simply gone to work in a bad mood.
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA can help you in separating your beliefs about other people from the potential, true reality of situations. Make sure to check out our blog on Signs It’s Time to Start Anxiety Therapy to understand if you would benefit from it.
We don’t know what someone could be going through or thinking unless it is directly shared with us.
How to Validate Yourself: Expect and accept that people will have opinions of you, good and bad.
You can’t win them all. It’s important to expect and accept that people will have different opinions of you. It’s true that we all have good and bad opinions of others as well. We may want to strive to be on everyone’s good side, but that’s not always possible, and may lead to disappointment and low self-satisfaction.
There may be worries about how people will perceive us based on the negative opinions of others. For instance, perhaps someone in your life may be gossiping to others in an attempt to sway opinions about you. At work, you may not get along with some coworkers for unknown reasons. You may be the victim of social media bullying, or on the receiving end of outspoken negative perceptions.
While this can cause us to feel anxiety, it’s important to take a step back and contemplate how much we want to internalize someone else’s opinions about us.
Do I look up to this person, respect them, or aspire to be like them? Is their opinion about me a reflection of who I truly am or care to be? Does their feedback feel constructive, or is it insulting and hurtful?
When we feel comfortable with our own beliefs about ourselves, others’ hold less weight. By strengthening supportive, secure relationships and social networks, we don’t need to worry about outside chatter as much. All that matters is that we feel confident in ourselves, and the people in our lives accept us, along with our flaws or perceived imperfections.
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps individuals grow and strengthen their self-esteem. Make sure to check out our blog on Therapy: Where to Start if you are new to therapy and wanting advice on getting started.
We have the power to decide what opinions help us feel supported to grow.
How to Validate Yourself: Practice positive self-talk – be aware of negative statements you say about yourself.
Practice positive self-talk and be aware of negative statements you say about yourself. This can feel natural to you, especially if you speak to yourself negatively unconsciously. You may even completely agree with the negative statements. You may tell yourself negative things, and ruminate on these statements.
Imagine that you are your own biggest supporter. While we can also be our own biggest critics, it’s essential that we begin to view ourselves with unconditional love and support. We may want to hear positivity from other people, whether it’s for our work, achievements, or who we are as people. It’s nice receiving compliments and motivations from others!
However, others cannot be with you at all times of the day – you are the only constant. It is essential for you to provide yourself with those positive acknowledgements and motivation. Positive self-talk can come from general positive statements or mantras. A few examples of this include:
- I am worthy of love and respect.
- I believe in myself and my abilities.
- Today I will unconditionally accept myself.
- I rise above thoughts that are trying to make me angry or afraid.
- I offer value to those I meet by just being myself.
- I am a unique and wonderful person.
Make sure to read our blog on 3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk for steps on how to reduce your negative self-talk and replace it with more positive self-talk. Teen therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps teens develop and maintain a positive outlook on themselves and their life.
Positive self-talk can look different for everyone depending on your situation and needs. Try to tailor it to any negative emotions or thoughts you are experiencing.
How to Validate Yourself: Use more neutral or more forgiving language with yourself.
Use neutral or more forgiving language with yourself. This pertains to instances of being out in public while socializing, working on a hard assignment, or while alone trying to fall asleep at night. It’s important to continue and prioritize the narrative of forgiveness and acceptance toward yourself.
This goes hand in hand with the previous point of practicing positive self-talk. While these are two different concepts, they serve the same purpose – of treating yourself kindly. Speaking yourself neutrally or more forgiving can look different for everyone.
In short, it’s simply speaking to yourself with no judgment or blame. This isn’t to say to avoid taking responsibility for actions, however it’s just stating the facts or reality of a situation.
For example, you may have had too much to drink one night, and felt embarrassed with the way you acted.
Using neutral or forgiving language with yourself would look like saying, “I did drink a little more than I intended last night at the bar. I may have been clumsy and spilled over a few drinks. Next time I go out with my friends, I will be mindful of how much I am drinking”.
Another example is if you attended a social event where you did not know many people, and you may have felt self-conscious. You may worry that you did not socialize much and kept to yourself out of shyness.
Neutral or forgiving language will look like, “I did not know many people at that gathering, and it made me feel shy. Next time, I can try to come out of my comfort zone and say hi to people I do not know”.
Make sure to read our blog on How to Sit With Uncomfortable Feelings! Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA provides you with the coping skill sets to process and manage uncomfortable feelings.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.