An occasional winner looks to success to validate the performance, but a champion looks to the performance as a validation of success.”… Todd Moody
Why do you seek so much validation from those around you? Why does their love and understanding have such import that it makes you forget all that you have worked so hard for? You know that you give your power away by this, and yet this need gnaws at you, eating away at the very essence of your Light-ness. Your inner child gains strength and force when others define you as ‘good’, ‘beautiful’, ‘wise’ — their words seeming to support all that you do, giving you claim to calling yourself ‘a child of God’. Your esteem rises in direct proportion to another’s value of you. It is through ‘validation’ that you stop being the outsider, and instead begin to belong to the other…as a friend, as a healer, as a partner. The inner vacuum being so large, there are just not enough people that you can belong to, and feel contentment within, and soon you are ‘out’, again seeking another, someone new, one more person to belong to, your inner child being thrilled by the sweet sound of endearments.
It is through validation that you are able to overcome your separateness from others, and feel a sense of union, of oneness. Though, at most times, you do get the validation you seek, there are occasions when you face jealousy and envy instead. This causes you hurt and leaves you uncertain and insecure. Remember, dear friend, that just as you have certain areas in which growth is far from complete, there are those who are unable to talk of others in terms of open admiration, or will do so with very guarded praise, as they jealously cling to the attention that they receive. In your moments of hurt, understand that their issues are exactly your own…need for attention and validation! They are scared that people will turn from them to you.
You yearn for understanding and love, but there is something else that you are really seeking. You are seeking to define yourself. And you are doing this through the words of others. Instead, let this definition be yours alone. You fear doing this because you are so painfully aware of your inexactitude, your clarity of expression, your ability to hoodwink yourself. But, I ask you, what conclusive proof do you have that the other’s words are not mere sweet flattery, subtle attempts to push through their own agendas, projections of their personal voids? Why are you willing to believe that their judgment of you is free of the darkness shed by their own psyches?
And thus, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your clients, are able to make you smaller than you are. Ask yourself what percent of each activity that you perform comes from your need for validation? Pay close attention to your inner reactivity when you hear words of praise, or words of dissension? How do you feel in the absence of applause?
There is a rather simple method that I follow, which has helped me very significantly to uproot this weed that has found its way into every human psyche. I follow the mantra…internalize nothing till it has been tested on inner ground. This works well for me, whether the words are of praise or criticism, arising from resentment or affection, spoken by an acquaintance or a loved one. This mantra does not, in any sense, convey that I do not heed or respect the words of others…in fact, far from it. Every word is remembered, and is closely inspected by the inner scanner. If the inner scanner shines ‘green’ it is accepted…processed…assimilated; the ‘red’ ones are discarded with a strong sense of awareness that though they may be true from another’s perspective, from my own, in this NOW, they seem not to be accurate. This awareness removes the possibility of close-minded denial of that which I am, as I concede that the truth of the inner scanner works only on my current energy, and may shift and evolve with ever-deepening self- understanding.
Dear friend, you already know that we understand and interpret what we hear and see and read from who we are inside. Haven’t you re-read a letter or a book, or seen an old movie, after a length of time, and wondered why you hadn’t seen then what you can see now? Yes, this is because you have changed. Isn’t it just as true then that we might tend to judge someone from a past that we do not even realize we are still caught in? If all this is true of you, is it not true of others as well? Those others whom you elevate to positions higher than your own?
Success lies in who you ARE, not in how effectively you are able to portray it. Our portrayal of who we ARE in the current NOW is often clouded by a habitual pattern of behavior. Our energies change, but our awareness of this change is not complete. Due to this, our brain still holds on to its conditioned behavior patterns. There are also times when you almost willfully act the way another expects you to, because you are scared to reveal the inner changes due to fear of ridicule or lack of the other’s understanding. Yes, again, validation!
Running every word through the inner scanner is a very useful way of making the brain aware of the inner energy shift, and gently prodding it to adopt healthier patterns and beliefs. A winner needs the applause to know that he has won; the champion, even in defeat, is triumphant, knowing who he IS. The winner has a deep need to win, to prove himself; the champion plays not for success, but for growth of experience and the experience of growth.
These words of Dr. Seuss have always been held dear by me: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”