Most people have a hero, idol or giant they look up to. It’s usually someone who has done something along the lines of what we want to do.
This is healthy because we can model the person in the things that they’ve done in order to achieve what they have. It gives us a great map to add to our journey to uncovering a purpose and meaning.
Then there are the people that we look up to and admire who are a lot closer to home than these distant idols.
These are the people we grew up with; friends, relatives, teachers, or mentors. There’s a problem with this, though because we subconsciously seek their approval.
We end up doing things that we wouldn’t necessarily do just so we can gain their approval. So we can achieve some sense of acknowledgement or recognition from the person that we’re looking up to.
Essentially, you’re waiting for this person to say to you, “Hey, I see what you’re doing, I see the person that you are and I think you’re not only valuable, but you’re also worthy of my time and attention.”
Or in short, “You’re amazing!”
What’s wrong with this? You’re looking to external people for validation. Imagine what would happen if you validated yourself? What if every morning soon after you woke up, you validated who you are and the contribution you make to people’s lives?
Let’s look at what might happen if you were to do that…
Firstly, you wouldn’t need their validation and approval. Because you’d be governing that from within instead of being dependent on some external source.
Secondly, your idols are more likely to pay attention to who you are and what you’re doing because you no longer need their approval. Think of a date playing hard-to-get. If you alter your need for approval where you believe you’re fine without it, then you become a very attractive individual.
Starting to see the irony here?
Your self-worth powerhouse
Think of it like powering your house. Your self-worth is like electricity powering a house. If you’re relying on external sources for validation (the electricity companies supplying energy to your house), then you’re at the whim of whether they decide to continue supplying you with what you depend on. If you switch over to solar energy then you become self-reliant. You supply your own house with what it needs and depending on how much self-worth (solar energy) you harness, you will begin to supply others with self-worth and value (feeding electricity back to the grid).
Let’s go a few steps further.
I’ve consulted with people who have gone as far as doing things that are out of character just to get the approval of people they look up to. They were changing who they were just to get approval and validation. This is a guaranteed way to fail.
The people that are idolised, followed and praised have done something for themselves that has been invaluable. They didn’t wait for someone else to give them permission to live their lives. They realised early enough that they themselves are the ones who has to give themselves permission to be them. This is what makes them so appealing to everyone.
The truth is simple. You will never be successful at being anyone but you.
Also, it becomes blatantly obvious that you’re attempting to be someone other than yourself, which has a repellent stench that causes people to avoid you like you’re carrying a sign that says “I have the bird flu and it’s contagious.”
Be your own energy source and watch how people around you change behaviour, opportunities begin to show up and you become more a friend to yourself.
After all, if you don’t validate yourself, who will?