I took my kids to an art museum. When I arrived in the vicinity of the area I decided that using the parking garage was the most convenient choice. I entered the garage and retrieved my ticket. I parked the car and the kids and I got out and walked towards the museum. I was excited, I love museums and spending time with my kids. Also to top it off this was a free exhibit – so I was super excited! Well, I walked toards the entry of the museum only to see to my dismay a sign informing me that the museum was closed. I told my kids “Okay well I guess we will have to do this another time”. We all got in the car and I proceeded to the gate to see what the cost would be for using the garage. I thought, I have been here less than 10 minutes so maybe this will be a freebie. I inserted the ticket only for the ticket reader to inform me that I owed $5.00 for parking. I thought $5.00?!? I have only been here no more than 10 minutes and the museum is closed!!!
I wondered does anyone validate or something because this was supposed to be me enjoying my day on the cheap! And $5.00 to park for ten minutes felt all but cheap! Even if someone had offered to give me the five dollars, I felt like either the museum should have covered the cost or that the company responsible for charging parking prices should have ate the charge. I really would have preferred validated parking rather than be held accountable for paying what I felt was a high price. Especially when I didn’t feel I received much of anything other than disappointment. I thought why should I pay if I could find someone to cover the price.
You see it is fine to look for someone to validate your parking. But I have found that sometimes I have been guilty of looking for other people to validate me in my personal life. For example, I have really nice handwriting. I have nice handwriting because I would practice it every day for years just so that my dad would compliment it. My dad had nice handwriting and so I wanted him to notice I had nice handwriting also. For some reason I felt that I needed him to take notice and let me know I had reached the pinnacle of the handwriting hall of fame. One day when I was 16 years old I overheard my dad make a comment saying, “hey whoever wrote this has really nice handwriting”. And in that moment right then and there I had it, my dad finally said it. Yep he told me I had nice handwriting. I waited almost 11 years to hear that.
I am certain you realize that logically that my need for validation did not make any sense. Why did I need him to say that, what was I looking for?
I was looking for him to validate me. I wanted him to tell me I had made it. I wanted him to tell me I was good enough. For years people told me that my handwriting was very beautiful. But what they said didn’t matter, because they weren’t my dad. Why did I need my dad to validate my handwriting? Why didn’t I feel confident in myself enough to know that my handwriting was good?
It was because I was looking for someone else outside of myself to validate me. You know the funny thing is after he finally said I had nice handwriting, I wanted him to start validating me in other areas of my life. I was constantly chasing his validation. It would have been much easier for me to know for myself I had good handwriting and not wait 11 years for my dad to agree. Just like it was far easier for me to pay the $5.00 for parking and go about my day than it would have been for me to try to figure out how I would get the closed art museum to validate my parking.
Realize that when you look for someone else to tell you that you are good enough you are seeking external validation. You have to know within yourself that you are good enough. Do the necessary work in yourself to know who you are. Believe in yourself and don’t let how others perceive you define you. When you get in the habit of seeking external validation from others you will always be chasing a feeling. They can tell you they love you, but you will find the need to hear it over and over again, because you don’t love yourself. They will say you are beautiful but you won’t believe it, because you don’t believe it for yourself. You alone have to believe you are good enough. Validate yourself! Know who you are and be confident in it. Love yourself flaws and all.
Stop looking for others to tell you how good you are, how beautiful you are and realize the beauty that you possess. When you don’t love yourself flaws and all you will find yourself constantly wanting someone else to tell you how good you are. And even when they do it won’t be good enough, because you will not believe it for you.
You can’t get someone else to validate your life in the same way you can have a company validate your parking. You can’t refuse to do the work of loving you and expect life to give you a free pass and think you are going to feel secure in yourself. You have to do the work of loving you. Understand that it would have been far easier for me to recognize in grade school that I had excellent handwriting than it was for me to wait 11 years for my dad to take notice. Don’t wait for someone else to give you the green light on loving on you. Go ahead and put in the work of loving yourself and stop seeking external validation.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.