Nurturing inner flames: the power of self-validation in achieving long-term success


In a world where external validation often takes centre-stage, maintaining determination and perseverance in its absence becomes a formidable challenge. When the applause fades and cheers of the crowd are absent, one’s inner drive becomes the anchor that sustains progress. Receiving praise, having your emotions validated, being acknowledged for a job well done and feeling appreciated are undoubtedly gratifying experiences.

It is entirely normal to seek validation from others, whether it be from parents, a spouse, a boss or friends. However, for some of us, the quest for external validation can reach an unhealthy level. Our sense of well-being becomes contingent on others making us feel good. Without explicit acknowledgment of our achievements, we may start doubting our abilities. This tendency manifests in compulsively checking our social media posts, eagerly searching for approval. Moreover, our self-worth can come into question if others do not recognise our value.

Dependence on external validation can lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. A lack of self-confidence may result in increased errors and difficulties concentrating. Criticism and disapproval become particularly distressing because we invest so heavily in the opinions of others.

Relying solely on others for affirmation compromises our emotional well-being. It allows external sources to determine our value, eroding our trust in our own thoughts, feelings and judgments. We may begin to believe that others possess more knowledge andthat their opinions carry greater weight. This dependency can make us appear needy, seeking validation in ways that communicate a lack of self-esteem and a desperate need for reassurance.

A healthier approach involves learning to validate ourselves.

External validation should complement self-validation, not replace it

Self-validation includes:

  • Encouraging yourself
  • Acknowledging your strengths, successes, progress and effort
  • Noticing and accepting your feelings
  • Prioritising your needs
  • Treating yourself with kindness
  • Saying nice things to yourself
  • Accepting your limitations, flaws and mistakes

This is where self-motivation and self-belief come into play.

The Essence of Being Your Own Biggest Fan: Being your own biggest fan is more than a cliché; it’s a profound philosophy that propels individuals toward long-term success. It involves recognising your achievements, both large and small, and understanding that consistency in efforts, not external recognition, is the true catalyst for growth.

The Crucial Role of Self-Motivation: Self-motivation and self-belief are the driving forces that propel individuals forward when faced with the absence of external accolades. In the absence of cheers, it’s the unwavering belief in oneself that becomes the driving force behind continued progress.

Self-Validation: Not About Ego, But Acknowledgment: Self-validation is often misunderstood as an act of ego. However, it’s fundamentally about acknowledging one’s own hard work and using that recognition to fuel further efforts. This internal support system is what keeps individuals grounded and focused, especially when external accolades are not forthcoming.

Case in Point: The Artist’s Journey: Consider the artists who spend countless hours honing their craft, often without immediate recognition or tangible rewards. If their validation relies solely on external sources, their resolve may falter when faced with silence from the crowd. However, by celebrating their own dedication and the small improvements they make, artists can continue to refine their art – often leading to eventual recognition.

The Enduring Sources of Motivation: External encouragement, while gratifying, is transient. The most enduring sources of motivation lie in the self-appreciation and acknowledgment of one’s own efforts and progress. Building a habit of self-support becomes the lynchpin, the difference between giving up and pushing through to achieve one’s goals.

Cultivating the Habit of Self-Support: Fostering a habit of self-support is a journey in itself. While external encouragement can provide a boost, it is the intrinsic acknowledgment of one’s efforts that sustains motivation over the long haul.

This article serves as a reminder that being your own biggest fan is not just a concept; it’s a powerful tool for navigating the ebbs and flows of life, ensuring you remain your most reliable source of encouragement.

For a more personalised conversation on this topic or exclusive content, feel free to reach out. Let’s celebrate the journey of self-discovery together!

The Author is a Risk assessment and cost-reduction Strategist, Accountant, relationship coach and writer

Tel. No: 0244998789

Email: [email protected]

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