A situation was brought to life for my wife and I recently regarding validation in our society. The scene was as follows: my daughter asks my wife and I, “Have I eaten this apple far enough to throw it out?” Simple right? What a very basic question yet for some reason made my mind wonder why my daughter would ask this. So I responded with, “Chloe, why do you need us to approve you to throw out an apple core?” She replied, “I don’t know. Just asking and so you can see how far I ate it.” My wife and I shrugged and said ‘ok’ in unison and she went to throw it out.
But for some reason I was still at odds with it. At this point a asked my wife, “Does she actually need something or is she looking for validation that she did something correct and to our standards?” After a good conversation about it in the back of our bus, we came to the agreement that is indeed what it was and we might need to apply some more confidence in them regarding simple tasks in their lives.
Validation can bring about a sense of immense happiness and likewise, extreme self-consciousness regarding an individual’s accomplishments and actions.
We constantly spend time grooming ourselves, buying clothing, putting in a great effort at work, and possibly the gym to wonder how we might shake out compared to those around us and potrayed in the public eye. However, are we truly ever content and more importantly does it matter? Is that lack of contentment a derivative from the validation we not only seek from others but one that has been created because we value our personal self-worth? I would say it’s a great blend of both worlds and one that is perfectly normal.
We are human. The feeling to belong and be needed is very important to us. Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid, a psychology theory suggests this from bottom to top: Physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization as components to a person’s well-being. We all strive to reach the self-actualization at the end of the day. But, I would say it’s safe to say many struggles are personally driven and, over thoughtful on what someone might have said offhand with no real intention of making you doubt or question something you might enjoy. For example, if I ask someone if they like the seasonal pumpkin spice latte I have in my hand at a particular coffee shop and their response is negative in concotation, am I supposed to question myself for liking it? Absolutely not! Hell, they might have only established that response based on the majority response to remain with the accepted response group.
My point here, be who you are and make your choice. Whether your profession is one within the service industry, a student doctor, a military service member remember this. Your thoughts on whether or not you’re doing your best towards your goals, choices, and standards need to be measured towards you. What you realistically put in is what you will realistically yield and ultimately find contentment in. Personal investment is one way to ensure that those around you that you have influence on or depend on will mirror that same postive perspective and make a world of change.