Will he or she love me? Will they love my work? Will he or she understand me? Am I good enough? Will they appreciate me?
How much energy do we expend searching for validation from other people and the outside world?
And even when we receive positive validation from the people we were searching for it from or organizations at large, how deeply does it actually impact how we truly feel about ourselves? In my experience, if we do not believe at our core that we are worthy, lovable, and/or good enough: no matter how much validation we receive from the outside world, it does not penetrate our core beliefs about ourselves. Yet still, we keep trying to change it from the outside in.
For most of us, this pattern seems to start from quite early on as we look for the approval of our parents, maybe our siblings, then teachers, friends, peer groups, lovers, bosses, social media followers and on and on. We alter our thoughts, personality, behavior, creativity, work, interests, and relationships, all in the hope of being accepted and validated as worthy by them out there; often based upon the assumption that there is no way they will ever accept and love us for exactly how we are naturally, so we must conform to the version of ourselves we think they want us to be. All of this is confusing and exhausting at best, deeply painful at worst, and always fleeting and free of any true and lasting satisfaction.
So what might be an alternative way?
First, I believe we must find a way to begin physiologically removing the years of social conditioning and stress that has lead to these beliefs and behaviors. In my personal experience, meditation and psychotherapy (namely Vedic Meditation, E.M.D.R. and Somatic Experiencing) have been hugely effective in this process; coupled with correction of the intellect via reading, writing and social research, as well as experimentation with ceasing to follow the directives of my ego and instead following my hearts desire and intuition as to what I want, say, choose and do. This for me has not been a light switch kind of change in thinking or behavior, it has taken and continues to take constant diligence and practice as these beliefs and behaviors, as they were for me, are often deeply ingrained in our biological hardware.
When I am able to tune into and act purely upon my hearts desire rather than my ego’s insecure search for external validation, life seems to unfold in a frictionless and evolutionary manner, meaningful personal relationships flourish, non-evolutionary relationships reveal themselves and effortlessly fade away, creativity flows and a sense of inherent worthiness becomes the launching point rather than the fruitless goal of activity.
So if you are charmed, maybe ask yourself, what would I think, desire, choose, say, and do if I felt inherently and unwaveringly worthy and loved already and had no concern for or need of permission or validation from anyone or anything outside of mySELF? What would that look and feel like? And what am I willing to do towards making that my reality?