Approval, validation or appreciation (call it what you will) is one of the greatest experiences we can have. To have a partner, friend, colleague or complete stranger make comment about an achievement or action is so motivating, it gives you that feeling of satisfaction that you did something well.
So what would happen if we achieved something extraordinary and no one was there to witness it, no one was there to support you…and you did not put it on social media for the world to see? What if we just did things for us?
I did just this on the weekend just to experience this need for approval… something that was so spontaneous and challenging. I have also removed all history of it and did not tell a person. It was just me acknowledging my own success. It is a very interesting experience when everyone in the office is asking how was your weekend and what did you do, it has taken all my strength not to tell everyone what I did.
To be honest, I believe it has worked better in my case than telling the world, I feel more empowered now because I think ‘why does anyone else need to know what I did?’ I have this deep knowing inside that I can draw on at any time, that I did it.
This creates an amazing collection of resources that are now lifting and inspiring you internally rather than having to live up to the ‘perception of the life’ that others see.
I have often wondered as a specialist peak performance practitioner, why so many people look external for validation, why kids look to their parents for recognition and why people put meaningless stuff on social media.
I can now also understand the social media phenomenon and the mindset they target. Social media isso effective and so addictive because, it plays on one of the most significant of human emotions… validation.
What I did for myself (and I guess as an experiment) was a great experience and I think everyone needs to do this. You may choose to go and achieve something for yourself or have something happen in which you reacted in a way that inspired you… keep it to yourself and bask in your own glory. I will tell you now, it will be a real struggle not to say anything.
The need to share every thought on social media is now becoming an automatic reaction and something that may inspire others to lift, it also has the potential to stop others’ in their tracks thinking, I can not compete with that person or they have a better life than me or they seem so happy.
If people understood this self-empowerment experience, I believe we would all be more empowered internally and not having to create this ‘false reality’ of our lives that we will always have to live up to. We need to just live in the quiet success we have inside of us and build ourselves!
It would be interesting to understand if sharing our experiences and wanting ‘external validation’ actually dilutes the power of the experience kept within us!
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments section below.
And please no comments about how awesome this blog was…
written by: STUART WALTER